Mar 10, 2011

Don't get played at the Dentist's Office...

I previously blogged about how blessed I felt after being told I had a $400 credit with my dental office.... However, after letting some time pass I started to wonder how I was OVERCHARGED by $400 in the first place. I did a little bit of research and wanted to share something with everyone out there that has ever felt like they were being bent over (no vaseline) and screwed by their dentist.

Dentists make agreements with insurance companies to offer their services at a discounted fee in turn gaining the clients of the insurance company. When having a service done a portion of the fee is typically paid by the insurance company thus leaving the remaining balance to be paid by you at the time of service. Some dentists are notorious for leading clients to believe that once their insurance premium for the year is maxed out that they no longer are able to receive services at the discounted rate, but PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

Even if you have maxed out your dental benefits for the year know that you are still supposed to be receiving the services at that discounted rate. I realized that I was overcharged by my dentist's office because they were in fact charging me their regular fee for services, NOT the fees they agreed upon with the insurance company. When I spoke with them about this last month they led me to believe that the insurance company had "paid more than they anticipated" therefore causing money to be left over. I was excited about this at first, but once the warm fuzzy feelings wore off I wanted to figure out how a mistake like this happened. The extra $400 would have been money I eventually applied toward the rest of the dental work I need to have done, but having them sit on my cash is not what's up.

It took a few hours but I was able to clear up the billing errors with them and insure that this wouldn't happen again. I know some people are already aware of this, but for those that were in the dark I wanted to share this information. Dental bills can already be astronomically high and price gauging is not ethical. Make sure you're triple checking your dental bill PRIOR to services to make sure the prices match what they should be charging you, and don't hesitate to call your insurance company.

On another note, I'm going in for another round of root canals/crowns in 2 weeks and this appointment will be a doozy. Supposedly it will take all day because they're tackling numerous teeth. I'm actually hoping that these are the final root canals I'll have to get done. Advice for the week? Preventative care is everything!!


afreshmusic said...

YES! YES! YES! The dentist office is like going to a use car dealership. They always trying to stick ya for your paper.

Most will bill your insurance and turn around and bill you for the same thing. I've spent thousand's of dollars and countless of hours/years dealing with Dentists. Some of the worse is Dental offices where the Dentist isn't actually the boss.

Great BLOG!

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Afreshmusic - I've been played by a few dentists over the years so I've had to learn the hard way. I don't want anyone else to go through what I've had to experience so educating ourselves is priority number one. You'd assume that they would be ethical, but they're a business and out to get their money like everyone else.

GorgeousPuddin said...

My sister and I were just discussing the dentist and fees yesterday. She is in line for lots necessary dental work soon do to NO preventative care and even now they are already trying to get her and they haven't even started the work...Excellent advice about taking care of your teeth!

South Loop Social Light said...

@ GP - I slacked for a bit but finally started getting my preventative stuff done a few years ago. However, the costs are still high so I've had to do things in phases so I wish I would've been better about annual dental visits before. The best advice I could offer your sister would be to find a dentist she feels comfortable with and likes, then formulate a plan of action to tackle the most pressing teeth first... a plan of action as well as a budget is really necessary.

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