First Person: In Pain Over Our New Dental Plan

Last November, I signed my family up for a new dental plan. When I first reviewed the policy, I compared it to my existing dental plan and I didn’t see any glaring changes or omissions. Now with the plan in full effect, I am beginning to really regret my decision. Here is a look at why our new dental policy has us crying out in pain, and what we plan to do to offset the costs.

Dealing With a Hefty Dental Bill

After having a root canal, various x-rays and a cleaning on my teeth, I thought my dental pain was over. Little did I know that it had really just begun. As if being in agony over a throbbing tooth wasn’t bad enough, my dentist added insult to injury when I received a $1,500 bill in the mail. My jaw dropped when I saw the bill, and I couldn’t understand why my bill was so high. When I called my dental insurance company, they offered an explanation that left me wanting to cry.

Deductible and High Cost Sharing

I was told by my insurance company that $1,500 is the amount after the insurance company paid their allowed amount. I was responsible for a $500 deductible, after that the plan pays 60 percent up to the plan maximum of $1,000. When I realized that the amount on my bill was the amount I was actually responsible to pay out of pocket, I saw red. Prior to calling my insurance company, I was certain that the insurance slipped up and forgot to pay on the charges. Little did I know that the insurance company had paid all they were required to pay, and I had to foot the rest of the bill.

Plan Maximum Means Minimal Work

Because my plan maximum was exceeded, I will not be getting any further dental work this year, unless it is absolutely necessary. Since I opted for a lower dental premium, the quality of my plan was also downgraded. In the future, I will thoroughly review the policy details before singing on the dotted line. In the meanwhile, I have a $1,500 bill to deal with.

How We Are Dealing With the Bill

I’ve set up a payment arrangement with the dental office and will be paying in increments of $200 until it is paid off completely. Luckily, I have a dental office that is willing to work with us in paying down our debt. Additionally, my Flexible Spending Account comes in handy. I’ve set aside money out of each paycheck that can be put toward medical and dental expenses. Although we were upset over a $1,500 bill, we’ve found ways to deal with it. In the meantime we will be looking for a better dental plan for next year.