Category Archives: Dental Insurance and Payment Solutions

Benefits of Healthcare Financing for Dental Treatment

What is health care financing for dental treatment?

Dental treatment is very expensive and many people can’t afford to pay for all their treatment upfront. Benefits of healthcare financing are very pronounced for dental treatment due to its high costs. With healthcare financing you have the option to receive your treatment up front while gradually paying for it over the course of next few months or years.

Essentially, healthcare financing is a credit card which can be used for receiving medical and dental care. You financing can also be extended for use at physicians, chiropractors, optometrists as well as other healthcare professionals. There are several popular companies which offer healthcare financing which include:

Healthcare financing

What are scenarios where healthcare financing is useful?

After a long hiatus, you finally decided that it’s time to go back to the dentist. Maybe you are feeling pain or needed a good cleaning or figured you have broken teeth and cavities that need fixing. You had an idea that there may be things wrong with your mouth but boy were you in for a surprise.

After taking X-rays and performing your check up, your dentist tells you about a whole bunch of work that your mouth needs. You are told about all these things that your mouth needs including deep cleaning, cavities, root canals, extractions or even dental implants. Fixing your teeth sounds wonderful and all, but how much is this all going to cost you? Affording thousands in treatment you hadn’t been planning for in advance sounds quite overwhelming. But of course your dentist and the staff have the perfection solution for you: Healthcare financing.

The office treatment coordinator tells you about the benefits of healthcare financing and suggest to get you approved for it. They promise that you can start your treatment right away if you qualify while making monthly payments to slowly pay it off. Sure, paying $100 a month sounds much more affordable than having to pay $5,000 upfront. So what should be your next step and should you proceed with the financing or not? Here are some benefits of healthcare financing to help you better make your decision:

What are the benefits of healthcare financing for dental treatment?

There are many benefits to healthcare financing when used in the right circumstances. Waiting to get dental insurance rarely works since most dental insurances are limiting in what you can and can’t get done. Paying for treatment directly as you go doesn’t work as well either since dentists don’t like to risk dealing with payment plans that much. Here are some benefits of healthcare financing which you might want to consider when making your decision:

Healthcare financing allows you to get all of your treatment done right away and pay for it later

If healthcare financing sounds a lot like how a credit card works, it’s because it is essentially a credit card. Healthcare financing is basically just another form of a credit card specific for use at doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals. There are no interest options available to you where they instead charge your dentist a fee. Then there are options which include interest but allow you more time to pay off your balance. Interest options are more suitable for expensive treatments which may require a few years to pay off.

Healthcare financing is a good option if you make your payments on time. Typically you won’t pay anything extra as long as you make all payments on time.  So if you are eager to get your treatment started and fix your teeth and gums but you can’t quite afford it at the moment, then healthcare is a good solution for you. It allows you to slowly pay off your balance over time without having to wait another year to remove that pesky tooth or replace that missing tooth!

Click here to see payment options that CareCredit can offer you

Essential dental treatment may be expensive now but delaying only make it more expensive

Many healthcare financing applicants have a few cavities, need a deep cleaning or have a few wisdom teeth that need to be removed. This is the perfect time to use healthcare financing in order to help prevent existing problems from becoming worse:

  • You need to fix your cavities to prevent them from causing an infection. If you fail to do so then the cavity become a root canal which costs ten times more.
  • A deep cleaning is required to eliminate gum disease when you have too much plaque and tartar on your teeth. If your gum disease isn’t controlled, it compromises the health of all of your teeth.
  • Failing to remove painful wisdom teeth will cause you continuous pain and aggravation. The pain keeps returning and on top of that it makes your other teeth crooked.
Healthcare financing allows you the flexibility to plan treatment according to your needs and priorities

As we all know, dental treatment is generally quite expensive. After all your dentist has to pay rent, staff salary, equipments, advertisement, etc. and he or she can only do so by charging you accordingly. If you present to your dentist needing $5,000 of work but can only afford $500 at the time, this can be a problem. If you’re going to rely on the $500 you have then most likely you’ll have to pull your teeth and compromise your overall oral health. Healthcare financing can help you avoid facing these tough dilemmas.

It is very important to prioritize your dental needs to make sure you use your healthcare financing wisely and in the order of what’s most important. Don’t just start with whatever treatment pays your dentist the most, but rather with those that are the most essential to you and your oral health. Keep in mind that you may end up not wanting to use all of your approved credit. So don’t leave an essential root canal treatment on the table while getting your teeth whitened! Here is the order that you should seek treatment if you have healthcare financing in place and need lots of dental treatment:

Address emergency pain or your chief complaint

Obviously you want whatever is most urgent to you addressed first and foremost. So if you have a toothache or want a missing tooth replaced, then get started with that particular procedure. Unless of course you have gum disease which may in occasions take precedence over fixing your tooth.

