Are you thinking of buying dental insurance online? While it may sound like an intimidating proposition, full of terms and conditions that you know nothing about, it really doesn't have to be very hard. But in order to make the most out of your purchase, you have to be educated.
Before you start weeding through the near-endless supply of individual dental plans that are available on the world wide web, make sure to keep these 3 things in mind:
1. See if you can save money by buying extra coverage
Many times, insurance companies will give you a discount if you buy dental and vision plans at the same time. Since personal dental insurance and vision insurance are two things that are likely not going to be included in your basic health care plan, many insurance companies offer them as a package deal.
And like individual dental plans, vision plans can also be found right from the comfort of your computer - usually for the same low monthly prices that you pay for dental coverage!
2. Understand the difference between a PPO and an HMO
Buying dental insurance online the right way means having a basic understanding of industry terms. Two of the most important are PPO and HMO - or "Preferred Provider Organization" and "Health Maintenance Organization".
Both will give you a list of dentists that are "in network" - meaning your insurance company will foot the bill if you go see them. In a PPO, however, you can head to an out-of-network dentist if you want to; you just may have to pay some extra money to do it. With an HMO, you cannot get any coverage if you head to an out-of-network dentist, no matter what the circumstances.
Plus, in an HMO, a dentist is paid a set fee - meaning that the more services he provides, the less cost-effective it is for him. That's why many people who buy dental insurance online opt for a PPO plan.
3. Make sure you're shopping on the right personal dental insurance website
Do a quick Google search, and you'll find thousands of websites that promise to give you the very best deal. However, your best bet is to head to a website that allows you to compare several different individual dental plans at once. That way, you can make a decision based on facts and figures, instead of hype and sales copy.