Choosing the right dental insurance for you or your family can be confusing. There are several options, and at first glance they may all look similar, but there are important differences between them.
The general choices include a Dental Maintenance Organization(DMO), a Preferred Provider Organization(PPO) and a Traditional Dental insurance plan. If an employer offers a DMO and PPO they generally will not provide a Traditional plan.
A DMO or Dental Maintenance Plan provides for coverage only with contracted dentists. These plans provide excellent coverage for maintenance dental care such as xrays, cleanings, and checkups. For more complicated procedures, most DMO’s will refer a patient to a speciliat. This is where coverage becomes confusing. Some DMO’s allow for specialists to be covered at network co pays. Other DMO’s provide for a reduction of the Specialist usual fees.
A PPO offers 2 levels of benefits. The first level covers in network dentists, and the coverage is very similar to a DMO plan. If an individual wishes to go to a dentist not contracted with the plan, the co pays are different. Also, dentist who are contracted with a PPO charge the network contracted fees, whereas one out of network charges their usual fees. A PPO has yearly benefit maximums. The maximum benefits are usually larger in network.
A Traditional dental plan offers coverage to any dentist. There are generally deductibels to be met before coverage begins. Traditional plans have a yearly maximum amount of benefits and do not require a specialist referral.
Which policy is best for you and your family? If you have a large family and need prevention and yearly dental maintanance services, a DMO might work for you. If you have a lot of dental work to have done and want the benefit of in or out of network dentists, a PPO might be your ideal choice. For individuals wanting any dentist, or to stay with their family dentist who doesn’t take DMO’s or HMO’s , the Traditional plan would be your best bet. Also, many people prefer to be able to go to a specialist without a referral. One downfall to a Traditional plan is the limited benefit amounts.
Before enrolling with a dental plan, be sure and search all of your options. The best thing might be to call each plan and speak with a representative. By being informed, you will be able to make the best choice for you and your family.