Dental Insurance


This practice note addresses dental insurance as it operates in the United States. There are differences in the scope and operation of dental insurance in other countries, especially those with centralized healthcare. There are three types of dental insurance: fee-for-service plans, dental HMO plans, and dental PPOs. Dental service discount plans are similar to insurance but they do not bear any risk. Similar to other kinds of health insurance, benefits are subject to co-payments and deductibles and emphasize preventive care rather than needs-based or catastrophic care. Unlike medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act, dental coverage does have aggregate and annual benefit limits. Topics discussed include the definitions of each type of dental insurance, how each plan works and differs from other types of plans, and some cautions about dental service discount plans.