Medicare does not offer dental insurance, so if you have reached a point in life where you need or expect oral treatment, you need to look for some senior dental insurance plans you could use. So here is a brief intro about the dental plan types in the market today.
These dental plans are popular with senior citizens as it gives their members the freedom to select their dentist. Generally, PPO plans are known for flexibility when compared to HMO plans and low cost compared to traditional indemnity plans.
However this flexibility is with a price wherein the PPO annual premiums are higher than other senior dental insurance plans. Moreover, patients have to pay their deductibles for coverage to start. To top it, there are many tedious claim forms to fill out and patients have to wait long for reimbursements.
HMO dental insurance plans
These plans are cheaper than PPO and indemnity plans and offer a network of dental providers to provide select services at fixed prices. The difference between these plans and PPO plans is that you have to select your dentist from this network and not anyone out of it.
There are also strict restrictions and requirements on insured members. The unique feature of these companies is that they pay dental providers based on the number of patients they treat and expected to see in a year. You may thus occasionally hear patients complaining of being rushed through the dental procedures or of receiving substandard care.
This is also known as traditional insurance and is a plan where the policyholder gets to choose the dentist, pays the dentist for services rendered and then get reimbursed by the insurance carrier through a claims process.
While the plans cover 50-80% of dental work, policyholders have to wait a long time to receive reimbursement after filing for claims. Despite the freedom to choose your own dentist, these plans are not popular because of expensive annual premiums, higher deductibles and a long and tiring claim procedure.
These are alternatives to traditional dental insurance which charge low monthly fees with no copy, deductible or annual maximum limits. As these are not insurance plans, you pay the dentist the full discounted fee and are not reimbursed by the plan provider.
There are no claim forms to fill as there’s nothing to process as you pay the dentist directly. So if you have dental coverage and a long waiting period, these plans work well with the existing policy. As these discount plans are not insurance, there are no waiting periods.
You just sign up and you are at the dentist in half an hour. The dental providers contracted with the discount dental plans offer the same dental service at reduced prices. The benefits you get as a member of this plan is discounts of up to 60% on routine and major dental work. As these plans are cheap, many people carry this plan in addition to regular dental insurance to use in dental emergencies