Medical and Dental Combined Insurance Policies: Beware the High Deductible
In the past, most dental insurance policies were stand alone with a reasonable deductible of about $50.00 a calendar or contract year. Now, since many policies are both medical and dental combined the total deductible applies to medical and dental benefits for the year. Because medical insurance typically has higher payouts than dental it also has higher deductibles.
A patient that is expecting coverage for services that are listed as benefits has cause for alarm when they see that the charges have gone towards satisfying a deductible that can be as high as $5,000 a year.
Many dental claims are not adjudicated for payment unless the medical insurance has been billed first and there is a denial of benefits. These types of policies pay better when there are medical and dental health problems that are going to require hefty fees to be billed. If the patient is unhealthy enough they may see fair to good coverage but who wants to be sick or need extensive dental care just to get insurance benefits.
A promising idea is to have an employer sponsored health savings account that will kick in a certain amount if the insurance doesn’t pay the entire bill.
Preventive care is the least expensive of all medical and dental services. Catching a problem early with a screening or evaluation costs far less than treatment to solve the problem. Even so, many patients forego the preventive and wait till there is a problem and a huge expense. This is not a wise way to live “dodging the healthcare bullet.” Recently a friend of mine lost her husband to cancer because he refused to have preventive screenings.
If you have medical insurance but not dental put aside about $50-80.00 dollars a month to cover preventive and basic dental care. Don’t skip or postpone preventive care, it will save you thousands in dollars and many hours in the dental chair.