It’s that time of year again when many of have to think about health insurance (and dental) plans for 2017. I have many patients and new patients ask us what plans we think are best. As I look at the dizzying array of options, I have to tell you, none of them qualify as ‘insurance’ as we know it. And dental is in no way representative of what Medical Insurance has become.
First, it’s not like home insurance or auto insurance, where you pay a premium in exchange for blanket coverage in the event of losses or expenses. If dental insurance were really insurance, patients would submit their claims for all necessary work that needed to be done and be fully reimbursed (minus an agreed-upon deductible). Think about that: if you have a car accident, you pay a deductible and the ‘insurance’ covers the rest. Same for home owners insurance. And we all know that with medical, once we meet our deductible, that emergency appendectomy is covered.
But that’s not how dental plans work. What dental plans offer are benefits – a limited allowance to go towards funding dental care costs, which is a different thing. These are indeed useful and valuable benefits to patients and it is perfectly understandable that dental practices would want to help patients manage and maximize their benefits. But it is also important that patients are not fooled by the term “insurance” to the point where they have false expectations.
That’s a word that dental plan providers (read: Insurance Companies) use. It’s a mindset trap, one we should not fall into. Great dentistry comes at a cost. If that cost can be offset by a patient’s benefit plan, great. Because that’s what they are: allowances, benefits, economic supplements. It is not insurance. AND WORST OF ALL BENEFITS HAVE NOT HAD MEANINGFUL CHANGES SINCE THE 1960’s!!! Think about that: the $1000 you got in 1965 is not the same as $1000 in 2016.
So what are we to do? Well, I don’t expect a revolt against dental ‘insurance plans’ (whose primary goal is to make money, after all). But I do expect employees to complain to their HR departments and demand better choices. And, like any other insurance that you shop around for, question what you are paying for and see if you are a getting a value and benefit for what your expenses are.
And, though I want this post to be about educating the patient and consumer, I would like to mention that we offer a plan that can make better financial sense. While not ‘insurance’ it is a membership plan that give you access to care with significant savings on treatment. Check it out at Our Plan Page
Call us today to find out more!