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Dental Opinions for Dental Indemnity Insurance Plans

Posted on Friday, Apr. 19th 2024 10:00 AM by Dental Plan Review in Dental Claims, Dental Help, Dental HMO, Dental Insurance, Dental PPO, Dental Reviews, Supplemental Dental Comments Off on Dental Opinions for Dental Indemnity Insurance Plans

A dental indemnity insurance plan pays the dental office (dentist) on a traditional fee-for-service basis. The insurance company usually pays 50% – 80% of the dental office (dentist) fees for a covered procedure; the remaining percentage – the insured pays. These plans often have a predetermined or set deductible amount, which varies from plan to plan. Indemnity plans can also limit the number of services covered within a given year, and dentists can be paid based on various UCR fee schedules. Some typical features of these plans:

Plan Deductibles:

Indemnity dental insurance plans generally require the payment of a deductible before coverage begins. However, well-designed plans do not apply the deductible to preventive services. The average deductible is around $25 – $50 per person per year, while for families, it may be something like $150 max per year. For example, if the plan has a $50 deductible per person, and a family of four is insured under the plan, if the plan has a maximum deductible of $150 per year after three family members pay their deductible in the same year, the fourth member would not have a deductible for that given year.

Waiting/Probationary Periods:

A waiting period is a set amount of time before you can receive coverage for specific dental services under your insurance plan. During this period, you are not eligible for coverage for the particular services subject to the waiting period.

Insurance companies implement waiting periods to control their costs. They want to ensure they don’t have to pay for expensive procedures that people might sign up for only after finding out they need them. With a waiting period, insurance companies can limit the risk of people taking advantage of the system.

Waiting periods vary depending on the insurance company and the specific plan. Some plans may have no waiting periods, while others may have waiting periods of up to a year or more. It’s essential to read the terms of your insurance plan carefully to understand what services are subject to a waiting period and how long that period is.

Maximum Limitation:  

The maximum limitation is how much a dental insurance plan will pay for dental services annually. The maximum limitation varies depending on the specific plan and insurance company. Generally, the maximum limitation for dental indemnity plans is between $1,000 and $2,500 per person per year. 

Dental indemnity plans have maximum limitations to control costs for the insurance company and the insured. Dental services can be expensive, and without a maximum limitation, the insurance company could pay a lot of money for a single person’s dental treatment. The maximum limitation ensures that the insurance company does not have to pay more than a certain amount for dental services for each individual. 

It’s important to note that if an individual reaches their maximum limitation for the year, they will be responsible for paying for any additional dental services they need out of their pocket.

Choosing Your Dentist:

One of the most significant benefits of an indemnity dental insurance plan is that there is no network of dentists. You have the freedom to choose any dentist you desire, and there are no limitations to a specific group of dentists you can select from. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for people who live in rural areas or who have established a long-term relationship with a specific dentist.

For instance, suppose you move to a new city and would like to continue seeing your current dentist. In that case, an indemnity dental insurance plan would be an excellent option, as you can choose your dentist without worrying about whether they are in-network. Additionally, suppose you have a family dentist caring for your family’s dental health for years. In that case, you can continue to visit them even if they are not part of the insurance company’s network.

By having the freedom to choose your dentist, you can maintain a trusting and long-term relationship with your dentist, which can benefit your overall dental health. You can discuss your dental health concerns and goals with your dentist, and they can provide you with personalized care that meets your specific needs.

In summary, an indemnity dental insurance plan allows you to choose any dentist you want, giving you the freedom to receive care from a dentist you trust. It’s an excellent option for people who value the flexibility to choose their dentist and maintain a long-term relationship.

Average Cost of an Indemnity Dental Plan

While it’s true that indemnity dental insurance plans can be more costly than other types of plans, they offer a significant advantage in terms of flexibility. With an indemnity plan, you can choose any dentist you want, and you won’t be restricted to a particular network of dentists. This means you can maintain a long-term relationship with your current dentist, even if they are not in the insurance company’s network. Additionally, indemnity plans typically have higher annual maximums than other plans, which can be beneficial if you need extensive dental work. Finally, indemnity plans may cover a broader range of dental services than other plans, such as cosmetic procedures. Ultimately, whether an indemnity dental insurance plan is a good option depends on your needs and preferences.

