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Dental Insurance Basics

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Dental insurance isn’t offered by every company. While it may not rank up there with health insurance, it’s still an important benefit. Seeing a dentist can add up and dental insurance helps pay a portion of the bills when an employee sees a dental provider.

Many employees opt for a comprehensive health plan that offers dental benefits. These plans usually offer only basic preventive dental care, such as cleanings every six months. They don’t have extensive benefits, so employees with problems that range from cavities to oral surgery, are force to pay the full out-of-pocket costs for these services.

If you’re willing to splurge on dental insurance, this will help cover employees for what’s not covered through their health insurer. Dental plans tend to have low annual maximums, making it less expensive for employers, while allowing employees to have coverage for services beyond the basics only to a limited amount. Insurers offer a variety of dental plans:

  • Indemnity is a fee-for-service that allows members to see any dental provider, pay up front and receive reimbursement once claims are submitted.
  • Dental Maintenance Organizations (DMO) offer in-network only benefits that require referrals to see a specialist.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) allow you see in- and out-of-network dental providers without a referral.
  • Combination Plans that can combine the PPO product with either the indemnity or DMO, allowing for wider coverage.
In addition, some of these plans offer riders, letting employers add on additional services that they think are appropriate for their employees.
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