HMO dental insurance is another popular type of dental coverage with U.S. consumers. As is the case with all dental insurance, Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) plans have both benefits and challenges. It depends on your needs, so it is important to know all that you can about your options.

Part of the reason dental HMO plans are popular is because their coverage and plan options offer a balanced alternative to those offered in DPPOs. Before exploring the technical details of HMO dental insurance, however, it is important to understand the core principle behind this type of health care.

Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)

Dental insurance is designed to allow children constant coverage and adults the type of coverage for which each is willing to pay. An HMO is a type of managed health care plan. Managed health care services contract with specific providers as a means of reducing the costs of dental services to members. 

A Dental HMO is therefore a dental plan designed to bring the coverage people need to them at lower prices. Affordability is the primary reason HMO dental insurance plans are popular with U.S. consumers.

DHMOs have fewer out-of-pocket expenses than many other dental plans. Deductibles are negligible if they exist in your plan at all. DHMOs require you to choose a primary dental provider and use him or her for all your basic dental services. They also require referrals from your primary dental provider if you need extensive work done by a specialist, however. This adds time and extra appointments to the process of getting the help you need. 

DHMOs do not cover expenses from services completed by out-of-network providers and have a limited list of in-network providers from which to choose. Routine services such as dental examinations, X-rays, cleanings and even root canals are all partially to fully covered by your DHMO, however. 

Most DHMOs also do not have annual maximum coverage limits and even though provider options might be more limited, the significantly reduced costs of in-network services are of great benefit to many U.S. consumers.