Wednesday, October 21

Help! Braces, Checkups, Cleanings, Cavities: Long Waiting Periods With Regular Dental Insurance Companies, Need Immediate Help With the Basic Dental Services for My Family.

Q: Hello Dental Cool. I have been frustrated searching for a solid dental plan for myself and my  three children. We would need a wide variety of dental services, from checkups, cleanings, cavities, maybe dental braces someday. I have a dental plan that is included with my Blue Cross Blue Shield medical coverage. That plan, however, looks like a joke. It only covers about 10-15% of the costs of services. Worse, the dentists in my area do not even accept it anymore. One dentist told me that their paperwork costs would even exceed the savings offered by the plan. Other dental plans I have found online have long waiting periods, as much as one to two years, and I need basic dental care for my children and myself now. Some of my children may need braces in the future. Can you help?

L. C., Pungoteague, VA

A:  L. C., you got to be kidding!? Ten to fifteen percent savings with your Blue Cross Blue Shield dental insurance? I wouldn't believe it if you didn't put it so convincingly. What is the point? Indeed a large percentage of dentists in Florida, Virginia and a few other states have decided not to accept ANY insurance dental plans anymore. The reason is as you state it. When the dentist considers
  • required pre-approvals from the ins. company for services performed
  • huge amount of paperwork needed
  • having to hire an additional member of the dental office staff just to deal with insurance companies' paperwork
  • long period of waiting for insurance company to reimburse the dental office after the service has been performed
it becomes abundantly clear to the dentist that accepting insurance plans, especially those with limited pay, will cut into the dentist's profits.

Not all is lost, however. First, contact your insurance company to find out if you can remove the dental part from your policy. It is really of no use to you. If you can remove the dental part it will save you money every single month. Second, consider joining one of the "discount dental plans" that are available in your area. The benefit of a discount plan in your situation is that you will receive significantly higher savings than you are getting today with your Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. Savings will be typically 50-80% on general dentistry, and 10-25% on specialist services. As with Blue Cross you must typically see a participating dentist to receive maximum savings.

Many dentists are happy to accept discount dental plan members. The reason is simple, these plans require no paperwork, no pre-approvals, and no waiting periods to get reimbursed. With a discount plan you practically cut out the middle man, in this case an insurance company. The discount plan companies are very easy going, and the decisions about your services will be strictly between you and your dentist.
--Dental Cool

Related Links

Discount Dental Plans

Discount Dental Plans That Cover Braces