What is the difference between dental insurance and a dental plan?You have to get some sort of dental coverage. It may be the first time that you’ve had to deal with something like this, whether it’s because you’ve become too old to be on your parents’ insurance, you’ve started a new job or something else. While it may all seem intimidating at first, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s a quick guide to give you the basics and a much stronger base of knowledge to help you make an informed decision. There’s basically two options, though the first one has several subcategories to choose from.

What is Dental Insurance?

When it comes to dental plans, you’re likely to have a few to pick from. First, there’s a Dental HMO plan. Then there’s a Dental PPO plan. Finally, there’s a Dental Indemnity plan.  

When it comes to the HMO plan, you have to pick a dentist that’s in that particular plan’s network. That’s great if you find dentists that are in your area and are easily accessible and also do whatever work you need. If you find that your options are severely limited, then it’s a good idea to look at the other two options. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself paying a lot of money out of pocket since the insurance won’t cover work done by a dentist that’s not in-network. You likely won’t have to pay a deductible if you’re under an HMO, instead you’ll probably have to give them a copay each visit. .

With a Dental PPO, you will be given a list of in-network dentists, but the insurance company will pay some of the costs should you want to see some out-of-network. This plan is generally the most popular, since people won’t be hemmed him by location. There is a deductible involved as well as a benefit maximum. They also pay a percentage on procedures, both major and minor ones.

There’s also a third choice: a Dental Indemnity Plan. Anybody who uses these can see any dentist, regardless of network status. Although the plan does pay a certain percentage of the costs for procedures, anyone who has this is also at the mercy of the dentist, who can set whatever price that they want, since they are not a member of a network

Dental Discount Plan

The biggest difference is that the dental plans will not cover any dental costs. Instead, dentists who use these plans offer a lower rate for doing these procedures. Another benefit is that you often won’t have any waiting time to join the discount plan, you won’t have to worry about deductibles, They can also be very cheap, costing an individual something like $100 and a family can pay as low as $150 annually.

What’s the downside of the dental plan? Well, if you need a lot of work done, then you might want to think about the dental insurance, because your wallet might get hit a lot harder with the dental plan. Even if you’re able to spread the work out over the course of a year or so, the costs may quickly outstrip any benefit that the plan offers. Know your own situation quite well before committing to anything like that.

Like everything in life you have to weigh the pros and cons. There’s not going to be a one-size fits all and you might have to choose something based on location or your job. Still, it never hurts to research everything closely before making a decision.