Before you go to a dental practice, you need to figure out your dental insurance. Dental insurance can be more complicated than it seems. There are many mistakes that patients frequently make that can cost them a lot of money. Here are a few of the most common ones:
1. Not Checking to See Whether Your Insurance is Accepted
Depending on your dental insurance, you may not be able to go to just any dental practice. Most insurance companies only cover some dentists. While the dentist will check while you're in the waiting room, you could end up with an unnecessary appointment that can't be filled. To find out whether your insurance is accepted in advance, either call the dentist or look at the directory on your insurance company's website.
2. Forgetting to Ask About Coverage for a Specific Procedure
Different procedures have different coverage. For instance, preventative procedures, such as cleanings, are separate from fillings, which are considered surgical procedures. You need to check on your insurance coverage for each procedure -- your dentist can call this in to find out if something is covered. If you have a deductible, you may also need to cover that deductible before your coverage kicks in.
3. Assuming Coverage Kicks in Early
Most dental coverage doesn't kick in until you've been with the insurance company for about a year. Though you'll immediately be able to get preventative care benefits, you will have to wait a year for things like major dental surgery. This is intended to keep people from adding dental riders on just before they get a major issue taken care of. You can check with your insurance company regarding when your coverage actually starts.
4. Not Questioning Your Bills
Billing errors happen all the time. If a procedure is entered in under the wrong insurance code, it may be returned as 'not covered', even though it was. If you get a bill that seems much higher than it should be, you can call your insurance company and ask for an audit. They will review the bill to make sure it's accurate. You can also ask your dentist if it seems correct to them.
Regardless of the insurance costs, dental health is important. You can talk to your dentist about the procedures you need and figure out what the best options are for you. You may even be able to change your insurance plan to something more suitable.