Yesterday, I got a bill in the mail from the dentist. $495 for an oral appliance, and my insurance won’t cover any of it. Why on earth do I have dental insurance, if it won’t cover any of this stupid piece of plastic? Let’s get a little background on what happened….
The Big Guy has jaw issues (to go along with his knee, hip, and eye issues, but that is a story for another time, lol). His jaw popped continually, he couldn’t open his mouth all of the way, and he was in constant pain. He then went to the dentist, like anyone would have done, hoping that they would have a solution. and what do you know? They did. Yeah, of course they did…
The Big Guy, being the money-conscious guy that he is, talked with the lady in charge of billing about the cost of the oral appliance, and she assured him that our dental insurance would take care of it. He asked a couple of different times that appointment, and when everyone told him it would be covered, he made the appointment to be fitted for one.
The day of the appointment, The Big Guy got to the dentist, signed in, and double-checked to make sure that the appliance would be entirely covered by our dental insurance. The lady again assured him that there would be no expense to him.
Fast forward to yesterday, as I’m opening the mail. I see an envelope with a return address of our dentist’s office. I have a sinking feeling as I open it and then I see the $495.00 total at the bottom along with the little, super helpful sticker that says “Oral appliance is not a covered expense under your insurance.” Oh yeah. I was pissed. But I kept opening the mail and came across another lovely piece of information – the statement from our insurance company. I don’t know what the proper term for it is, but it was the statement you get when a claim is submitted stating what was paid by the insurance company and the amount that the provider may bill you for. In our case, dental insurance was billed for the entire $495, an expense that they do not cover. Go figure.
So now I’m livid, as this was an expense that we did not plan for, so logically, now that I have medical name for the oral appliance I pull out the dental insurance book and find out that – sure enough! – it is not a covered expense. however, I’m not done yet, and if I’m going to ream the dental office a new one, I have to be sure that my information is correct, so I call up the insurance company.
I have to say, I was kind of impressed. The wait on hold was less than 5 minutes, and my conversation with the person on the phone was less than 10 minutes, just verifying that was the insurance booklet said was correct. The verdict: the appliance was not covered.
Is the insurance’s fault? No, no it is not. They never changed what they covered. It was the dentist’s office that lied. Or was lazy and didn’t want to find out. Either way, I’m pissed.
Should I have called the insurance company directly? Probably?
Lesson learned: Go through the insurance company when finding out what the cost will be.
So now, while I should probably call the dentist’s office, I’m not going to. Instead, they are getting $20 a month until the stupid thing is paid off. Just. Because. I’m. Pissed.
Needless to say, we will not be going back to this dentist.
But now, we have come full circle to my point. I an considering dropping dental insurance. Dental insurance is worthless. At best, it is a discount plan. Our yearly cleanings are free, but anything above and beyond that is covered 50%, at most. Really, its rather atrocious. In fact, I think we might drop it, because as I look at it from a financial perspective, its just not worth it.
Think about it: Monthly Dental Insurance Premium: $27.47 per month, or $329.64 per year. We do get free yearly cleaning for all three of us which is approximately $127 (source) per person. Even factoring in Baby Girl, who is not yet old enough to go to the dentist, the benefit is only $381.00. Baby Girl won’t go to the dentist until she’s 6, and I hate going, so I won’t go, so is it really worth it? I suppose if we had a big expense, our premiums are so low that I would pay off, but I don’t know what to do.
What do you think? Is my dental insurance worth it? Do you have dental insurance?