Dental Insurance – California
Get Free Quotes on California Dental Insurance
DentalInsurance.com offers free quotes and information on California dental insurance providers, allowing customers to compare plans side by side in order to choose an affordable plan that’s right for them. See what’s available in your area by typing in your zip code above. Before you begin comparing though, there are a few things you should know about dental insurance in California.
Types of Dental Insurance Plans in California
There are a few different types of dental insurance plans available in California that each offer different benefits and different payment plans. It’s important to understand these differences before choosing a plan for yourself, your family, or your employees. The available types in California include:
- DHMOs (Dental Health Maintenance Organization)
- PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)
- Indemnity Plans
- Dental Fee Schedule
- Discount Dental Plans
Discount Dental Plans:
Discount dental plans offer immediate coverage and unlimited services within a California dental network based on a discounted fee schedule. Customers pay for a discount card through annual or monthly payments, which allow them to take advantage of dental services within the network for at a discounted rate. The savings from these plans often outweigh the cost of the card, though patients should be aware of the terms of the plan, which may stipulate that all discounted costs must be paid up front. Discount dental plans available in California include Aetna, Careington, and Patriot.
DHMOs (Dental Health Maintenance Organizations)
DHMOs (Dental Health Maintenance Organizations) are similar to medical HMOs, and are sometimes called “capitation plans.” The way DHMOs work is that a dentist receives a fixed monthly fee to provide a specified set of dental procedures for an individual or family at either no cost or a reduced price. Patients pay a monthly or annual payment for membership in the HMO, and then have access to the specified services. Most DHMOs specify a length of time between visits as well as the size of the patient pool, and may have special emergency dental care and patients who are travelling. DHMOs in California include Dental Health Services, Primecare, and Safeguard.
Indemnity Plans are sometimes referred to as “traditional” dental insurance, and typically provide the most freedom in terms of choice of dentist, though usually with higher out-of-pocket payments. Indemnity plan providers make payments after receiving and reviewing the bill, and typically pay a percentage of the cost for a particular procedure based on a fee schedule. Each provider has a different fee schedule, as well as policies that dictate the frequency of which this pay schedule changes and is communicated to the patients. California indemnity plans also require a deductible and a waiting period before certain services are covered. California indemnity plans include American National, Nationwide, and Stonebridge (also known as Encore).
PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations)
PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) are dental networks that provide a listing of approved dentists who have agreed by contract to provide care at a reduced cost in exchange for greater access to patients and a streamlined reimbursement system. Dental PPO patients choose their dentist form the approved list, and are assured of the maximum cost of treatment. No specialist referrals are required. Each California dental PPO has its own network and approved set of treatments. Dental PPOs available in California include Compbenefits, Delta Dental, Blue Cross of California, and HumanaOne.
Fee Schedule Plans
Fee Schedule Plans are similar to PPOs in that they provide an approved network of dentists, but they provide reimbursements for a specific amount based on a fee schedule. Fee schedule plans usually offer lower premiums than regular PPOs, but the patient is responsible for any costs incurred that go beyond the approved amount. Fee schedule plan providers in California include Security Life and Symetra.