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How Do I Choose the Best Health and Dental Plan?

A woman having a dental exam.
Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Before you choose a health and dental plan, one of the first things that you should do is to assess your needs so that you can make your selection accordingly. You should also educate yourself on the different types of coverage that are available. If you are considering a plan that requires you to seek service within a network, make sure the service providers are local. Also, if you are married, compare any plans offered to you against those offered to your spouse.

You may not be able to choose your health and dental plan based solely on cost, but it should be a major factor in the choice. A lot of people spend vast amounts of unnecessary money because they purchase coverage that they do not need. Before you can choose the best plan, you need to thoroughly assess your health and dental conditions and treatment habits. If, for example, you rarely seek treatment for any reason, there is little need to choose expensive plans with elaborate options.

Another step that is essential in the process of choosing a health and dental plan is to make sure that you understand the different types of coverage. You should know, for example, the difference between a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Without this type of knowledge, it is very unlikely that you will be able to make the best choice.

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When people consider which health and dental plan is best, they often focus on costs such as premiums and co-pays. This should be done, but this is not where your focus on costs should end. It is very important to consider any network of providers that you will be obligated to use. Many people choose a plan without considering this only to find out later that their eligible health care providers are not local. Although they got a cheap plan, their savings become irrelevant due to travel costs.

If you are married and your spouse’s employer also offers health and dental plan options, you should weigh them against those offered by your employer. Sometimes it is possible to get better coverage from a spouse’s employer. It may also result in major savings if the two of you are on a plan together. When comparing your options, make sure that you assess both cost and coverage.

Although many people choose a health and dental plan that are offered together because it is convenient, there are times when doing this may not be best. In some cases, dental plans that are offered as part of a package are very limited and may not cover your needs. Be sure to assess the services that will be covered. Furthermore, with regard to both the health and dental coverage, you need to be sure to determine what the policies are regarding pre-existing conditions if you have any.

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