State Insurance Departments regulate Companies Selling Indemnity Plans:

The regulation of dental insurance and indemnity plans by state insurance means that these plans are subject to state laws and regulations regarding insurance coverage. This includes requirements for coverage, premium rates, and other terms and conditions of the plan. This regulation aims to protect consumers from unfair practices by insurance companies and ensure they receive appropriate coverage for their dental care needs. The specific rules may vary from state to state, but they generally aim to provide a fair and transparent insurance market for dental care.

Glossary of Dental Insurance Terms 

Dental insurance plans can be complex and challenging to understand. Indemnity plans are one type of dental insurance that allows you to choose any dentist you want. However, it is essential to understand your plan’s various terms and conditions to make informed decisions about your dental care. We will break down some of the standard terms you see in a dental indemnity insurance plan.

1) UCR Fees: UCR stands for “Usual, Customary, and Reasonable.” Insurance companies use UCR fee schedules to determine how much they will reimburse for a dental procedure. The UCR fee is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay for a particular dental service in a specific geographic area. For example, if a dental procedure costs $200, but the UCR fee in that area is $150, the insurance company will only reimburse the dentist $150. 

Under dental indemnity plans, dentists can be paid based on various UCR fee schedules. This means that the reimbursement a dentist receives from the insurance company can vary depending on the UCR fee schedule used by the insurance company. It’s important to note that UCR fees are determined by the insurance company and not the dentist, and they can vary widely depending on the geographic location and the specific plan. 

UCR fee schedules can affect payment for dental services under indemnity plans because they limit the amount the insurance company will reimburse for a particular service. If the UCR fee for a specific service is significantly lower than the amount the dentist charges, the patient may be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket. However, if the UCR fee is higher than the amount charged by the dentist, the insurance company will only reimburse the UCR fee, and the patient will not be responsible for paying the difference.

2) Allowable Charge: Regarding dental indemnity insurance, the term “allowable charge” refers to the predetermined fee schedule as the basis for plan deductibles, coinsurance, and maximum percentage. Essentially, this is the amount that dentists are reimbursed for the services they provide, as per their agreement with the insurer. This will allow for transparency and consistency in pricing and ensure that the dentist and the patient understand the costs associated with the services rendered. It’s important to note that the allowable charge may vary depending on the specific insurance plan, so reviewing your policy details is always a good idea to understand what is covered and isn’t covered.

3) Balance Billing: Balance billing is a prevalent issue dental patients face when dealing with indemnity dental insurance plans. It refers to the difference between the total cost a dental office charges a patient for a particular dental service and the amount the patient’s insurance plan pays for that service. This difference can be substantial, leaving patients with a significant financial burden.

Indemnity dental insurance plans typically pay a percentage of the total cost of the services provided rather than a set amount. The amount of coverage a patient receives from their insurance plan can vary widely depending on the price of the service and the percentage paid by the insurance company. 

For example, suppose a patient requires a dental procedure that costs $1,000, and their insurance plan pays 50% of the cost. In that case, the insurance company will pay $500 for the procedure, and the patient will pay the remaining $500 out of pocket. However, if the dental office charges more than the insurance company deems reasonable, the patient may be responsible for paying the difference, known as balance billing.

Balance billing can be a significant financial burden for dental patients, especially if they require multiple procedures or have a limited budget. It’s essential to carefully review the terms of an indemnity dental insurance plan before enrolling to understand what percentage of the cost is covered by the insurance company and what the patient’s financial responsibility will be.

In some cases, dental offices may offer payment plans or other financial assistance options to help patients cover the cost of balance billing. Patients can also consider negotiating with their dental office to reduce the balance billing amount or seeking a different dental office offering more affordable pricing.

Balancing billing is critical for dental patients considering an indemnity dental insurance plan. By understanding the potential financial implications of this issue, patients can make informed decisions about their dental care and budget accordingly.

4) Claim Forms: Dental indemnity insurance is essential to dental care that helps patients cover their dental expenses. When a patient receives dental care, the dentist or the patient can use a claim form to submit information about the services provided. The claim form serves as a document that contains all the necessary information about the dental services rendered, including the type of treatment, the date of service, and the cost of the treatment.

