The best Delta Dental insurance plan for a particular individual depends on the individual's dental care needs and budget. There are three basic plans available: preferred provider organization plans, or PPOs; dental health maintenance organization plans, or HMOs, which are also known as pre-paid plans; and fee-for-service plans, according to Dental Dental.
In PPOs, patients see dentists in a network and pay a percentage of set rates (co-insurance). Patients can choose dentists out of the network, but they pay lower out-of-pocket costs if they stay in the network, Dental Delta notes.
Patients choosing an HMO, or pre-paid plan, choose a specific dental facility for all oral needs. They typically do not have deductibles or maximums. However, appointments with specialists require authorization. Diagnostic and preventive services frequently have no co-payment, while other dental services have fixed prices. HMOs are often more affordable than other options.
Fee-for-service plans are also known as indemnity or traditional plans. Fee-for-service patients usually have the most dentists from which to choose, but they're likely to pay more than they'd pay under a PPO plan because of the way Delta reimburses the participating dentists.
When deciding which dental plan is appropriate, factors to consider include whether the patient wants the freedom to choose dentists out of network, whether she wishes to avoid deductibles and maximums in exchange for a more limited choice of dentists and whether she is likely to need to see a specialist.