Receive your dental cleaning

Once your chief concern has been addressed, then receiving a dental cleaning is the next most important step. Why you may ask? Because your gums are the most essential part of your dental health. Fixing gums is similar to laying down the foundation for a house and needs to be done first and foremost.

In fact, sometimes your dentist will advise you to start with a dental cleaning before fixing your teeth related problems. This is a perfectly reasonable proposition. Most dentists don’t feel comfortable fixing your teeth when there is wide spread gum disease everywhere. In fact it’s malpractice to place a crown on a tooth that is loose, shaking and getting ready to fall out of your mouth!

Fix any cavities you have

The next step after cleaning your gums is to tackle your cavities and placing fillings and crowns. Cavities can encroach on tooth nerves and lead to pain and infection. The sooner you fix and stop your cavities, the less risks of pain and infection you will face. One exception to this is if you require fillings and crowns on your front teeth but you also want a teeth whitening. In these cases you should get your teeth whitening first. This way you can establish a base shade (color) which can be used to match the color of subsequent fillings and crowns.

Remove wisdom teeth that require removal

The next step is to remove your wisdom teeth if they require removal. Check with your dentist or oral surgeon to see if your wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Braces or Invisalign

If you want braces or Invisalign then you can discuss them at this point. The time to straighten your teeth is after all of your essential dental work has been completed. In fact orthodontists require a dental clearance letter from your dentist before starting treatment. So complete these essential treatment before worrying about straightening your teeth.

Removing wisdom teeth before braces is a great idea for adults. Retained wisdom teeth often times cause a relapse of your orthodontic treatment within a few years. Once you remove your wisdom teeth, the risk of your teeth shifting again reduces significantly.

Once you’ve addressed essential treatment, you can now consider cosmetic work

The last thing to consider using healthcare financing for is cosmetic needs and elective treatments such as teeth whitening. Placing veneers or whitening your teeth (unless you need the whitening first to match your filling and crown color) can always wait until essential treatment has been completed. Trust us, you don’t want to have beautiful teeth and then end up with toothache everywhere!

NEXT >> What are the risks of using healthcare financing for dental treatment?

10 Questions to help you with choosing healthcare financing for your dental treatment

Benefits of PPO Dental Insurance Plans

Should I get a PPO or an HMO dental insurance?

It might be that time again to select which dental insurance plan you are going to choose for the upcoming year. Some of you might face the dilemma of having to choose between two most common types of dental insurance: a PPO or an HMO plan. You first need to understand the benefits of a PPO and HMO dental plan in order to make an informed decision.

If you’ve done some research, then you might have figured out the basic difference between a PPO and HMO dental plan. Essentially, PPO plans cost more but also offer better coverage than HMO plans. While that is generally true, it doesn’t quite explain which plan is going to better suit your needs. So how can you determine if a PPO or HMO plan is better suited for your needs? Is it worth paying the extra bucks for PPO coverage? Or should you go with a less expensive HMO plan to save on your monthly payments?

Benefits of PPO dental plans

PPO plans cost more than their HMO counterparts but also offer better services. Here are the benefits of PPO dental plans which might justify their additional cost:

PPO dental plan pays directly towards your dental treatment

A PPO plan is much better than an HMO plan if you need to receive major treatment. Major dental treatment refers to more costly and time consuming work such as root canal, dentures or crowns. On the other hand, simple treatment refers to more basic ones such as a cleaning or filling.

Simple cleanings are typically covered by both PPO and HMO plans and the difference in copays is negligible. However, PPO dental plans directly pay your dentist for major treatment, whereas HMO dental plans only offer discounted rates on your treatment. This makes a big difference if you’re in need of a lot of dental work.

PPO dental plans directly pay towards your major dental work

PPO dental plans pay a substantial portion towards your total expenses for major dental treatment. Of course you may still be responsible for additional copays and deductibles, but you’ll get significant coverage from your PPO plan. Should you ever require major treatment, you’ll save lots of money with a PPO over an HMO dental plan.

HMO dental plans only offer discounts on major dental work

HMO dental plans typically only cover basic treatment in full, things such as X-rays, simple cleanings and possibly dental fillings. For major dental treatment, HMO plans offer you a discounted rate. So your dentist doesn’t actually get paid much, if anything, from your HMO plan towards that root canal or crown you need. And if your dentist isn’t getting paid then bad things can happen. They might postpone necessary treatments, refer you to a specialist who charges much more, or attempt to bill you for additional upgrade fees to make it worthwhile their time.