The dentist is responsible for ensuring that the information in the claim form is accurate and up-to-date. It is crucial because the information in the form determines the amount the insurance company will pay for the services rendered. The insurance company will review the claim form and pay the dentist or the enrollee/beneficiary.

The insurance company accepts claim forms submitted either on paper or electronically. Since the advent of technology, electronic submission of claim forms has become more prevalent. Electronic submission of claim forms is more convenient and faster than paper-based forms. It eliminates the need for mailing, reduces the chances of errors, and speeds up the processing time.

In conclusion, the claim form is vital for dental indemnity insurance. It is used to submit information regarding the dental services provided and helps the insurance company determine the amount of payment to be made. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the information provided in the form is accurate and up-to-date.

5) Coinsurance:  When it comes to indemnity dental insurance plans, coinsurance refers to the percentage of the cost of services the patient is responsible for. The insurance company pays a portion of the cost while the patient pays the remaining amount, typically a copay or coinsurance. The percentage that the patient pays can vary depending on the specific plan and the type of service being provided. For example, a plan may cover 80% of the cost of routine cleaning, while the patient is responsible for the remaining 20%. However, for more complex procedures such as a root canal, the patient may be responsible for a higher percentage, such as 50% or more. It’s important to carefully review the terms of your indemnity dental insurance plan to understand the coinsurance requirements and any other costs associated with your coverage. Doing so lets you make informed decisions about your dental care and avoid unexpected expenses.

6) Deductible: An essential aspect of indemnity dental insurance plans is the deductible, which refers to the amount the policyholder pays out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. This deductible amount varies between plans and can range from around $25 to $50 per person per year for an individual plan, while for families, it may be something like $150 max per year. Well-designed plans typically exempt preventive services from the deductible, meaning that policyholders can receive these services without first meeting the deductible. 

For example, suppose an indemnity plan has a $50 deductible per person, and a family of four is insured under the plan. If the plan has a maximum deductible of $150 per year after three family members pay their deductible in the same year, the fourth member would not have a deductible for that given year. The deductible is crucial when choosing an indemnity dental insurance plan, as it can significantly impact the out-of-pocket expenses that policyholders will face when receiving dental services.

7) General Dentist: Regarding dental indemnity insurance plans, a general dentist offers a wide range of dental services. They are responsible for routine dental care, such as check-ups, cleanings, fillings, and extractions, as well as more complex dental procedures, such as crowns, bridges, and root canals. General dentists are trained to diagnose and treat various dental issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections. They also educate patients on proper oral hygiene practices to maintain good dental health. In short, a general dentist is a crucial component of a dental indemnity insurance plan, providing comprehensive dental care to ensure the insured’s oral health

8) Limitations & Exclusions: When it comes to dental insurance, it’s essential to understand the limitations and exclusions of an indemnity dental plan. These refer to specific services that may not be covered under your plan and will require you to pay out of pocket if you choose to receive them. Often referred to as optional services, they can include treatments such as cosmetic procedures or orthodontics. Reviewing your plan carefully is crucial to understand which services are limited or excluded and any associated costs. Doing so lets you make an informed decision about your dental care and avoid unexpected expenses.

Considerations for Choosing a Dental Indemnity Insurance Plan

In conclusion, a dental indemnity insurance plan offers flexibility and choice when selecting a dentist. Although the plan can be more expensive than other insurance plans, it provides higher annual maximums. Before choosing an indemnity plan, it’s essential to read the plan’s terms carefully to understand the waiting periods, deductibles, and maximum limitations. This way, you can make an informed decision that meets your dental health needs and goals.

At, we understand the importance of having dental insurance that suits your unique needs. We offer many dental insurance plans, including indemnity dental insurance. If you have any questions or want a free dental insurance quote for you or your family, please get in touch with us at 310-534-3444. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can assist you from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 4 pm. We are always happy to help you find the right insurance plan for your budget and dental care requirements.

Posted on Friday, Apr. 19th 2024 10:00 AM | by Dental Plan Review | in Dental Claims, Dental Help, Dental HMO, Dental Insurance, Dental PPO, Dental Reviews, Supplemental Dental | Comments Off on Dental Opinions for Dental Indemnity Insurance Plans


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