How should I choose a PPO dental plan?

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) programs are dental plans under which patients select a dentist from a network or list of providers who have agreed, by contract, to discount their fees. When reviewing a PPO dental plan, the plan purchaser should consider the following:
  • What percentage of the premium is used for administration?
  • Will the amount of the discount influence patients to change their dentist? Will the amount of the discount the dentist is required to offer affect the number of treatment options for the plan's covered individuals?
  • What is the liability for the employer if the plan influences provider selection or treatment?
  • What are the criteria for selection of providers for the plan? Does it have enough dentists under contract to adequately serve the group? What is the geographic distribution of patients to dentists? Does it provide for specialist referrals? Are dentists limited to referring patients to contracted specialists?
  • How does the program provide for emergency treatment? What provisions are in the program for emergency care away from home?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.