Do you know the difference between your dental insurance and your medical insurance?
Dental care can feel complex and confusing at times. There are visits which seem ridiculously inexpensive, and others at which the final bill feels like a punch. How can you take the unpredictability out of the picture and still get high value care from the best dentist in Naperville?
The first step to reconciling dental care costs is to understand how dental insurance and medical insurance differ. Medical insurance is more of a betting game, with the assumption being that most people won’t have catastrophic health care needs. This is why standard health insurance covers the majority of your costs after a deductible.
In contrast, dental insurance is more of a discount plan based on the assumption that most, if not all, people will need major dental care at some point. This is why your dental plan has a low annual maximum and may cover as little as 30% of costs for complex services.
Is your Dental Plan Really Saving you Money?
If the dental plan you have access to is like most, you pay a monthly premium that is separate from the rest of your health insurance premium. In exchange for your monthly premium, you get a discount on dental care services at offices that have an “in-network” dentist.
The benefit is generally presented as a 100% coverage for basic dental care, but this is usually a flat amount based off of an “average cost” and dentists are not required to match this amount. This means you will often pay more at the dental office, since their charge for a “basic” cleaning can exceed the amount your benefit will cover.
If you need more than a cleaning, your dental care costs go up instantly. Most dental insurance coverage drops off sharply once you require more than a basic cleaning, and it can be hard to find an in-network dentist. You will most likely end up being responsible for 50-70% of the charges plus your monthly premium.
Take Control of your Dental Health
The scarcity of in-network providers and low benefits offered by most dental insurance plans often make dental care more expensive, not less. You may be better off making your own dental health choices! Exceptional care from a trusted “out-of-network” family dentist in Naperville may be more cost effective in the long run.
Evaluate your expected dental care needs and discuss them with your dentist. Dr. Brian Weymeth and Dr. Lydia Sosenko can help you with a treatment plan that takes a realistic look at the current state of your teeth and gums. With a clear idea of your projected dental care needs, and associated costs, you can allocate funds more effectively.
When you know what to expect, you can make an informed choice as to whether or not a dental plan is right for you. If the benefits offered by “dental insurance” or a “discount plan” don’t effectively offset your real costs (especially if your “in-network” choices don’t include the best dentists in your area), you may be better off working directly with your choice of dentists to manage your care.
Being aware of what dental insurance does and doesn’t cover makes you an attractive patient to top dentists. They would far rather be spending time with you to come up with a realistic, best-outcome course of treatment, than wrangling with forms that don’t end up benefiting anyone.
Spend your Time and Money Wisely
Establishing yourself as a patient at a dental office that does more than just “cleanings, fillings and crowns” has many additional benefits. When you need specialty care, you won’t have to work your way through a maze of referrals and approvals. Your Naperville general dentist, Dr. Bryan Weymeth, can also refer you to our own in-house Dental Sleep Medicine expert, Dr. Lydia Sosenko!
When you take responsibility for your own dental needs, you have continuity of care. All of your records will be in one place; no shopping for a new provider when your dental insurance changes or a provider drops out of network. Instead, you always have access to the same excellence of care, from a dentist who knows you and your teeth.
Consider opting out of useless dental “benefits” that don’t really benefit anyone but the insurance company. Instead, realize that the best insurance against dental issues is routine oral checkups, preventive dental cleanings, and continuous care from a dentist you know and trust!