Posted on: October 2, 2012
How to maximize your dental insurance plan
Taking care of your teeth can be easy so long as you brush, floss and schedule regular dental appointments. However, understanding your dental insurance plan in order to choose the best dentist office in your area can be a little more confusing. With so many guidelines, rules and medical jargon affecting your decision, it can be incredibly difficult to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefits out of your insurance plan. Luckily, we at Advanced Dental Care of Sarasota have some basic information to make understanding your insurance information and selecting the best plan for you and your family a snap. Here are some things to keep in mind.
One of the main types of dental care insurance plans is the HMO, which stands for a health maintenance organization. People who are on an HMO plan typically must go to a dentist office within their insurance plan network – this usually involves selecting a primary dental care provider and paying a monthly fee. Once you have selected a dentist, an HMO will often cover the cost of services like cleanings, exams and x-rays. For more involved procedures like fillings or crowns, you may have to pay a part of the fee out of your own pocket. If you need to see a specialist outside of your network for any reason, you’ll need a referral from your dentist before your care will be approved. In order for you to enjoy your maximum insurance benefits, you must stay with a dentist within your network – scheduling an appointment with another provider will mean covering the entire bill yourself.
The second most common type of dental insurance plan is the preferred provider organization, or PPO. This usually offers you a bit more leeway to shop around for a dentist of your choice, which also gives you the freedom to see a dentist outside of your network. However, PPOs often require that you pay a deductible as well as coinsurance when visiting a “preferred” care provider within your insurance network. Seeing a dentist outside of your coverage will also mean paying higher fees. And while you don’t need a referral to receive care from a specialist with a PPO, some may request this anyway.
Your insurance providers
So now that you know a little bit about the differences between HMO and PPO dental insurance plans, you might be wondering which providers are accepted at our office. For residents in the Florida area, accepted insurance companies include Aetna, Ameritas, Dentemax, Lincoln Financial, United Healthcare, Cigna, Guardian, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, TriCare (for military personnel), MetLife and Principal, among many more.