Not all dental plans are created the same. Choosing the best dental insurance plan for you requires research into the different types of coverages available. This is especially true if you have a child or children who also require dental insurance.
What is the difference between the primary types of dental plans? Read ahead for information about 5 primary types of dental insurance plans available today.
Dental PPO plans are the most popular and attractive dental plans for the 77 percent of American consumers holding dental insurance plans today. Officially known as a Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO), dental PPOs are the plans almost seventy-five percent of insured Americans choose for their dental coverage needs.
Dental PPO plans are also popular with dental service providers, and contracts between dentists and PPOs continue to increase into 2022. The best dental insurance plans include a combination of affordability and flexibility. Dental PPO plans offer their members flexibility in choosing service providers. Are DPPOs affordable? What coverage options do DPPOs offer to members?
Flexibility is a primary reason the dental PPO is so popular with U.S. consumers. PPO members are permitted to choose both in-network and out-of-network dentists. The main difference between the two is cost, however. In-network dentists are providers who chose to contract with your PPO and therefore offer lower prices to you.
It is beneficial to think of this as buying retail items in bulk. The more items you buy, the less you are charged per item. Dental providers contracted with PPOs are sent more patients because of the PPO connection. They receive more patients and are therefore able to offer lower prices to each one, including you.
While you have the option of choosing an out-of-network dentist, your bill will be higher and include more out-of-pocket expenses if you do. DPPOs have annual deductibles and annual maximum coverage limits. Essentially this means you pay for some of your dental expenses upfront before your coverage kicks in, and others at the end of your services cost more than the annual maximum coverage allowed.
There are also waiting periods for some members. DPPOs do offer reimbursement for out-of-network expenses in qualified instances. The costs you pay after maximum coverage is exceeded are also charged to you at discounted rates.
One of the best features of DPPO plans is they do not require referrals. Perhaps the largest benefit of DPPO plans is their expansive market penetration levels. DPPOs give you access to a significantly large number of in-network dentists around the country.