Independent Dental Insurance: What’s Available for You?
An HMO vs. PPO Dental Plan
Some of the most popular, efficient dental-health plans in the United States are Blue Cross Blue Shield and other PPO’s (Preferred Provider Organizations). Healthcare plans such as Aetna are also an option, and often much more affordable. These types of plans and providers typically fall under the category of what’s known as an HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization. While the PPO on one hand is substantially more expensive on a monthly basis, and most realistically maintained through an employee benefits program.
Individual and specific dental healthcare-only plans can be especially expensive, have unusually strict standards, and cost much more than a regular health-care plan. It is possible however, to obtain dental-coverage only through some employers, and this is not unheard of in today’s healthcare market. In fact, employers are much happier to just provide one specific level or type of healthcare plan in comparison to a packaged plan, as it’s both more affordable and less complicated for the employer.
Are there more affordable of free alternatives?
If you cannot or do not wish to try to obtain dental coverage through one of the above options, seeking out dental care or emergency treatment is also possible, but can be extremely costly. If you have an immediate dental need then going to the emergency room is an option, but if you don’t have medical insurance you can expect astronomical bills later on.
In some instances, hospitals and in particular emergency room treatment can be waived partially or fully, this is usually only possible if the benefits exist to offer an under or uninsured grant and scholarship offered by the hospital. Footing the bill for any emergency-room visit can be extremely costly, and it doesn’t take much to find yourself way in over your head with thousands of dollars of debt.
Alternatively, it’s ideal if possible to get into a local, free health clinic or one that specializes in working on a “sliding scale”. While the ladder may not be free, they will base their coverage-offer on your current income to debt ratio. From there they will determine an appropriate coverage plan and any necessary “co-pays”. Co-pays are essentially a necessary “appointment fee” or in some cases a cap, in which you must minimally pay a certain amount for each medical visit, treatment, or care.
If in doubt on where to get started, consider an online all-in-one medical coverage search and evaluation tool, and find pertinent details regarding plan and medical coverage options like Humana, United Health Care, or Cigna.