In conclusion, a PPO plan goes much further than an HMO if you ever require advanced dental treatment. In fact, an HMO dental plan can often times leave you feeling as if you would’ve been better off without having dental insurance altogether!

PPO dental plans are a better choice if you require substantial dental treatment

If you’ve allowed your dental work to pile up for a good while and expect to require a whole bunch of treatment, then a PPO plan is definitely the better choice. You will end up saving quite a bit on copays while also receiving much better coverage towards your treatment with a PPO over an HMO plan.

If you’re anticipating the need for treatment such as a deep cleaning, wisdom teeth removal, crown and bridges, root canals, etc. then don’t even consider not choosing a PPO dental plan, if given the option. Generally speaking, the more dental work you require, the more benefits of PPO plan you shall notice.

You will have access to many more dentists with a PPO dental plan

Another major benefits of PPO plans is that it gives you access to a larger network of dentists. If you’ve already had extensive dental work, then you should know that not all dentists are created equal. Dentists fresh out of school are still learning as they go and you don’t want to be their guinea pig! On the other hand, those that have been around for one too many years may be falling behind on technological advancements and developing shaky hands or compromised vision.

The most successful and best dentists typically limit their dental practice to only private and PPO patients. Many of them refuse to accept HMO dental plans since reimbursements are not that great. With HMO dental plans you will get assigned to a pre-determined dentist who is in your HMO network. It could be difficult to switch out to another one if you end up not liking the one you’re assigned to. Not to say that there aren’t any good dentists that accept HMO dental plans, as that is certainly not true, but it can be much harder to locate the good HMO providers.

NEXT >> Benefits of HMO dental insurance plans

Deciding between PPO or HMO dental plans

Benefits of Having Dental Insurance

Is having dental insurance worth it?

You might be considering buying dental insurance and considering if it’s worth it or not. There are many ways to obtain dental insurance these days. You can get dental insurance privately, through your job, a union you belong to or a government program for which you qualify for. There are many different types of dental plans including PPO, HMO, union and government funded dental plans. So, generally speaking, when is it worth having dental insurance? And when are you simply better off paying that money directly to your dentist and becoming a cash patient instead?

What are the benefits of having dental insurance?

There’s no question that having insurance can be somewhat beneficial. Here are some of the benefits of having dental insurance which you should be aware of:

Having dental insurance should shrink your dentist bill

Most dental insurance plans pick up some or all of your expenses for each treatment you receive at the dentist. This should help reduce your dental bill to a degree. The amount of savings will vary widely based on how good your coverage is in addition to the extent of treatment you require. However, you should see some level of savings when having dental insurance as opposed to being a cash patient.

Covered treatments are usually broken down into three categories: preventive, basic and major treatment. Each one has a certain level of coverage as explained below. As explained below, there can be a wide variation in how much coverage each dental insurance offers you:

Preventive dental treatment

Preventive treatment refers to X-rays, exam and regular dental cleanings. These are typically covered by dental insurances at 80 to 100% meaning that you will have no copay or very small copays for preventive treatment.

Basic dental treatment

Basic treatment refers to procedures that are a bit more work for your dentist and you. These typically include simple extraction, deep cleanings and other moderately expensive treatment. Coverage for basic treatment varies widely from no coverage to 100% coverage depending on your dental insurance.

Major dental treatment

Major treatment refers to complex procedures that are expensive and time consuming. These include wisdom extraction, crowns, dentures and other expensive treatment. Coverage for major treatment varies widely. Most insurance companies these days cover about half of the costs of major treatment. Of course there are those that cover 100% of your benefits and those that offer no coverage for major treatment.

Dental insurance companies limit what your dentist can charge for each procedure

Dental insurances set a limit on the maximum amount that your dentist is allowed to charge for each procedure. If your dentist is in-network with your insurance plan or honors their fee-schedule, this will further shrink your bill. For instance, lets assume that your dentist’s fee for a crown is $1,000 yet the insurance company allows your dentist to only charge $800. If your dentist is in-network with your insurance plant, then he or she must only charge you $800 for that crown and waive the $200 difference in your favor.

It’s easier to see your dentist regularly when having dental insurance

Dental insurance comes in handy even if you need nothing more than just two dental cleanings a year. It’s easier to keep a continuous relationship with your dentist when you have dental coverage. The reason is that when you have insurance, you feel obligated to use your benefits. Thus when your dentist calls to remind you about your six months check-up, you make sure to show up on time to get your money’s worth. Without insurance your next visit is simply another charge on your credit card. As such, you might find yourself wanting to keep postponing appointments.

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

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