Another true insurance plan, a Preferred provider organizations ( PPO) falls somewhere between an indemnity plan and a dental HMO. This plan allows a particular group of patients to receive dental care from a defined panel of individual or family dentists. The participating individual or family provider agrees to charge less than usual fees to this specific patient base, providing savings for the plan purchaser. If the patient chooses to see a dental specialists who is not designated as a “preferred provider,” that patient may be required to pay a greater share of the fee-for-service. A group of individual and family dental offices agree to provide services at a deeply discounted rate, giving you substantial savings — as long as you stay in their network.
Unlike the more restrictive DHMO, though, you can go out of network and still receive some benefits. Some typical features of these plans: Monthly premiums Annual dollar cap You must stay within the approved network of individual or family dental providers or pay higher deductibles and co-payments Your average monthly cost: $40 to $45 Companies selling these plans are regulated by state insurance departments.