August 18, 2006, Newsletter Issue #27: Dental Insurance: The Basic Types

Tip of the Week

If you’re shopping for a dental plan, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is what type of dental insurance you want. There are many to choose from, including direct reimbursement policies, traditional indemnity insurance, HMO plans, discount plans or buyer’s clubs. However, the most common that you’ll likely come across are managed care plans, such as PPOs, HMO plans, and discount dental plans.

If you can afford it, a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan is a good way to go, and is the type of plan provided by most employers. A PPO plan comes with a list of preferred providers and covers more than the usual things you might have done to your teeth.

While HMO plan are cheaper then PPO plans, they are not accepted by as many dentists. Those dentists that do treat HMO patients often do so at a loss, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

On the other hand, discount dental plans are often cheaper than HMO policies and are accepted by a larger number of dentists. If you are looking for affordable dental insurance, you should probably consider a good discount dental plan rather than an HMO insurance policy.

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