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Dental Insurance
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Here are some important facts you should know when deciding on dental insurance for you and your family. Dental insurance plans usually are described as either indemnity (fee-for-service) or managed care. Indemnity and managed care plans differ in their basic approach. Put broadly, the major differences concern choice of providers, out-of-pocket costs for covered services, and how bills are paid. Usually, indemnity plans offer more choice of dentists than managed care plans. Indemnity plans pay their share of the costs of a service only after they receive a bill. Managed care plans have agreements with certain dentists to give a range of services to plan members at reduced cost. In general, you will have less paperwork and lower out-of-pocket costs if you select a managed care-type plan and a broader choice of dentists if you select an indemnity-type plan.

Managed care plans are Dental PPOs, POSs, and Dental HMOs (DHMOs).

A Dental PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) provides dental care to its members through a network of dentists who offer discounted fees to its plan members. You can typically use dentists out of the PPO's network, but you will only be reimbursed the discounted fee for the services rendered - you will need to pay any additional amount yourself.

A DHMO (Dental Health Maintenance Organization) provides you dental services through a network of providers in exchange for some form of prepayment. If you use a dentist out of the established network of providers, you may be responsible for paying the entire bill.

A Dental POS (Point of Service) plan allows a member to use either a DHMO network dentist or to seek care from a dentist not in the HMO network. Members choose in-network care or out-of-network care at the time they make their dental appointment and usually incur higher out-of-pocket costs for out-of-network care.

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