As you shop for the right dental insurance plan, you’ll come across some terms that might be a little confusing if you’ve never heard of them before. A couple of examples are PPO and HMO. What do these abbreviations stand for? And what are the levels of coverage that these two options provide?
To help you navigate the world of dental insurance more easily, we’ve compiled some information on HMO vs. PPO dental plans. Once you understand what these mean, you’ll be able to make smarter choices when browsing policies.
HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization, while PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. You might also see these written as DHMO and DPPO to specify that they’re dental policies rather than medical policies.
Let’s start by going over what a PPO dental plan typically features:
When it comes to HMO plans, here are some of the main features:
Generally, dental HMO plans and dental PPO plans will provide coverage for the following services:
Keep in mind that different plans might categorize services differently. And they also might have limits on the amount of care you can receive for each category. Therefore, it’s important to read the details carefully before signing up for a plan.
For some patients, a PPO dental insurance plan is better than an HMO. For others, the opposite is true. It depends on your expectations, needs, and budget.
Generally, HMO dental insurance might be a better option if you want to keep costs down. These plans typically come with lower monthly premiums and affordable copays, and they may not have a deductible or annual maximum to worry about either. Just keep in mind that, despite the savings, you may face more restrictions when it comes to how many treatments you can receive in a year, as well as which dentist you can use. Also, if you really want to see a dentist who isn’t in-network, your insurance won’t help cover the cost.
Why would a person choose a dental PPO over an HMO, even though it’s pricier? Well, if you prefer a plan that gives you more flexibility, thanks to a bigger network of providers and the ability to get at least some coverage for out-of-network dentists, a PPO might be more appropriate. However, these plans may come with higher premiums and copays, as well as deductibles and annual limits.
Now that you understand the basics of DPPOs vs. DHMOs, you can shop smarter when you’re ready to enroll in a plan for yourself or your family. Remember to check the specific details of any plan you’re interested in. That way, you’ll be aware of all of the requirements, from waiting periods to coinsurance.
If you’re ready to browse the insurance options available in your area, you can begin by using the Direct Benefits Marketplace . There, you’ll find plenty of PPO dental insurance plans, as well as HMO options, that will suit your needs.