Insurance has benefited many patients and dental offices over the past 40
years. It has allowed thousands of people to take better care of their teeth and has
brought many new patients into dental offices.
But now, we are seeing a significant increase in "managed health care" companies that decrease the patients freedom of choice and many believe decreases the quality of care.
Your employer may present you with this option in order to reduce their benefit costs. You can use this as a guide to help you understand and compare various benefit plans.
This table will help you understand the major differences between the 3 most popular plans of dental benefits with indemnity insurance being the best and HMO's being the worst
Indemnity Dental Insurance
These plans were the original dental benefit plans that provided good dental coverage for decades. This is the best of all three plans
These organizations provide dentistry through contracted dentists who agree to accept lower fees.
Minimum dentistry is provided through contracted dentists who agree to small monthly payments for each employee/patient regardless if services are perfomed or not.
|Patients Freedom of Choice||Patients choose their own dentist. (most freedom of choice)||Patients have more freedom of choice than with an HMO, but pay more for care from a non preffered provider.||Patients are restricted to a list of designated providers. (least freedom of choice)|
|Benefits||The levels and coverage are defined by a contract, and generallly provide more comprehensive services than PPO's & HMO's||Enrolled members recieve services at a reduced cost when the services are delivered by a preffered provider||Enrolled members recieve minimum comprehensive services when care is provided by a plan provider|
|Utilization||May or may not be controlled by the carrier.||Less controlled than an HMO||Providers recieve a financial incentive to control utilization|
|Payment to the providing dentist||Dentists are paid (indemnified) for services by the insurance company and the patients||Dentists are paid on the basis of a discounted fee schedule||Dentists are paid a small dollar amount per member per month regardless of services rendered|
|Cost to patient||Usually the most expensive||Less expensive than an indemnity plan||Least expensive|