February 09, 2022
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If there is one expense that frustrates nearly everyone, it's insurance. Between auto insurance, homeowners, medical, dental, vision, liability and so much more, we spend a good portion of our incomes protecting our businesses, belongings, assets, and bodies. One of the most common questions I get asked as a dentist is, "Is dental insurance really worth it?" Much like any other insurance, the answer is "it depends how you use it." If you see a dentists bi-annually for cleanings and x-rays, dental insurance can be a very affordable alternative to paying out of pocket for preventative care. Most of our patients who carry dental insurance pay no out of pocket expense for their first visit.

In Network? Out of Network? What It Means For You:

According to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield website, the definition of "In Network" is as follows:

"When a doctor, hospital or other provider accepts your health insurance plan we say they’re in network. We also call them participating providers. When you go to a doctor or provider who doesn’t take your plan, we say they’re out of network. The two main differences between them are cost and whether your plan helps pay for care you get from out-of-network providers."

What this means is that you can choose to go to whatever provider you want, essentially. If you have a neighbor who is also a pediatrician, you may want your kids to go see her, and the good news is that you can! The only thing that "Out Of Network" means in this case is that if your neighbor is not listed as an "In Network" provider with your particular insurance, you may have to pay more out of pocket.

It is helpful to think of insurance networks like loyalty reward programs (airline miles, discounts for frequent diners at a restaurant, punch cards for a free product after you buy x amount) for healthcare providers. When a provider joins a network, they agree to accept a pre-approved amount for every procedure or service. This eliminates surprises for the patient and for the insurance company.

Finding In-Network Providers

By law, insurance companies must provide you with an app, a website, or at a minimum, a booklet or index that lists all of its "in network" providers. At Bendel Family Dentistry, one of the services that we offer all patients and potential patients is a free benefits check. Our helpful front desk staff can do research on your behalf to help you figure out what your insurance will and won't cover. We believe in transparency of pricing, and we are more than happy to help you answer any questions. We want to be your dentist for life! Call us today to schedule your appointment. We accept most major insurance carriers, including Aflac for the LPSS.