Dental Insurance

IT’S COMPLICATED… (Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist)

by Lee Anne Austria on July 27, 2017 , Comments Off on IT’S COMPLICATED… (Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist)

Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist

Basic versus major versus preventive versus diagnostic…if you spend any time at all in a dental office, you may have heard these terms…but what does it all mean and why is it so darn confusing?  Do you think some procedures are considered “Major” just so the dentist can charge more?  If so, we forgive you for your cynicism.  Here, we will sift through the layers of confusion and explain the differences between diagnostic, basic, and major dental procedures.

Diagnostic/Preventive Care

All dental procedures have specific codes. Like x-rays and exams. These are diagnostic procedures designed to evaluate your teeth and determine if they are in good working condition.  Now…probing around to see what’s wrong is obviously less complicated (and less expensive) than correcting the issue. Asking a dentist to tell you why your tooth hurts without an exam and x-rays is like asking the mechanic to tell you why your car isn’t running without looking under the hood. Likewise, having your teeth cleaned regularly is similar to having regular oil changes on the car.  Preventive dental procedures and preventive car maintenance are both less expensive than a root canal or having a new transmission installed.  Other examples of preventive and diagnostic care include teeth cleaning (prophy), polishing, fluoride treatment, and gum disease and tooth decay screening.  So…whether it’s teeth or the check engine light, practicing preventive behavior helps guard against small problems becoming big problems.  Big problems cost more to fix and that’s why many insurance plans cover most preventive care twice a year…and typical of insurance plans, they don’t want to pay for the major procedures if they don’t have to.

Basic Care

Basic procedures are routine and do not require surgery…for example fillings, simple extractions, and repairs to crowns and dentures.  Some dental plans cover basic procedures immediately upon the plan’s effective date.  Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and indemnity plans most often require a 6-month waiting period and also require meeting an annual deductible before they will pay for most basic procedures.  It’s always a good idea to read the fine print in your insurance plan so you’re not hit with surprises later on.

Major Care

Major procedures involve dental surgery (which could involve sedation) and creating dental appliances among other things.  Examples of major treatments include extractions of impacted wisdom teeth, root canals, crowns, gum surgery (Periodontal), dentures, bridges and implants, and TMJ treatment.  Again some dental plans will cover these procedures starting on the effective date and others require a waiting period and meeting a yearly deductible.  Why do these procedures cost more?  For the same reason a gourmet meal from a fancy French restaurant costs more than a Skyline 3-Way…because of the time, training, and expertise involved.

Remember, unlike the oil, tires, or brakes on your vehicle, tooth enamel is irreplaceable. Once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back.  So don’t put off those twice-yearly preventive care visits.  And one more thing…if all of this talk of insurance is making your head spin, ask us about the Smile Card – our in-house discount plan for those of you who don’t have dental insurance and still want to save money…a win-win situation!

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow us on the web at draustria.comFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Until next time…

Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist

(This article inspired by an article found in Dental Town – Agent Straight Talk, Unlocking the Mysteries of Dental Fees, June, 2016)

 

read more

I’M JUST SO TIRED…(bellbrook dentist/spring valley dentist/xenia dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on June 26, 2017 , Comments Off on I’M JUST SO TIRED…(bellbrook dentist/spring valley dentist/xenia dentist

bellbrook dentist/spring valley dentist/xenia dentist

Dental insurance…navigating deductibles, co-pays, maximums, PPO vs. Premier Plans…just the thought can inspire a poor soul to throw in the towel and run away… and that’s just our Insurance Coordinator.  Are you tired of trying to figure it all out?  Is it worth that salary deduction?  Or are you in a panic because you lost your dental insurance? Fear not, we can help.

It’s called the Smile Card.  And it’s awesome.  Why is it awesome?  Because it is NOT dental insurance.  “Wait”, you may ask… “How can it save me money if it’s not dental insurance?”  Here’s how it works:

  • You (the patient) pay one fee upfront.  You can choose an individual, individual and spouse, or family plan (for up to 4 family members.)
  • This fee covers 2 exams, 2 cleanings, x-rays, and periodontal charting.  The plan is good for one year from the date you sign up.
  • You receive 10% off all other treatments – this includes the high-ticket procedures like Invisalign, implants, even Kor Whitening!

