Know your dental facts before making decisions

HMO vs. PPO Individual Dental Insurance

When it comes to individual dental insurance, are you better off with an HMO or PPO plan? Here's a look at the differences and the pros and cons of each.

Choosing the right type of plan when it comes to insurance is always going to be hard, but it doesn’t make finding the right plan any less essential.  You’re going to find that while it can be a lot of work, you have to put the time in when you’re actually searching for the right type of plan if you want to get everything you hoped for out of the agreement.  Insurance is really vital, but shopping for individual dental insurance when you’re not prepared just is not smart at all, so it’s vital that you’re really careful and that you’re well informed when it comes time to choose a plan.

You’ll find that the first thing you’re going to end up comparing here is just what type of plan in general that you want to go for. There are always going to be several options, but for the most part you’re going to find it’s a matter of HMO vs. PPO plans.  You’ll find that this can make a massive difference in how you’re able to get treatment, and how you’re going to pay for that treatment as well.  There are a few different thing you’ll have to look at here, and they are going to include these common factors:

First off, how do they work?

You’re going to find that an HMO individual dental insurance plan is made so that you have just the one primary care physician that’s going to oversee all of your care.  HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization, and it’s a type of plan by which your dentist will assess all care and operations that you need to have, and will be able to help make decisions based upon what course of action to take.  However, the one negative here is that if they don’t sign off on something, you can’t get insurance to cover the operation.

Looking at PPO insurance options will provide you a bit of a different type of individual dental insurance choice.  PPO’s actually differ quite a bit from the HMO, and you’ll find that they provide you the chance to instead actually to choose from a larger network of doctors.  Referred to as the Preferred Provider Organization, you’re given a list of covered dentists and you can enjoy full benefits from any, giving you much more choice as to where you want your dental care.

But what can you expect in terms of cost?

You’re going to find that insurance is all about risk, and the higher risk you actually are the more that you’re going to have to pay.  The insurance companies need to operate at a profit, and they can only do that if you present the opportunity to pull in more money than you’ll be taking out.  Because of this HMOs are always the cheapest option and will be a good percentage under what you would pay with a PPO in almost any situation.  While the rates are going to vary, whether after individual or family dental insurance, you’re going to find that on average the HMO is much cheaper than a PPO.


You’ll find that the flexibility of both plans can be pretty different in their own ways, but you’ll find that they both can suit you in terms of cost if you’re smart. For example, with the HMO from the right type of doctor with a good reputation, you’ll find that you’re actually able to get a lower rate just based upon the clinic that you choose.  But you can bring down the cost of individual dental insurance PPO plans by utilizing high deductible options, or just ensuring that you have HSAs so that you can save for your own medical costs.

Final verdict

When thinking about the type of insurance plan that you really want to go with, you’ll find that you just want to weigh up what makes you the most comfortable.  If cost is your most major concern, then you want to go with those that are going to be more affordable like the HMO.  But if you want to have a say in your dental care, then you want to go with a PPO.  If you go with a PPO plan you can choose your dentist and you can choose the office that you’re going to be visiting so that you’re free to get insurance covered second opinions and the like as well.


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