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Discounted Dental Plans
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Discount Dental Plans
Discount Dental Plans are a great way to access needed coverage immediately and lower the cost of dental care. These plans are not actually "insurance" and are attractive for people who do not have insurance coverage for these services or who have inadequate coverage. Discount Dental Plans allow for unlimited use of services by using a dental network and are based on a discounted fee schedule. There are no annual limits, no health questions to answer and generally no waiting periods. The cost is small compared to the potential savings for you and your family.
Dental Insurance Plans
While you are able to use any dentist, the monthly premiums for dental insurance are typically $25 or more per month for individuals and $90+ per month for family plans. These plans generally pay a percentage of the dentist's fee or a set dollar amount (usually, whichever is less). The individual usually pays the difference between the dentist's full charge and the amount paid by the dental insurance plan. They typically include a calendar year maximum, annual deductibles and have waiting periods on certain procedures.
Variations of Insurance Dental Plans are described below:
DHMO or DMO - Dental Health Maintenance Organization
These are typically the least expensive of dental insurance plans. All dental services are provided by a limited panel of dentists who are paid a fixed monthly amount by the insurance company for each individual, regardless of how much or how often covered services are used. The DMHO dentists agree to provide specific dental services to members at no charge, although some services may require a co-payment. DHMO plans reward participating dentists who keep patients in good health, thereby keeping plan costs low.
PPO - Preferred Provider Organization
Generally these are less expensive than Indemnity dental plans and typically include a calendar year maximum, a deductible and have waiting periods on certain procedures. Individuals select their dentist from a network or listing of dental providers who have agreed by contract to reduce their fees. Individuals can also seek treatment from dentists outside of the PPO (non-participating dentists) but may be responsible for higher deductibles and/or co-payments.
A scheduled plan or scheduled reimbursement plan reimburses for a specific amount based on a fee schedule with any balance due being your responsibility. Scheduled plans typically include a calendar year maximum, a deductible and have waiting periods on certain procedures. A Scheduled plan shows every covered procedure and specifies the amount you will be reimbursed for each procedure.