Dental insurance comparison matters if you strongly value not just your dental health but your wallet as well. It’s a good time to shop for insurance right now even though the fees associated with dental consultations and operations are at an all-time high. The reason for this is that there are many industry players competing for your attention right now. And each of these insurance players offers different options when it comes to insurance that can cover your dental needs.
With lots of options laid down on the table, you will be given the chance to get the one offer that can suit your needs, preferences and budget. But choosing can be a hard task, what looks good at the surface may not be helpful at all. This is where an informed comparison must get into the picture, and you should shop wisely.
When looking for dental insurance in the market, there are two traditional sources- the insurance companies and agents. But there’s another player that is a good source of these plans as well, and you can now shop for these dental insurance online. The situation remains the same; you get loads of options when it comes to insurance types. And the challenge for you as a shopper and patient is to carefully screen the options and weigh the pros and cons.
Dental Insurance Options, Explained
Some of the leading plans available online and from agents and insurance companies include:
- Preferred Provider Plans
- Health Maintenance Prepaid Plans
- Discount Dental Plans
- Indemnity Plans
- Indemnity Plus PPO Hybrid Plans
We take a look at the different options below, and identify the features and coverage that can help you in your comparison tasks.
Preferred Provider Plans– This offers you flexibility, well at least in terms of costs and in choosing your preferred dentist. Under the arrangement, all your dental needs are covered regardless of your choice of dental practitioner. If you have a family friend who is a dentist as well, then you can always get his services for your needs and the plan pays for it. And if you think that you can generate savings with the dentist that you personally, go ahead. but keep in mind that you’ll encounter less cost if you get assistance from a network dentist thus the recommendation is to get the insurance provider that can offer a large network of dentists.
If you sign up with the plan, you’ll enjoy preventive and diagnostic coverage at a low cost or it even comes for free. There are some procedures that require payment though and you’ll be obliged to remit an annual deductible and a portion of the total cost of the operation or procedure. These fees are minimal, considering the coverage you get.
Health Maintenance Plans– Having difficulty meeting ends meet is not an excuse in not getting a health or dental plan. There’s one when it comes to dental insurance called Health Maintenance Plans or HMOs. Cheaper among the options and can provide basic dental coverage, this one should be strongly considered. For a cheaper price of course there’s a limitation; the procedures and checks are only performed by a dentist from the network. Plus there’s a set fee called co-payment to cover operations.
Discount Dental Plans- More of a membership plan that a dental insurance plan, this can offer you with dental privileges and discounts. Get this plan if you are looking for lower premiums and dental plans that offer discounts. In short, get this if you want protection without having to pay more. There are no reimbursements that are made and the discounts that you’ll get are mostly on a percentage basis.
Indemnity Plans- Considered as the father of all plans, members must first meet the annual deductible before one can go to the dentist of his own choosing. The coverage that you’ll get is based on the percentage and already determined for every dental procedure. There are no add-on benefits. The problem with this is that this can offer limited coverage, and sometimes important needs like orthodontics may not be covered at all.
Indemnity Plus PPO Hybrid Plans– Due to the perceived limitations and unpopularity of the indemnity plans, insurance companies came up with a way to improve the plan thus the introduction of the hybrid plans. The most common is the combination between the indemnity and the PPO plan where you can receive better coverage once you go for the dentists in the network. The amount of coverage can be reimbursed, and are already predetermined by the company for each procedure.
Time to Weigh Your Options When it Comes to Dental Plans
In shopping for your dental needs, what matters is not just the kind of plan that you will select but also the provider. Sometimes there’s a mismatch between the provider and the plan- some of the best plans are offered by not-so competent providers. So be careful when you start choosing, selecting and screening these products and services.
Here’s one key in making the best decision- use a checklist when insurance shopping. Check based on the number of dentists in the network, the dental procedures you’ll need, the costs for each procedure and the monthly maintenance costs of the plan. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the right balance. It’s never right to scrimp on the plan since there are some emergencies that can happen along the way. Ask yourself what you really want: a life with sub-par dental insurance protection or a comprehensive coverage. Remember it’s your dental health and your future- it’s best to keep these things in mind when you do your dental insurance comparison.