Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Little Education

I will preface this post by saying I am not writing this as an employee, but I am writing this because I believe in a product and I think it is worth educating others.

Did you know that the average dental insurance per year costs $370?  Then, when you actually need dental work done, your insurance has the option of not covering it and/or requires you to pay a certain percentage, pay a deductible, and stay under a certain dollar amount.  All these restrictions can get confusing and end up costing you more out of pocket!  I think a lot of people are mislead.  They think having dental insurance covers their dental visits, but they don't.  In fact, having worked for a dental practice for the past 8 years, I have noticed the significant increase in denied claims because insurance companies don't want to pay for treatment.  This leaves a hefty balance for patients.  The patients sometimes get upset with the dental office, however, it really has nothing to do with the office and has everything to do with the insurance company. 

So, we saw this pattern and about 3 years ago, we (myself and some other employees) worked out the details to create a Baystate Dental Membership Plan to help our patients potentially lower their out of pocket expenses with regards to insurance.  I believe many people are hesitant to leave their "insurance" plan and go to a "membership" plan because the word insurance makes them feel like their expenses will be covered and makes them feel safe.  But, this membership plan was designed with our patients in mind.  Why should patients have to pay an average of $370 per year for insurance for their two cleanings?  Our membership is currently $99 per year and covers those same two cleanings.  If you do not need any other work done, then all you pay is that membership fee (which is typically less than your yearly insurance premium would be).  Then, if you need treatment you would receive a 25% discount off of any procedure, including cosmetics and all the elective procedures insurance companies flat out deny.  There is no maximum to how much of a discount you can receive in a year, versus there is a maximum amount your insurance company will spend on your care.

For those of you whose employer pays for your dental plan, that is a great benefit and I can understand you not switching over. But for anyone who pays out of pocket for your insurance plan, I challenge you evaluate what you are spending per year on the plan and make an analysis if you are utilizing the plan. I also challenge small business owners to do the same. This is a way to save money on your cost for your employees dental insurance.

With everything being so commercial, I think it is important to support local businesses, which is why this is my first post to support one close to home.  Why feed Delta Dental and Cigna all this money for them to deny claims, restrict your coverage and require you to stay under a maximum dollar amount, when you can support a local business and most likely save yourselves money?  To me it's a no brainer!

So, I guess that was a little rant about healthcare! (I am obviously passionate about things other than just fitness and healthy recipes)! ;)  I am sure I could go on and on but I don't want to bore you!  I just thought a little education could be good because I am all about supporting local businesses...and in this case, you can even save money!

If you have any questions I am happy to answer!

~Erin Leigh


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