“Do you take insurance?”
That’s one of the top 3 question people ask when they first find out that I’m a dentist. It is a good questions because yes, dental insurance is a benefit for most people.
However, here are my thoughts from the standpoint of a dentist.
1. There are so many intricacies with dental insurance, most dentists and dental staff members are clueless when it comes to explaining all of the details. Plus, insurance companies and the employers that purchase these plans are always changing things around to save money (and make a profit). Welcome to capitalism. The problem with this is that your health is at stake. Look at the issues with medical insurance, costs, and the masses who don’t have any coverage.
2. Managed care makes dentists work harder and faster. That means more patients per hour just to make a profit. That means less time with you and your questions. More is delegated to other people (staff members) and less time with the dental professional. Dental insurance makes us dentist look bad but how can we stay in business if we don’t make a profit.
3. Dental insurance companies pay dentists a lot less, 10-80% less than their normal fees. That cuts into the profit margin for dentists which is by the way typically 30%. That’s right, pre-tax dentists only make 30 cents on the dollar you spend. Take into account all the years of schooling and knowledge, that’s very little. That’s why they have to work more and see more patients (which again makes people feel cheapened). Dentists can’t charge by the hour like attorneys (unfortunately).
4. Dental discount plans. Have you heard of them? They’re membership card companies that ask dentists (who are gullible enough to sign up) to participate thereby getting more patients. Just like dental insurance companies, the fees are ridiculously low compared to their normal fees. My recommendation is to stay away from these because they put a burden on the dentist and the quality will (if not already) be compromised.
5. It costs dentists a lot of money. Most dentists have to hire a full-time person dealing with just insurance. That’s added overhead for the practice because dentists have over the years provided the service of filing claims for patients. As dental insurance companies “twisted” things around, they’ve made it more difficult for dental offices to get paid. That’s just another scheme dental insurances use to “keep the dentist’s money longer” and make more money on interests. This leads to more fraudulent dentists trying to take revenge against the dental insurance company. That’s another bad situation.
6. Your dental benefits are small. Did you know that most dental insurances pay out a maximum of $1000 per person per year? That number hasn’t changed for over 30 years while cost of living and inflation has quadrupled. Don’t expect that to change. Here’s a lesson for you, if you have dental insurance, be happy but don’t expect it to turn around your smile when your were 19.
7. Dental insurance covers prevention services like regular cleanings and exams. The cost of those procedures have gone up and by the time you get to the actual fillings, crowns, dentures etc, you will have exceed your yearly max. Some dentists think this is a hassle and are not willing to deal with it.
There are many more reasons but these are 7 of them that really start to make my neck ache. I’ve dealt with these issues and I feel strongly that the happiest dentists are the ones that deal directly with patients without the interference of dental insurance. I’m in that boat. If you want to schedule an appointment with me, just call my number at 888 825 5351.