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What's A Dental HMO?

Dental HMOs are a popular way to get access to quality care for your teeth — without paying big-ticket prices.

A dental HMO plan — sometimes called a D-HMO — gives you access to a convenient network of dentists. It features low payments for visits to your dentist. And usually you have no deductible to pay. That makes it one of the most affordable dental plans around.

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How A Dental HMO Works

A Health Maintenance Organization — or HMO for short — works by creating a “network” of dentists, orthodontists, and other dental care providers. The HMO offers the providers more referrals and increased business. The providers agree to charge HMO plan members less for dental care.

This means that HMO plans pay out less in claims, and can afford to charge their plan members cheaper premiums.

The Good And Bad About HMOs

HMOs are popular because they offer affordable comprehensive coverage. Some of their advantages include:

  • Low copayments. You just pay a small fee to see your dentist.
  • No deductible. In most HMO plans, you don't have to meet a deductible for your coverage to start.
  • Large networks. Many HMO plans have large networks of dentists, making it convenient to find one near you.

HMOs don't work for everyone, though. Here are a few reasons some people pass them up:

  • Less flexibility. In an HMO, you always have to get your dental care from a member of the network to get coverage.
  • Treatment approval. For some treatments — especially expensive ones — the HMO plan may require approval before it will cover it.

Most people find that these restrictions aren't a problem. But if you want a policy with more flexibility, consider a dental PPO plan.

Are there alternatives to dental HMO plans? One option is a dental discount plan. They're not insurance, but they provide big savings for many of the dental care services you'd need. To learn more and get a dental discount plan, visit our partner now.

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