YOU ASK:

Are braces cheaper with a PPO or HMO dental plan?

WE ANSWER:

Before we answer the question, the first thing you should know is whether your PPO or HMO dental plan covers orthodontics or braces. Standard dental insurance plans usually don't cover orthodontics and if they do, you have to know how long the waiting period is.

Now, to answer the question, a PPO dental insurance plan is more cost-effective since it gives you more freedom to see specialists (orthodontists) of your choice, something that is not allowed in an HMO.

With an HMO, you will have to go to the orthodontist that is in the network. This is an important consideration since having braces installed would require you to go to that dentist for quite a while.

Really, PPOs combine the features of an HMO and a provider network.  But, when you go with a provider in the network, the deductibles would be lower than if you had gone with a provider that's outside of the network. Another consideration is that PPOs set an amount as reasonable cost, meaning if the provider or physician charges above what the insurance company considers as reasonable cost, then you may have to pay greater than the deductible.

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