- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
As Little As $17.00 A Month! A Dental HMO Can Save So Much Money!
HMO or PPO?
When offered an individual dental plan, I have usually chosen a dental HMO over a dental PPO. For me, the HMO offers the greatest number of benefits for the least amount of money. The HMO has always provided inexpensive dental insurance. My fear of dentists keeps me from going as often as I should, so when pain forces the issue, the HMO plans have always offered the most bang for my buck. Granted, there are not as many dentists willing to take HMO patients, so choice of providers is limited, but the HMO usually makes up for that in cost savings. The plan I currently have costs me $17.00 per month, but literally everything is covered. Root canal, free. Extraction, free. Crowns, $60.00. Xrays and cleanings are no cost. I have no copay for these services and no cost share. Some dental HMO's have a yearly maximum, but mine does not. Look for that benefit. You may need $5000.00 - $10,000.00 worth of treatment in one year. If you have purchased a policy that has a $1,500.00 yearly maximum, your bank account will suffer or you may find it necessary to apply for the ever dubious dental credit card.
A dental PPO gives you a much wider choice of providers, but monthly premiums are higher than the dental HMO. While cleanings and Xrays are usually free, any services over and above those will cost you a percentage of the allowable charge. Sometimes it is 20% or it can go as high as 50% or even more. A dental PPO may also have a yearly maximum. The last time I had a dental PPO, I used it twice. I needed two root canals and by the time those treatments were finished, my portion of the bills were $1800.00. The dentist was wonderful to me and I really liked him, but not $1800.00 worth. Because I see the dentist rarely, we are never going to have the time together that it would require to build a close, trusting relationship. And that is okay with me. My first and foremost concern is the amount of money I have to spend, so even though the trade-off exists, that works for me.
The dental HMO that I currently have has been the best, in my experience. Very few services have an added cost to me and their customer service department has always been responsive. Their internet service has also been superior. If you take the time to look online, you will have no problem figuring out what is covered and what you will pay.
A few years ago, I had a root canal and chose the crown I wanted. My cost for the crown was to be $60.00, but the dentist's finance manager insisted that my cost would be $900.00. She told me that my insurance did not cover this particular crown. I left the dentist's office and placed a call to United Concordia. We agreed that the cost of the crown was $60.00 and they immediately found me a participating dentist who had no problem giving me the crown for $60.00.
Choose the Best Dental Plan That Suits Your Needs
The choice of a dental insurance policy is a personal decision based on individual needs. What I have offered is an example of how much money the choice of a dental HMO has saved me. Regardless of your ultimate choice, know the benefits and limits of your individual dental policy. That is the key to making any type of dental insurance work for you.