Getting the most out of your insurance
Did you know that dental insurance was started in the mid 1950s? Back then the average insured person was covered with between $1,500 and $1,000 a year. In the mid 1950s a dentist could pretty much rebuild a mouth with virtually the best materials and techniques available for that kind of money.
Fast forward 55 years and what do you find?
The average insured has insurance coverage of between $1,000 and $1,500 per year. A dentist might be able to fix one bad tooth (needing a root canal, filling and crown) before you run out of insurance.
I did a calculation of using various dental or medical inflation numbers from between the mid 50s and today. To have the same coverage that you enjoyed in the 50s would require somewhere north of $43,000 today!
Now my calculations could be faulty. Perhaps the inflation rate I used was too high or too low. Regardless, it is pretty obvious that counting on your dental insurance to take care of your teeth if you have any significant dental needs is foolish.
So what can you do if you have significant dental problems?
Find an office (ours?) that knows how to use and maximize your insurance for you. Sounds good, but how do we do that? After all, no matter what office you go to they will only have the same amount of insurance to use right?
True. But if the dental office approaches insurance with a different mindset, you can save big!
When a new patient comes to our office who has dental coverage we immediately call the insurance company. Then we essentially put them under the bright lights and interrogate them about all the "if," "ands" or "buts" that their policy has. In short, we find out what coverage you have and what tricks the insurance company has built into your coverage to help them avoid paying for your treatment.
Once that is done we are ready to review your needs.
Here is another way we differ from most practices you have seen. We don't nickel and dime you or your insurance company for every goofy little charge we can. Big deal? You bet it is. There are offices out there who charge not just for the filling but the anesthesia, medications placed under the filling and the sterilizing of the instruments used to do the filling.
We charge a fair, below average typically, fee for the filling and ONLY the filling. This by itself can make your insurance go a lot further.
As I said, we learn right away how your particular policy works. So when we recommend treatment we know what will get covered and what won't. Rarely do we get caught with the insurance company not paying. If we do, shame on us.
Finally, we always look to times of the year where you may have essentially double the insurance available to you. For instance, if you have a policy that ends at the end of the calendar year, then use everything you can this year and continue treatment in January. This can really save big.
Having insurance is a true benefit that you have been given or earned. You can use most insurances (PPO not HMO) in any office. Using it in an office that is geared toward minimizing your out of pocket costs is just smart. Make the smart call to Pleasant Dental and stretch your insurance dollar. (708) 576-1900.