At DentalPlans.com, we want to help you make qualified decisions on your dental
care options by providing valuable information on
dental insurance plans, discount dental plans and more.
Today, businesses, families and individuals have a variety of choices to reduce
out-of-pocket costs on dental care. These dental insurance options include
PPO dental insurance plans,
HMO dental insurance plans,
dental indemnity insurance plans, and
discount dental plans – an alternative to the traditional dental
insurance plans. Let’s take a closer look at dental insurance plans and discount
PPO Dental Insurance Plans
insurance plans, also known as dental preferred provider organizations or
DPPOs, are a popular dental insurance option due to their flexibility in allowing
insured members to choose dentists and dental specialists. Typically, PPO dental
insurance plans are said to offer better service and have less limitations than
HMO dental insurance plans, but the premiums are usually more costly. Businesses
often use PPO dental insurance plans to provide their employees with a valuable
dental benefit. PPO dental insurance plans are used by individuals and families
Dental preferred provider organizations are managed care organizations with a network
of dentists under contract with a dental insurance carrier. This network of dentists
provides dental PPO insurance plan members with special rates on dental care. The
rates are usually lower if the insured member selects a primary dentist and/or dental
specialists from the dental PPO network, but the insured individual still has the
freedom to choose a dental care provider outside of the established network.
Despite this flexibility, PPO
dental insurance plans have some limitations as well. In addition to the
higher premiums usually associated with dental PPOs in relation to other dental
insurance plans, they also have tedious claim forms to fill out and insured members
usually have to wait to receive reimbursements. Participants insured with a dental
PPO insurance plan are responsible for paying their deductible before receiving
any reimbursement. In addition, since most dental PPO insurance plans only cover
a portion on the dentist’s fee, insured individuals also have to make a co-payment
to the dentist. Many people join PPO dental insurance plans because this type of
insurance plan gives them more freedom when choosing a dentist and/or dental specialists.
HMO Dental Insurance Plans
insurance plans, also known as dental health maintenance organizations or
DHMOs, are usually much cheaper than PPO dental insurance plans and dental indemnity
insurance plans. HMO dental insurance plans have networks of dentists under contract
with the dental insurance company that offer dental services to insured members
at pre-determined rates. HMO dental insurance plans are usually used by businesses
to insure their employees, but can be used by individuals and families as well.
Individuals who do not receive dental insurance through their employers often turn
to HMO dental insurance plans as an option.
One of the main advantages of HMO dental insurance plans is that they usually have
lower premiums than the other dental insurance options. Regrettably, HMO dental
insurance plans have been known to impose strict restrictions on insured members.
For example, the dental HMO will not provide a reimbursement if the insured sees
a dentist that is not in their network. People insured with HMO dental insurance
plans must select a primary dentist from a pre-approved list. All referrals to dental
specialists must be provided by the primary dentist.
One of the key differences between dental HMO insurance and dental PPO insurance
is that DPPOs usually allow dentists to spend more time with insured patients. Dentists
in dental HMO insurance plans are expected to see a certain number of patients,
so some dentists have been known to rush through dental appointments. Additionally,
participants in HMO dental insurance plans often complain about tiresome referral
and claims procedures. Despite some of the restrictions and limitations associated
with this type of dental insurance, HMO
dental insurance plans are a feasible option for many people due to their
low cost in relation to other dental insurance plans.
Dental Indemnity Insurance Plans
Dental indemnity insurance is usually
offered by insurance companies to insure businesses and other groups. Dental indemnity
insurance plans are fee-for-service insurance plans that require insured members
to pay dentists directly for dental services rendered. People covered by dental
indemnity insurance receive compensation from the insurance company by submitting
claim forms. Dental indemnity insurance plan members often have to wait a long time
to receive their reimbursement from the dental insurance carrier, and are expected
to pay the difference if the dentist’s fee is greater than the reimbursement.
Employees and/or group members on a dental indemnity insurance plan can choose dentists,
change dentists, and even see a dental specialist without a referral. Despite this
freedom, many individuals, families and businesses shy away from dental indemnity
insurance plans because of the costly premiums, high annual deductibles, and exhausting
claims procedures. Typically, dental indemnity insurance plans are structured to
insure groups, so they are usually not good options for individuals and families
looking for dental insurance.
