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New Year, New Insurance Plans

With the new year in full swing, it’s often time to re-examine things, including how we take care of ourselves. Resolving to brush after every meal, floss daily, and see a dentist regularly can mean a great improvement to our general health. It’s been well documented lately that proper preventative dental care has a huge effect on potential health problems ranging from stroke, to heart disease.

Getting that professional preventative dental care, though, can be challenging, especially when insurance plans turn over at the beginning of the year. Open enrollment is beginning at many companies, and it’s important to fully understand each type of dental plan that is offered in order to reap the full benefits available to you. Although almost no plan is perfect, there is likely one that suits you and your family best.

There are many different types of dental insurance, including:

Indemnity plans

This type of insurance allows you to visit any licensed dental provider. No network is needed and the provider charges his or her regular fee, while the insurance pays a portion and the patient pays the difference. This is plan with the least restrictions but is also the most expensive to purchase. This type of insurance is becoming rarer.


This is similar to regular dental insurance, but with a caveat. Most PPO plans allow their patients to go to any licensed office. But if a patient chooses a network provider, they will potentially pay less out of pocket. This option can save a patient money but can also be confusing. If your dentist is participating in your dental network, they are likely writing off more than 30% of their fees.

DMO/HMO dental coverage

This managed care dental coverage allows patients to choose a dental provider from a set list, and the chosen practice is then given a small token payment each month for each patient. A reduced fee is required when the patient sees the dentist. However if the office is closed or the dentist is away, you have no benefits anywhere else.

Dental discount plans

Dental discount plans allow patients to pay a fee in order to receive a reduced rate on dental services via providers which have contracted with the plan to do so. You will pay for all of your services out of pocket but at the reduced rate with some limit on the total amount of discount in a year.

If you have questions about a particular dental plan, please feel free to contact our Ann Arbor dental office at 734-677-2156. We are always happy to try and answer any questions you may have about insurance coverage.


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