Short for "Preferred Provider Organization", a dental PPO
is one of the most user-friendly options out there. Luckily, it's also one of the most common types of dental plan insurance!
If you're comparing different plans, here's what you need to know about a dental PPO:
1. You'll probably have to pay a deductible
Luckily, dental plan insurance doesn't come with the same astronomical deductibles that traditional health plan insurance does. Instead of having to meet a deductible that thousands of dollars, you may only have to pay $100 or so on a dental PPO plan.
Deductibles aren't mandatory on PPO's, though. Lots of dental plan insurance comes with no deductible, so if you look hard enough, you might be able to find a dental PPO that doesn't require you to pay any kind of deductible.
2. You'll have to choose a network dentist
When you first sign up for a PPO dental plan, you'll be given a list of approved providers. As long as you go to a dentist or specialist on the list, you'll have full insurance coverage. If you don't go to someone on the list, your insurance coverage may not kick in - meaning you could have to pay the full bill yourself.
3. You'll have more affordable coverage
Typically, a dental PPO is the most affordable type of dental plan insurance.
How is that possible?
You can thank the approved provider lists!
Approved providers get on these lists, in large part, because they agree to charge lower rates to insurance companies. That actually plays a big role in your monthly premiums. Since your insurance company will pay less for you to get your teeth cleaned or to have your wisdom teeth out, they can pass those savings onto you. That way, you can get cheaper coverage - without having to cut corners on quality.
4. You'll probably have to pay a copay
Under the average dental PPO, you're responsible for copays - or, out-of-pocket expenses that help cover the cost of your treatment. If you have to pay copays under your dental plan, it will be arranged in one of two ways. You'll either have to pay a percentage of the bill (for example, 20%), or you'll have a set amount that you pay (for example, $40).
Be sure to look at the terms of your dental plan insurance policy to see exactly what you're responsible for, before you sign on the dotted line, and make sure you're comfortable with them. Otherwise, you could wind up with some unexpected expenses!