Tag Archives: Healthcare financing

Alternatives and Risks of Healthcare Financing

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!

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

What are the benefits of healthcare financing for dental treatment?

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?

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