After fielding various questions over the past 30 years posed by consumers who are looking for dental coverage, along with comments by those who now have or had dental insurance, I’ve come to the conclusion that dental insurance is one of the most misunderstood insurance products sold in the marketplace today. At times I even ponder if dental insurance does more harm than good to the dental industry.
Most of the misunderstandings of dental insurance seem center around what the policyholders’ final financial obligations will be. When the policyholders level of coverage or reimbursement falls short it is too often the dental office who is seen as the reason why, creating a very negative experience with their dental office. Dental offices are an entity who has no control over coverage or financial reimbursement to either policyholders or themselves. What’s most concerning is instead of the good overall health benefits of the care received the focus changes and is unfortunately often lost in consumer frustration.
It’s not that dental insurance can’t be of benefit to you. It’s just as consumers we need to be more diligent in understanding a dental plans restrictions and limitations & how it relates to our own dental care needs. We need to ask more questions about the insurance companies benefit coverage when it comes to preexisting conditions, waiting periods or annual maximum coverage allowances which are usually around $1,000 to $1,500. Additionally, consumers should talk with their dental office in advance in order to get a clear picture of your financial obligation before dental care is scheduled or rendered.
As I tell consumers every day, with or without dental insurance benefits, you will always be financially responsible for the bulk of your own dental care costs. It is CAPS hope that with better understanding consumers will give the importance of good oral health the attention it warrants.