Full coverage dental plans

Healthy teeth and gums are a necessity, but unfortunately regular dentist’s check-ups and other forms of dental care can prove to be extremely expensive. However with the introduction of full coverage dental plans, you are able to offset the majority, if not all, of these costs. When choosing a suitable plan for both you and your family it is important to find one that caters to your individual needs and circumstances.

Indemnity Dental Insurance – This form of insurance plan requires you to a pay a monthly premium, which in turn will cover any traditional fee-based dental services. You are able to choose your own dentist and your insurance company will reimburse your dentist for any services that are rendered. Typically you can expect 50%-80% of the bill to be covered by your insurer, while the remainder is paid for by you. An indemnity plan will usually limit the amount of money and services that you can claim for each year. You will find that there is a high deductible or excess applied to your policy before coverage begins. There are probationary periods on certain procedures and these will be made clear within the plan.

Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) – This kind of plan is very similar to most forms of Health Maintenance Organization health insurance plan. You will receive comprehensive dental care as part of a group who are enrolled patients with a specific and designated dentist’s office. Dentists who participate in this plan are paid a fixed monthly fee based on a per person basis. You are required to pay monthly premiums, which are typically in the $5 to $15 region, and may need to pay additional co-payments for every visit. You will be provided with a network of pre-approved dentists and will need to choose one for your own dental care. An HMO will usually offer free routine and preventative dental care, although you may have to pay an initial up-front fee.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
– A PPO will fall somewhere in between the previous two plans. As a group of patients, you will receive dental care from any one of a defined panel of dentist’s offices. As the dentists will be offering their services to a specific patient base, they agree to charge less than their usual fees. This, of course, means you will be saving money immediately. You may choose to see a dentist outside the specified panel however your share of the fee will be greater. This plan, once again, requires a monthly premium which can typically be $20-$25. As with all the included plans, there is a maximum annual dollar cap, but this amount will depend on the specific policy and provider you choose.

Direct Reimbursement Plans – This is fast becoming one of the most popular Full Coverage Dental Plans. This is not actually insurance, but a self-funded plan that can be used in conjunction with an employer. There is no need to pay monthly premiums you simply pay for any dental care services on an ad-hoc basis. You should pay the dentist directly and request a receipt with full details of all the services rendered and the overall cost. Then depending on the specific benefits you have, your employer will reimburse for you for part, or all, of your expenses. Many employers have a sliding scale of benefits, whereby they may cover 100% of your first visit, 80% of your second visit, 50% of your next visit and so on. The limits will obviously be reset each year. Other employers may choose to pay 100% of benefits each and every time, whilst others may only ever pay a certain percentage. This type of plan allows you to use your own dentist and doesn’t require you to pay premiums. Although the majority of Dental Direct Reimbursement Plans will have an annual cap which will usually range from $500-$2000.

All of these plans will normally cover and save you money on a whole host of dentistry services. They may include restorative cosmetic work such as fillings, crowns and braces. Preventative work such as teeth cleaning and x-rays are also covered, as are many dental related products. Although your family’s dental health and wellbeing may be of the utmost importance to you, the cost of these services can often be cause for concern. However, with the help of Full Coverage Dental Plans, this is one less thing for you to worry about.

Last updated on Oct 30th, 2010 and filed under Health Insurance. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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