Discount Dental Plans – An Alternative to Dental Insurance
Discount dental plans, although not a dental insurance
product, provide individuals, families, businesses and other groups with an invaluable
dental benefit. Discount dental plans are an alternative to dental insurance that
provide plan members with discounts on most dental services with a strong emphasis
on preventive procedures. Discount dental plan members pay a low membership fee
for the year for access to an extensive network of participating dentists and dental
specialists that provide deep discounts on dental care at the time of service.
Many individuals and families that do not receive dental insurance from their employers
turn to discount dental plans to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses on dental care.
Additionally, more businesses are looking toward discount dental plans as an affordable
and easy way to provide their employees with a much needed dental benefit.
Since they are not dental insurance plans but discount programs instead, discount
dental plans do not have co-payments, deductibles, paperwork hassles or annual limits.
Fortunately, many discount dental plans can be coordinated with existing dental
insurance coverage. This can prove to be very beneficial for someone who has long
waiting periods for pre-existing conditions or has already reached their annual
maximum on their dental insurance plan.
In addition, select discount dental plans offer discounts on some dental specialties
that are rarely covered by dental insurance, including cosmetic dentistry services
like veneers, teeth whitening and more. The low annual membership price and the
convenience provided by discount dental plans have made them an affordable and easy-to-use
option for people looking to save money on their dental care needs.
Click here to read more about the
key differences between dental insurance and discount dental plans.
Click here for more on how the differences between dental
insurance and discount dental plans may affect you.
Dental Insurance and Discount Dental Plans: A Valued Benefit for Students, Businesses
Recent research highlights the importance of dental health and its link to overall
health. Studies have shown that affordable dental benefit options are highly coveted
by students, employees and more. Despite being a highly desired benefit, an alarming
56% of the U.S. population does not have dental insurance.
The lack of affordable dental care has a significant impact at schools and especially
in the workplace. About 164 million hours of work and 51 million hours of school
are lost each year due to dental visits, dental related illnesses and other oral
health problems, according to Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Both students and employees consider dental insurance to be an important benefit.
For example, a 2006 Graduating Student & Alumni Survey conducted by the National
Association of Colleges and Employers showed that graduating students entering the
workforce rated dental insurance as a highly valued benefit, behind medical insurance
and yearly salary increases. In addition, employees rank dental plans as the third
most important benefit, behind health and retirement benefits, according to several
Discount Dental Plans: An Alternative to Dental Insurance for Businesses and Groups
According to a 2005 report by the US Census Bureau, 90% of privately insured individuals
receive coverage from their own or family member’s employer. Yet 11% of small businesses
that offer their employees health benefits right now might not do so next year (Employee
Benefit News, August 2006). A spokesman with the Society for Human Resource Management
says that dental insurance is at the top of the list of benefits employers are looking
to scale back (SmartMoney.com, November 2006).
Many small businesses refrain from offering dental insurance to their employees
due to the costs involved. In an attempt to conserve some of the money spent on
health benefits, many businesses are moving toward “consumerism” and voluntary dental
benefits. Businesses following this trend are shifting the costs of dental insurance
plans and discount dental plans from the employer to the employee.
It seems as if traditional dental insurance is losing ground to discount dental
plans in some sectors due to this trend toward voluntary dental benefits. Discount
dental plans fit the voluntary dental benefit model very well. The discount
dental plans offered by DentalPlans.com can be customized to fit the unique
needs of a business and its employees.
Employers enjoy the ease offered by money-saving discount dental plans, and employees
enjoy choosing the plan that is best for their individual needs. Plus, unlike dental
insurance plans, the discount dental plans offered by DentalPlans.com do not have
minimum participation policies and they can be used by the employees’ dependents,
part-time workers and retirees. More and more businesses are turning to discount
dental plans because they save on their bottom line while employees save on their
Click here for a free discount
dental plan or group dental insurance plan quote for your business or group.