“But there has to be a catch…” you may think to yourself.  “A waiting period, a maximum, a missing tooth clause…something!!”  Nope…the Smile Card has no annual maximums and no limit to how often it can be used for treatment within the one-year period.  Think of it like a warranty with unlimited mileage!  Oh and did I mention that with this plan there is no paperwork because the fee and reduced rates are paid directly to us?

Imagine that…a discount dental plan that is designed to actually get you the care you need without fine print, paperwork, or glazed-over eyes.  It’s NOT to good to be true.  It’s real. And it’s available for you here at Brilliant Smiles.

Questions?  Call us or click here.  And thanks for reading.  For more vignettes, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

bellbrook dentist/spring valley dentist/xenia dentist

read more

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE xenia ohio dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on April 28, 2016 , Comments Off on CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE xenia ohio dentist
sandwich

The Sandwich Generation xenia ohio dentist

xenia ohio dentist
It seems strange to place middle-aged adults in the same category as BLT’s and PB&J’s.  But instead of 2 slices of bread, adults are finding themselves financially “sandwiched” between 2 generations:  Their children and aging parents.  This dual responsibility isn’t new but it’s now more costly than ever.  On one end, parents are supporting their children past the age of 18.  On the other, seniors are living longer but may not have the savings to match their longevity.  And this means the middle generation is footing both bills – including dental costs.  Here are some tips to help reduce dental costs:

INVEST IN YOUR CHILDREN.

Keep ahead of any future costs by focusing on preventive care.  Instill good oral health habits at a young age, schedule regular dental exams anduse your benefits to help avoid any future restorative costs.

ENCOURAGE ADULT CHILDREN TO BE INDEPENDENT.

As your children get older, it’s important to set expectations.  This includes their dental care and determining who will be responsible for co-pays, dental bills and overall benefit costs.  Although adult children are eligible to stay on your benefits until they turn 26, it may make financial sense if they sought out their own plan sooner.  Talk to them about their options and financial capabilities.

CONSIDER ALL OPTIONS FOR YOUR PARENTS

Aging seniors often have a hard time accessing dental care.  Some possibilities to get them covered:

  • Look at a long-term health plan.  If your parents are not yet dependent on your financial assistance, have them consider a long-term plan as a safety net.
  • Supplement their Medicare plan.  Medicare does not cover routine dental care, but certain supplement plans and resources can help lower costs.  Learn what these resources are and if they financially make sense for your family.
  • Seek out an affordable individual plan.  Many providers have affordable coverage for seniors over 65.  Learn about some options here.
  • Claim them as a dependent.  The IRS will allow you to claim an elderly parent if the meet certain criteria.  But this option is not always guaranteed for insurance purposes.  Check with your provider to see if this is an option.
  • Don’t forget about yourself.  By being both a caregiver to your children and your parents, it’s easy to neglect your needs.  Be sure to take care of yourself by maintaining your health, using your insurance plan, and keeping up-to-date with your dental appointments.  If possible avoid dipping into your retirement savings to pay for your family’s health costs.  Your financial future could depend on these costs and spending this money could mean passing on financial loss to your children.

Remember:  BE GOOD TO YOURSELF.  Love, honor, and value yourself.  And seek support from others in the same position.  There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.

(reprinted in part from www.deltadentalnjblog.com/2016/4/caught-middle-insurance-tips-sandwich-generation/

xenia ohio dentist

read more

USE IT OR LOSE IT!

by Lee Anne Austria on October 21, 2014 , Comments Off on USE IT OR LOSE IT!

use it or lose itThe end of the year is rapidly approaching and along with it (believe it or not), the holidays!  While the days get cooler and shorter and you get busier and busier, it’s important to remember that your unused dental benefits for 2014 will expire on December 31st and that the New Year will bring new deductibles.  If you are overdue for your professional cleaning or have been putting off dental treatment that can improve your overall health, now is the time to use your remaining benefits on this year’s insurance plan or HSA account.  As always here at Brilliant Smiles, our primary concern is your health and well being.  So click here to schedule your appointment online, or call us today at 937-376-9975!

read more