Dental Insurance not covering cleanings 100%?

Dental Insurance is Changing

When looking for a Charlotte dentist, patients often want to get the most from their employer’s dental benefits.  For ages, most dental insurance plans have included 2 cleanings, 2 exams, and 1 sets of x-rays every year.  Of course, this is usually subtracted from your annual maximum, not something separate. However, I have to warn you – this is not always true any longer!

With employers looking to cut costs, and insurance companies looking to find ways to keep from paying out as much, in just the last several months, we have run across this situation SEVERAL times, and it’s getting more common.  So just what is happening with your dental insurance coverage?

1) Just last week, we found 1 insurance company that now only pays 75% of the exam and cleaning, and that’s even if you see a dentist who is in-network. It seems crazy, but true.  Even if you go to a dentist who is in-network for this plan, they don’t cover 100% of the exam and cleaning.  Surprisingly, they DO still cover 100% of x-rays, but I expect to see that change soon, too.

2) In the last 3 weeks have found 2 insurance companies that now make you pay your deductible (usually $25-50/year for an individual) on your exam, x-rays, and cleaning! This means that – EVEN IF your plan covers 100% of the cleaning, exam, and x-rays, they still make you pay your deductible on that.  This is fairly new; it used to be that deductibles would only apply to things like fillings, crowns, non-surgical gum therapy for gum disease, root canals, etc.  Before this, if all you needed was the exams, x-rays, and cleanings every year, you paid little-to-nothing out-of-pocket.

Know Your Dental Benefits – Educate Yourself

So a little warning…….CHECK YOUR BENEFITS and BE AWARE.  It’s not bad enough that the amount of insurance coverage you get hasn’t changed since 1970 (did you know that?  Yes, in 1970 dental insurance typically covered $1,000-1,500 per year — the same as they do today.  Shameful, isn’t it?), but now they’re cutting it back even more.  Don’t be surprised to hear that you have to pay for your cleaning, exam, and x-rays.

An Alternative – the Quality Dental Plan

It’s not unusual for patients to have such bad dental coverage, they are better off not signing up for it at all.  The good news?  Here at our family dentist office in Charlotte NC, we offer the Quality Dental Plan.  It’s a Dental Savings Plan that offers real savings for individuals and families who lack dental insurance plans.

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