Is Indemnity Dental Insurance Right for You?
Indemnity dental plans are probably the least common of the three policy types. Companies who offer indemnity insurance set a maximum amount they are willing to pay towards a type of treatment in a set period of time. For instance, they may stipulate that they will pay up to $500 towards basic procedures within a 12-month period.
Unfortunately, taking out an indemnity plan means you will be required to cover the cost of dental procedures up front, then claim the money from the insurance company afterwards. Reimbursement tends to be fairly prompt, but this is no good if you do not have a financial buffer sizable enough to pay for the treatment yourself.
Despite these downsides, taking out an indemnity dental plan does come with one, big advantage. Namely, the fact that you are not bound to using dental care professionals from within a specific network. Most indemnity insurers will cover the cost of treatment by any dentist.
However, this flexibility means that indemnity plans are typically among the most expensive insurance options.
How Do Preferred Provider Organization Plans Work?
PPO dental insurance plans are typically less expensive than indemnity plans. Sadly, they are less flexible.
Unlike indemnity plans, PPO insurance providers operate using a preferred network of dental professionals. Taking out a PPO insurance plan means that your insurance company will cover a percentage of costs incurred by dental procedures carried out by dentists in their network. Although you are not required to cover costs upfront, anything above and beyond the named percentages will need to come out of your pocket.
PPO insurance plans do offer a little flexibility in that policy holders can choose to use dentists from outside the network. Unfortunately, the insurer will cover a much smaller percentage of costs incurred by out-of-network procedures.