10 Questions to help you with choosing healthcare financing for your dental treatment:
Now that you understand how healthcare financing works lets see if financing is right for you. Here is a list of questions to better help you decide with choosing healthcare financing. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:
- Is saving your teeth important to you?
- Are you suffering from pain or other dental problems but can’t quite afford your treatment?
- Has it been a long time since you were at the dentist which resulted in a lot of dental work being piled up?
- If you don’t fix your dental problems is there a risk that your problems become more expensive to treat?
- Are you employed or have a salary to qualify for financing options?
- Do you have decent credit to qualify for healthcare financing?
- If you don’t have good enough credit or income, do you know someone that is willing to co-sign for you that meets these qualifications?
- Is the total cost of treatment less than half of your annual income?
- Are the monthly payments something you can afford without being late on?
- Do you not have any prospects of receiving a good dental insurance plan within the next two to three months?
Good candidate for choosing healthcare financing
If you answered “yes” to the majority of these questions then you are a good candidate for applying for healthcare financing. Talk to your dentist to see if they offer CareCredit, LendingTree, iCare Financial or SimplePay amongst others and to see which one is best for you.
Questions 1 through 4: Necessary dental treatment
Dental problems do not reverse themselves and only become worse over time:
- A cavity today may be a crown or root canal tomorrow
- A crown today may be a root canal in addition to crown tomorrow
- A root canal today will be an extraction and implant tomorrow
- And the damage from gum disease is irreversible and once you lose your supporting bone it’s gone for good
If you need dental work, you must find a way to afford them. Unless you are okay with removing your teeth and receiving dentures, then you might have to spend a few thousand to fix your mouth. If you don’t have dental insurance then you might have to rely on healthcare financing options.
In fact, even those with dental insurance have to frequently resort to healthcare financing options when in need of extensive dental work. Copays, deductibles and annual maximums limit what insurance pays towards your treatment. Using healthcare financing can help most people get over these obstacles so they don’t have to worry about dental problems as much.
Questions 5 through 9: Qualifying for healthcare financing
You need good enough credit as well as income to qualify for healthcare financing. The most popular and best financing companies such as CareCredit or LendingTree all require you to have good credit and income to qualify. Most dentists only offer these better options and stay away from the riskier financing companies.
Of course, there are other options offered through companies such as iCare Financial or SimplePay which don’t require a credit check. However, fewer dentists offer these and they are also very tricky. Frankly, if you don’t have good credit or a source of income, then maybe you shouldn’t be getting dental treatment that is so expensive after all.
Question 10: Prospects of receiving dental insurance
Don’t expect a refund should you obtain dental insurance a month after paying for treatment, as no dentist will ever do be this generous! However, if you really are going to have dental insurance soon then what is best to do?
Our advice to you is to obtain healthcare financing for the entire treatment amount as you normally would, but only receive the most urgent treatment. There are treatment which can’t wait for several months, such as treating a toothache or receiving a good dental cleaning. Afterwards, just wait for your dental insurance to take effect. Once your dental insurance has kicked in, return to your dentist to see if you can finish the rest of your treatment using insurance to save on the cost of treatment.
You shouldn’t cancel your line of credit if you end up getting dental insurance and need lots of work. Keep in mind that most dental insurance plans have copays, deductibles and annual maximums which limit their usefulness. Chances are you may still have to pay a substantial portion of your treatment even with insurance in place. Using your healthcare financing credit can come in handy here as well.
You should still be able to save a considerable amount off of your original bill with good insurance. Savings will be based upon how much your dental insurance pays towards your treatment. There are also indirect savings as a result of reduction in dental fees based on the negotiated discounted rates that your insurance mandates. So talk to your dentist when you get dental insurance to come up with a new strategy. By spreading out your treatment you can make use of both your insurance as well as healthcare financing.
NOT a good candidate for choosing healthcare financing
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then maybe you should consider the other approaches we previously discussed towards getting your treatment done and pass up on the financing for now.
Final thought on choosing healthcare financing
Necessary dental treatment only gets more difficult and costly when ignored. You want to stop damage to your teeth and gums before it’s too late. Unless you are okay with losing your teeth and wearing dentures of course. Choosing healthcare financing can offer you a reasonable solution if you can’t quite afford everything upfront. Just don’t forget to improve your oral hygiene and increase your check-up frequencies so you don’t have to go through financing too many more times!