Category Archives: Dental Insurance and Payment Solutions

Choosing Healthcare Financing for Dental Treatment

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“:

  1. Is saving your teeth important to you?
  2. Are you suffering from pain or other dental problems but can’t quite afford your treatment?
  3. Has it been a long time since you were at the dentist which resulted in a lot of dental work being piled up?
  4. If you don’t fix your dental problems is there a risk that your problems become more expensive to treat?
  5. Are you employed or have a salary to qualify for financing options?
  6. Do you have decent credit to qualify for healthcare financing?
  7. 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?
  8. Is the total cost of treatment less than half of your annual income?
  9. Are the monthly payments something you can afford without being late on?
  10. 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!

What are the benefits of healthcare financing for dental treatment?

What are the risks?

Selecting Dental Insurance: How to Decide

10 Questions to help you decide if you need dental insurance or not:

Now that you understand the benefits of having versus not having insurance, it’s time to make a decision. Here is a list of questions to better help you decide if you need dental insurance or not. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“ to decide if selecting dental insurance makes sense for you:

  1. Do you find yourself going to the dentist less often then you should?
  2. Have you had problems paying for dental work in the past?
  3. Do you expect to need invasive dental treatment?
  4. Does your dental plan cover preventive and basic treatment as well as some major coverage?
  5. Does your dental plan offer a reasonable annual maximum if it’s a PPO or Union plan?
  6. Are there a good number of dentists in your neighborhood that accept this insurance plan?
  7. Are the specific treatment which you require covered by the plan?
  8. If you currently have a dentist that you like, does he or she accept this plan?
  9. You don’t have a perfect set of teeth?
  10. You don’t require very, very extensive dental work?

Good candidate for selecting dental insurance

If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you probably should consider getting dental insurance. Having dental insurance provides security of mind and gets you to see your dentist more often. It makes take better care of your teeth and gums which only benefits you in the long run:

Questions 1 through 3: Need for insurance

Since everyone has teeth, or at least dentures, then it’s safe to say that everyone needs a dentist at some point. However, some people have a greater need for seeing a dentist than others do. These people benefit more from having dental insurance. For instance, if you’ve been slacking off going to the dentist, then dental insurance will give you that push you need to get back in the routine. Or if you’re short on cash then having insurance will certainly help out.

Questions 4 through 6: Selecting dental insurance that’s decent

As mentioned earlier, a decent dental plan should provide you some reasonable coverage. Otherwise what’s the point of paying for it in the first place? A decent dental plan should cover most or all of your preventive and basic checkup and cleaning appointments. It should also contribute its fair share towards major treatment such as root canals, crowns, etc. If your plan covers about half of your bill for more extensive treatment, then that’s generally considered a pretty good plan.

Question 7: Covering your specific needs

If you’re getting dental insurance for a specific need then you should make sure that what you need is a covered benefit. For instance, if you want your wisdoms removed, then you should make sure your plan covers this treatment.

Keep in mind that treatments such as bridges, dental implants and orthodontic work are expensive and few dental plan pay towards them. You might want to check in advance if these are covered procedures before selecting dental insurance and being disappointed. Be weary of age limitations, pre-exclusion clause and maximum covered benefits which limit what is and isn’t covered.

Question 8: Not losing your current dentist

If you’ve been with your dentist and actually like him of her then you don’t want to lose your beloved dentist. If selecting dental insurance means that you will have to switch your dentist, then think long and hard about doing so. Of course if you’re not that attached to your dentist then finding another dentist shouldn’t be a big deal. On the other hand if you’ve been with your dentist forever then you may find it difficult to adapt to another dentist’s style.

Question 9: If you don’t need any treatment then you don’t need insurance

There are two occasions where you really won’t benefit much from having dental insurance: When you have excellent teeth or when you need tons of work. If you have great teeth and gums and all you ever need is a cleaning then having insurance won’t be all that beneficial to you. After all, you can just as easily pay for two dental cleanings a year. Even if you end up needing a filling or two every now and then, it’s still better to pay for these fillings rather than to pay for insurance for several years just to get two fillings paid for!

Pay close attention before deciding you don’t need much dental work. Don’t forget, if you still have wisdom teeth or want to get braces you might want to reconsider selecting dental insurance. These treatment can catch up to you and end up costing you lots in the absence of dental coverage.

Question 10: If you need lots of treatment then having insurance own’t get you very far

When you need lots and lots of work then having dental insurance won’t go as far neither. If you’re expecting your bill to be thousands of dollars, then your insurance will likely only cover a small portion of that. You’ll still be left to pay a hefty balance towards your big case. Annual maximums will really limit you here as do exclusions and other insurance limitations.

Don’t expect your dental insurance to pay much towards full mouth dental implants, roundhouse bridges or full mouth rehabilitation. Most likely they’ll pay for a denture, removable false teeth, instead. The most you’ll get out of your insurance will be a deep cleaning and maybe a root canal or several crowns. Anything beyond that will have to come out of your pocket.

The only exception is if your dental insurance is awesome! Certain select PPO and union dental plans cover these extensive treatments. Keep in mind that these plans are far and few in between and this pertains to less than 1% of all dental insurances out there.

