What are the risks of using healthcare financing for dental treatment?
Healthcare financing is a way to afford dental treatment when short on money. It is essentially a credit card that allows you to receive dental as well as other medical treatment and gradually pay it off. There are a few companies such as CareCredit, LendingTree, iCare Financial and SimplePay that offer healthcare financing. While being able to receive your treatment now and pay for it later sounds great, there are certain risks of healthcare financing which you should be aware of as well:
Getting denied for healthcare financing
Healthcare financing is not automatic and the better plans require a credit check. Not everyone who applies will get approved for healthcare financing. If your credit is poor, income is insufficient, or there are other issues then you may not get approved.
If you get rejected for healthcare financing then don’t get upset or panic. Consider reapplying for a lesser amount instead. If this works, then focus on using this lesser funds to address your most urgent needs. Should you get rejected for healthcare financing you may want to build up your credit in the future. If you continue to make your monthly payments on time then you might be able to increase your credit limit in the future. This way you might be able to finish the rest of your work sooner than you had expected.
Worrying about having to pay interests and penalties
If you’ve dealt with a credit card in the past then you have an idea of issues which come along with it. If you’re late with a single payment it costs you dearly. Risks of healthcare financing causing you to have to pay additional fees and high interest rates are always there if you’re not very careful.
If you end up being unable to make your payments as planned, then you are forced to extend your payments. This means you have to keep paying more and more in interest and penalties. Fines and penalties, phone calls and letters as well as damage to your credit will all ensure this. So if you’re not very good at making payments on time, then you must decide between your oral health and mental health!
Risks of healthcare financing stretching you out too thin
You need to make sure that financing dental work is a priority in your life. As you know, there are other things in life which we all need aside from our teeth. Housing, transportation, food or possibly even other unpredicted essential medical problems may come up. You must prioritize your needs to see if right now is a good time to fix your teeth and gums.
Additionally, be weary of applying for healthcare financing if you have a bug purchase coming up. Running your credit too many times can affect these big purchases, so be cautious if you’re about to close on a house or buy a new car. Pay cash or postpone treatment for a few weeks until you’ve sorted these issues out.
What are the alternatives to healthcare financing?
As mentioned earlier, there are certain risks of healthcare financing such as getting denied or being unable to make payments on time. Healthcare financing might not be for everyone. If financing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to you, then consider these other alternatives to healthcare financing instead:
Address your chief complaint for the time being
If you can’t afford healthcare financing, then consider receiving only the most essential dental treatment for the time being. Pull that painful tooth, get your dental cleaning, or place a single crown on the one broken tooth. Then try to get dental insurance, save up some money or build up your credit and return soon to finish the rest of your work.
Make a payment plan with your dentist
Paying little by little as you go is another alternative to healthcare financing. Talk to your dentist to see if they allow you to come up with a payment plan directly with them instead of the healthcare financing company. Risks of healthcare financing with a bank is much higher than with your local neighborhood dentist. Your dentist will be much less inclined to ruin your credit or take you to court over a missed payment.
Keep in mind that direct payment plans only work if you come up with a reasonable way to stretch out your treatment along with your payments side-by-side. No dentist wants to finish your treatment while you still owe them thousands of dollars. For instance, if your treatment is $2500 then you can arrange five payments of $500 or ten payments of $250 to make it work for both you and your dentist.
If you don’t need too much work then you can fix your teeth one at a time
You may not be in as much rush to get all your treatment done. After all with around 28 teeth in a healthy adult’s mouth, how much worse can a single tooth get within a few more weeks or months? Of course we are making light of matters here, this is not the right attitude to have. Essential dental work only keeps piling up, becoming more complicated and costly as time passes. However you might be able to postpone your braces of a few of your less essential crowns for a bit longer.
A good compromise would be to prioritize your dental treatment. Start by addressing your most urgent needs first. Then work your way down the priority list as we previously described. Talk to your dentist about what your most urgent treatments are, what is important but can wait, and what’s optional and can be completed when all other work is done. This will give you a better understanding of how to best approach fixing your teeth and gums.
Once you’ve figured out the order in which you should receive your treatment, then make arrangement to come in and get your work done little by little. This way you can make small payments on each appointment. Say once a week, once every two weeks or one time a month, whatever works best for you. This way you can get your treatment done without having to worry about making mandatory monthly payments.
Elect a less expensive treatment instead
Electing to receive a less expensive alternative treatment option instead. You might just have to wear dentures for a while until you can afford your dental implants. Or you might have to stuck a filling on that large cracked tooth while you save up for the crown.
As a last resort, postpone treatment
Postponing your treatment altogether should be your last resort. Do so at your own risk with the full understanding of what your treatment needs are and what complications arise as a result of delaying treatment.
Should I use healthcare financing for cosmetic dental treatment?
Healthcare financing is very beneficial to rid yourself of pain or render essential dental treatment. If you have to use financing to get these treatment done then it makes sense to do so. Even things such as replacing a missing tooth with a bridge or a dental implant is important. Missing teeth cause your other teeth to collapse and make your bite become crooked over time. Using healthcare financing makes sense here as well.
On the other hand, if you want to place veneers or receive other cosmetic treatment to improve your looks then you should think long and hard about using healthcare financing. Risks of healthcare financing can end up costing you more than you think. Consider if getting veneers is something that is worth paying on for the next two or three years. Also, be sure that there are no other pressing medical needs before dedicating your healthcare financing to receiving cosmetic treatments. However, once all your other dental work is completed, if you really want that pretty white smile and can afford the payments then by all means go for it!