Los Angeles has a robust dental insurance market. While this provides a wide range of benefits and various price points, multiple options also make it challenging to find the best choice. Still, knowing how to get dental insurance that works for you doesn’t have to be such a chore.
In this post, we will help you choose the right dental insurance for your needs. We also listed the top providers in Los Angeles that you can consider for the best coverage.
Dental HMO vs. Dental PPO
When looking for dental insurance, it’s crucial to understand the difference between an HMO and a PPO. Both provide dental coverage within a network of professionals but with different approaches.
HMO stands for health maintenance organization. Most HMO plans require a designated primary care provider (PCP). Also, you need referrals from your PCP before you can use your insurance to an in-network specialist.
The biggest downside of HMOs is it doesn’t provide any coverage for out-of-network providers. So if you’re planning to use your HMO for dental care, you need to look for a dentist that works for that specific provider.
On the other hand, PPO stands for preferred personal provider. As its name suggests, you can go to any of your preferred medical providers and enjoy various benefits. You’ll enjoy coverage with both in-network and out-of-network providers, but you’ll enjoy maximum benefits with the former.
In this case, PPOs make a more attractive option, especially if you have a preferred dentist. Also, you don’t need a primary dentist to enjoy the perks of your plan.
Just take note that both PPOs and HMOs only cover preventive and other necessary procedures. Routine services like cleaning and cosmetic treatments are usually not covered. Nonetheless, it depends on the plan that you have.
Top dental insurance in Los Angeles
Are you looking for the best PPOs in Los Angeles? Below, we listed some of the biggest names we work with here at NoHo Family Dental. There are dozens more that we accept, so feel free to explore other options not included here.
Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company
Kaiser Permanente has PPO plans with over 415,000 participating dentists throughout the US. Their plans provide emergency and preventive care with varying benefits depending on your chosen coverage.
Aetna Health of California
Aetna Health offers the Aetna Dental Direct Plan. It provides 100% coverage for preventive care without any out-of-pocket costs. They also waive the waiting period, which most insurers often impose.
Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross offers 100% coverage for preventive and virtual care. They also have the Essential Choice PPO Dental Plans, perfect for families or individuals. Aside from that, they have shorter waiting periods even for complex and major services.
Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
Cigna Health offers a variety of dental insurance plans with low costs. Their plans include $0 for routine X-rays, cleanings, and checkups after the deductible. So far, they offer one of the most comprehensive DPPOs in Los Angeles, CA.
Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield California has Dental Pro and Enhanced Dental Pro Plans to suit your needs. They also offer a variety of dental benefits on any plan you choose. And if you want dental coverage for your whole family, Blue Shield also provides the Family DPPO plan via Covered California.
United Healthcare Services Inc.
United Healthcare Services offers dental plans covering preventive, basic, and major dental services. You’ll also get access to their vast dental network with direct payment to in-network dentists, so you don’t need to file claims. The best part is that they have plans with no age restrictions, which makes them a great DPPO option for families.
Health Net of California Inc.
You can also consider Health Net’s Medi-Cal Dental Plan. This is exclusive in Los Angeles and Sacramento Counties, including medical and dental coverage. With this, you’ll get access to a wide dental network in California at a reasonable cost.
Tips for choosing your dental insurance
If you’re still unsure what dental insurance suits you best, the following points can help you decide:
1. Choose between group or individual coverage
If you have a family, it’s wiser to opt for a group DPPO. Some insurers also offer special plans designed specifically for family needs.
The good thing about group DPPOs is it’s more affordable and tend to have better benefits.
On the other hand, individual policies are also available. It’s available in a wide variety of dental benefits and coverage, which may or may not have waiting periods.
Take note that some employers provide DPPOs. See if yours have this benefit before you start looking for options.
2. See which dentists are in your network
Before you purchase a policy, check first if your preferred dentist is on the PPO’s network. While PPO allows out-of-network dentists, you’ll enjoy better perks if your preferred dental practitioner is affiliated with your insurance provider.
Overall, choose dental insurance with as many affiliated dentists as possible. This will give you a lot of options, especially with major services.
3. Read the policy coverage
Carefully read and review your policy coverage before signing the paperwork. Make sure that you know what’s covered and what’s not.
Most dental insurance policies cover preventive services like root canals, fillings, and tooth removal. Also, many policies don’t include cosmetic services
4. Ask about discounts and freebies
Many dental insurance providers in Los Angeles offer free exams, X-rays, and cleaning after the deductible. This is an excellent perk at your disposal, especially if you’re undergoing expensive treatments.
5. Know the waiting periods
Almost all dental insurance policies have waiting periods for each type of service. It can range from 6 to 12 months after you enroll.
Meanwhile, there are policies with no waiting periods, but it’s typically more expensive.
Ensure you’re aware of this aspect to prevent unexpected out-of-pocket expenses at the dental clinic.
6. Consider the cost
Lastly, think about the monthly premiums you can afford. On average, it will cost around $6 to $20 a month in Los Angeles, depending on your plan.
Also, look for network discounts to help you save more money. In fact, in-network discounts in DPPOs can be as high as 37%.
7. Get dental insurance before you need it
Don’t wait until a dental emergency arise before you start looking for insurance. Remember that dental insurance policies have a waiting period, so getting them only when needed won’t help.
While dental insurance plans don’t demand a waiting period for preventive care, it usually imposes a lull on restorative procedures.
NoHo Family Dental work with most PPOs in Los Angeles
At NoHo Family Dental, we work with most PPOs in Los Angeles, California. Call us for more details on how you can maximize your coverage. We also accept Denti-Cal, so you can get the dental procedures you need without the hefty out-of-pocket expenses.
We are committed to giving you the best smile with quality and professional dental services. Aside from working with most PPOs, we also offer in-house financing. You can now enjoy financing with 0% interest for 6 months via Care Credit.
Call us to schedule an appointment today! We will give you more reasons to smile at a competitive cost.