Good candidate for passing up on dental insurance

If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you might be fine without dental insurance after all.

Final thought on selecting dental insurance or not

We like having dental insurance because it encourages you to go and see your dentist regularly. There is something about having insurance that motivates people to go and visit their dentist regularly. This ultimately benefits your oral health. In addition, you’re most likely going to save some money along the way, which is not a bad thing!

Not going to dentist because you don’t have insurance is a mistake. As your work piles up, both treatment and costs go up. Waiting for a regular cleaning and simple filling to become a deep cleaning and root canal makes no sense. Not only will treatment be more painful, but your copays alone will drive up costs more than you can imagine.

Finally, keep in mind that some dental insurance plans are not that great. Some plans hardly pay your dentist for anything that they do. As a result, you’ll probably either get treated poorly by the few dentists who accept these plans. Or you will be constantly harassed for upgrade fees, wait for long periods and be rushed in and out of your appointments. If your dental plan doesn’t provide you decent coverage then bad things can happen to your mouth. Do yourself a big favor and either upgrade your plan or consider becoming a cash patient instead. You mouth will thank you for it!

What are the benefits of having dental insurance?

What are the benefits of being a cash patient (not having dental insurance)?

Benefits of Being a Cash Patient (No Dental Insurance)

Is having dental insurance worth it?

Many of us postpone our dental work until we get insurance. After all, going to the dentist is notorious for being expensive so having insurance must help out some. No body wants to be a cash patient when they have the option of having dental insurance.

While it’s true that having insurance is beneficial, you should never postpone essential dental work. Postponing essential dental treatment is never a wise idea and will only cost you more in the long run. After all, copays for fixing a root canal and crown in a few years is much more expensive than paying cash for a filling that you need today. Similarly, copays for a deep cleaning are comparable or higher than what most regular dental cleanings cost.

What are the benefits of being a cash patient (not having dental insurance)?

Going to the dentist without insurance is not as bad as you may think. If you have a great set of teeth and gums and don’t need lots of treatment, then paying for insurance will cost you more than paying for two cleanings a year. Conversely, if you need tons of work, insurance limitations make it so that the difference in your savings are not as great as you may thing. Here are some problems with having dental insurance which can make it less desirable than you may think:

Most insurances have copays, deductibles and upgrade fees

Dentists always have some charge that they claim is not covered by your dental plan:

  • If you need a cleaning then irrigation or laser therapy may not be covered.
  • If you have a cavity then white fillings may not be covered.
  • Should you need a crown then metal-free ceramic crowns require an additional upgrade fee.

As you can see, dentists have managed to come up with some type of an upgrade for just about everything and anything you can imagine. In fact, it almost seems like paying for upgrades on top of copays and deductibles offsets most of the perks of having insurance!

Dental insurances have a maximum annual payout and the benefits do not roll over to the following year

Almost all dental insurances have an annual maximum benefit. This limits how much treatment you can receive within a 12 month period. Most dental insurances have a an annual maximum of between $1,000 to $2,500. While this sounds like a decent amount, in most cases it ends up being just enough to cover a single root canal, post and crown. This means that you can only fix maybe one or two teeth per calendar year before running out of benefits.

You will go over insurance maximum very quickly whenever you need lots of dental work. This means that you will get stuck with a hefty bill. However, if you don’t use your benefits for that year, you won’t get a refund and they don’t rollover to the following year. This really limits how beneficial dental insurance can be if you’re only going to have it for a short time. You will be in for quite a surprise if you’ve let your work pile up for years and you’re expecting the insurance to pick up entire your bill.

Possibility of ending up in an overbooked office, being stuck with an incompetent dentist, or even both

Some dental plans pay dentists very poorly. You will notice this as being the case if there are only a small number of dentists that accept your plan comparatively. If this is the case, you’re very likely to end up in a bad situation. You may get stuck with a dentist who ignores necessary treatment. Or you may end up waiting hours just to see the dentist for 5 minutes or receive a 10 minute cleaning. You only get two set of teeth, don’t let your dental insurance determine how long you get to keep them!

The more established dentists won’t accept dental plans that don’t offer good coverage. In fact, having bad dental coverage is worse than being a cash patient and not having insurance at all. A bad dental insurance could really cost you in the long run. Going to a dentist that won’t treat your problems could compromise the health of your teeth and gums and is not worth it.

But what if a bad dental plan is my only choice?

If you can’t find a decent insurance plan and don’t want to be a cash patient either, then consider buying a discount plan. You can buy a discount dental plan online. Nowadays most dentists also offer their own in-house discount plans and you can buy it directly form them.

Discount dental plans offer reduced fees based on an annual membership fee. You may want to consider buying a discount plan over choosing a bad dental plan. In fact, paying your dentist directly typically results in a much better overall experience. Cutting a deal directly with your dentist will get more for your money than having to rely on a plan which doesn’t cover necessary treatment.

NEXT >> 10 Questions to help you decide if you need dental insurance or not

What are the benefits of having dental insurance?