Individual dental insurance is there for a reason. Although most people source their dental coverage from their employers or organizations that they are a member of, there are some people who are not employed, are self-employed, are working part-time, or are working as freelancers, and who do not have access to dental insurance offered by their employers. This is the role of individual dental plans: to give these people access to affordable dental care by giving them dental insurance plans really meant for individuals.
The government is now more concerned than ever because the number of people who do not have access to dental care continues to increase. But since the working environment these days continue to evolve and there are now many people who do not have access to free dental insurance offered by employers, more and more individuals are not able to get affordable care and eventually face dental problems. Thankfully, individual dental insurance is around to save the day.
If you are still unsure as to what individual dental plans really refer to and what options you have, here’s a run through the basic facts about this basic dental plan setup.
What You Should Know about Individual Dental Insurance
- What is it?
- What does it cover?
- PPO vs. HMO individual insurance
1. What is it?
An individual dental insurance is a dental insurance plan designed for just one person. This is usually bought by a single individual from a dental insurance company. The person buying the insurance has to transact directly with the dental insurance company instead of coursing it through an employer or third-party organization. And since this is the case, the individual who bought the plan also has to meet all the financial obligations involved in the insurance plan, unlike in employer-provided insurance plans where both the employer and the individual contributes to share in the said amount. This is why individual dental insurance is really more expensive than group or employee plans. But for those who do not have a choice, the individual offers are pretty useful.
2. What does it cover?
So your next question would probably be about coverage. Technically, there is no difference to how coverage works for the group plans and the individual plans, though in individual plans, you have more flexibility when it comes to choosing your coverage and customizing it than when you join a group plan where the entire group gets the same package. Since each individual has a different dental care need, having the flexibility offered by individual dental plans is definitely an advantage.
But on the whole, your options for the coverage you can get are the same fare. You can opt for coverage for routine dental procedures for preventive maintenance, for major procedures, and for specialist procedures. Some dental plans also throw in some extras such as vision coverage, hearing coverage, chiropractic care coverage, and so on.
3. PPO vs. HMO individual insurance
Individuals also have the same options to choose from. They can decide whether to get PPO plans or HMO plans designed specifically for individuals. A lot of individuals prefer PPO plans because this gives them the chance to choose their own dental care provider since some people tend to be meticulous and choosy about the dentist they go to. However, individuals who are working within a budget are sometimes stumped due to the more expensive cost of PPO plans than HMO plans.
HMO plans are considered as the more budget-friendly option. Those whose first priority is to save money and receive purely dental health maintenance with no special options usually find HMO plans as the more reasonable choice. HMO plans give them a more limited choice when it comes to the dentists they can visit. They will only get discounted rates if they go to a dentist within the network. If you are not as choosy when it comes to your dentist, an individual HMO plan is more practical.
Individual dental discount plans vs. individual dental insurance
Just as there are individual dental insurance plans, there are also individual discount dental plans. Discount dental plans are like membership plans that provide discounts for their members. Most discount plans charge around $100 for discounts they can avail of for the whole year. Discount plans are usually available at an individual basis and a family basis. This is another alternative to individual dental insurance.