Will my dentist accept any dental plan?
Will my dentist take my dental plan or do I need a specific plan?
Ever wonder what type of dental plan you need to see a specific dentist? It can sometimes be confusing because there are so many types of dental plans available, and they tend to work differently. Let’s take a look and show you how to find the right dental plan to see the dentist of your choice.
Dental plans that give freedom of choice for dentists
There are a wide variety of dental plans and they can work differently concerning which dentists you can see. Dental plans can fall into several categories including discount plans, HMO or DPO dental plans, PPO dental plans, and Indemnity dental plans.
Some of the more restrictive types of plans are discount dental plans and HMO or DPO dental plans. These plans are typically In Network only plans that will only provide benefits for dentists that are in the plans provider network. So you want to make sure the network includes a dentist you’d like to see if you’re selecting this type of plan.
If you’re looking for freedom of choice to see any dentist, you probably want to look for a PPO dental insurance plan or an Indemnity dental plan. These dental plans allow you to see any dentist as they typically have benefits for In and Out of Network dentists. Fortunately PPO dental plans are some of the most popular dental insurance plans and there are a variety of carriers and plans to choose from.
It’s good to stay In Network even with PPO dental plans
While we just mentioned that PPO dental plans and Indemnity plans allow you to see any dentist you like, it’s still a good idea to see In Network providers even with a PPO plan. The reason is that dental providers that join a carrier’s network have agreed to accept lower negotiated rates and fee schedules that the carriers have set. These negotiated rates can typically be 30% or so less than regular retail rates. This also means that an In Network dentist cannot balance bill you for a difference in charges between the allowable charge and the retail charges for a procedure.
However Out of Network dentists are able to balance bill for charges in addition to what the dental plan will pay. Here’s an example of balance billing. If a dental plan’s fee schedule says it will allow charges up to $200 for a procedure, but a dentist normally charges $250 for the procedure, then the dentist could choose to bill you the extra $50. This balance billing does not happen with an In Network dentist as they have agreed to accept the $200 allowed charge for the procedure. So you can generally save money by staying In Network with your dental plan.
Use Provider Search Tools to verify your dentist is in a plan’s network
Sometimes if you already know the dentist that you’d like to see, you can start your dental plan search by using Provider Locator tools to make sure they are In Network. Most dental carriers have online provider search tools with up to date information about dentists and other dental providers such as pediatric dentists, periodontists, and orthodontists who participate in their networks.
At EasyDentalQuotes, there is a “Find Provider” tool listed with each plan so you can easily search the provider networks for each plan. By using these tools to identify In Network dentists, you can make sure that the dental provider you want to see is a part of the plan’s network before you sign up for coverage.
It’s still ok to see Out of Network Dentists
What if the dentist you really want to see is not in a plan’s network? It’s alright because with PPO dental insurance plans you can still use your plan with any dentist.
It’s becoming more common to find many dentists who are not contracted with any carrier networks. However, most of these dental offices will accept PPO dental plans and will usually file claims as a courtesy to patients. Sometimes it’s best to see a dentist that you know and are comfortable with, even if they’re out of your plan’s network.
As we’ve discussed, it’s definitely possible to see your choice of dentist. When you use Provider Search Tools to identify In Network dentists or select a PPO dental plan, you’re assured of getting the best value in coverage to see the dental providers you want to see. A good dentist gives peace of mind and when you find the right dental plan, you’ll have the joy of knowing you made the right choice for your dental coverage.
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