What’s the skinny on individual dental plans?

Yes, you can buy your own dental plan from an insurance company.  But how?  Here are the basics:

Dental plans come in two primary types:  HMO and PPO.   A selection of ‘popular’ dentists will choose not contract with a dental plan because they receive less compensation for their services than what they would get in cash from patients.  Most dentists do contract with at least one PPO plan.  The smallest number of dentists contract with the HMO plans.  The reasons are the same:  How much $$ they are willing to accept for their services. 

Since the cost of dental insurance is directly related to the amount of compensation paid to the dentists, your type of plan and network will largely determine your premium.  As you can imagine, HMO plans provide the greatest amount of benefits for the least amount of premium.  PPO plans will have more limitations and be more expensive, based on the nature of their contracts with the dentist.

If you want a great compare/contrast of these two plans, our most popular is Total Dental Administrators because they have both types of plans available to individuals and families.  Check them out here:  https://tda.securesites.net/account/index.php?broker_id=81571

One other note:  Some companies only offer group plans (for employers only), such as Metlife and United Concordia.  Since these have more premium involved, they will typically be accepted by more dentists than you will find individual PPO plans.   The exception to this is Delta Dental, who uses the same PPO network for employers and individuals…they are a little more pricey but you can check them out here: http://www.deltadentalcoversme.com?agency=1773620261

It’s always best to check with your dentist before deciding on any dental plan.  If your dentist doesn’t take the plan you want, you will have to decide which is more important to you: the dentist or a lower out of pocket costs.

An insurance broker can always be helpful, so we highly recommend calling an insurance broker in your state who can assist you with the process.  We know one if you need help 😉

Benjamin Rosky, RHU
L & A Services, Inc


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