Oral & Vision Health Blog

What is an Open Access Dental Network?

If you’ve ever shopped for dental insurance, a lot of information is thrown your way on cost, plan design and more. One of the most important pieces to consider is a plan’s provider network and access criteria, especially when it comes to dental HMO plans (DHMO).

DHMO plans sometimes have a bad reputation when it comes to restrictions on the network and providers. But “open access” networks are changing that.

Does your DHMO plan have an open access network?

What is an open access DHMO network? Here’s what it’s not: Typical DHMO plans require that you pre-select or be assigned to a specific primary care or general dentist. You can usually request a transfer once a month by calling your insurance company.

Transfers are usually effective the next month; however, even though your transfer is effective, some offices might not schedule your appointment until your name appears on the monthly list or roster they receive from your insurance company. This often results in frustrating, long appointment wait times, which is not ideal when you need to see your dentist.

Not all DHMO plans are built that way, though. Some have an open access network, which is designed to eliminate these pain points and take individual needs into consideration.

Here are some of the advantages of an open access network model:

• Choose the in-network dentist you prefer with no selection or assignment requirement;
• Switch providers any time and as often as you wish without calling your insurance company;
• No rosters or related delays for the care you need.

Open access plans fit into the fast-paced world we live in today. Now, more than ever, convenience is critical to us as consumers. When it’s time for you to compare DHMO plans, look closely at all aspects of the plans, from costs to covered procedures to network access.

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