Perhaps one of the least comfortable topics of discussion between patients and dentists is money. But patients should not shrink from having that discussion.
Dentists know that:
- Money is an issue for most people.
- Patients want to be able to plan to pay for the dentist’s services to the best of their ability.
Your dentist does not automatically know your financial situation. So it’s better to discuss billing and how much procedures will cost prior to a visit.
Some cost-saving measures to consider:
- Dental insurance is usually a good deal when it is part of group coverage. If your employer offers group dental insurance, it usually covers all of your cleanings and X-rays and will discount several procedures.
- Most dental insurance has a spending cap and many have a deductible for services other than exams and cleanings.
- Make sure you know the specifics of your policy. For many families, the spending cap is per person, and includes orthodontia, meaning that orthodontia can be discounted but not entirely.
- In Michigan, Medicare does not include dental coverage. If you will be aging out of group coverage and into Medicare, schedule a dental exam and any procedures before your coverage lapses.
- Dental insurance bought on the marketplace may still save you money, depending on your ability to save and what you expect your dental expenses to be. Be sure to check out AARP and professional organizations that you belonged to when you or your partner worked.
- Be sure that you check with your dentist as to which dental insurance plans she participates in.
- And check with the dentist’s bookkeeper and insurance coordinator regarding which insurance plans seem to be the most cooperative regarding timely payment and transparency regarding coverage.
- If you must go without dental insurance, spend money wisely and come in for exams when they are scheduled. Doing without may cost you much more down the road.