Dental insurance plans are helpful in paying for dental care. Many patients want to find a dentist within the dental plan network to “save money.” This does sound reasonable enough, right? Over 20 years ago, less than 10% of dental practices were included in these networks; however, today, that may amount to over 60% of dental practices, according to one of my dental supply representatives. So, why is it that more and more dentists are signing up for these dental insurance networks when they are reimbursed at rates that approach their break-even points?
Let me put it to you this way. Let’s say you made $20 an hour for your job. You got paid for the hours you worked. Now, let’s say your rate goes down to $14 to $16 an hour for the same work. Why would you accept that? Perhaps you would do that and just increase your hours. Perhaps you could find a way to get more done per hour by getting paid by different clients during the same hour or by working faster, thus increasing your hourly rate. Perhaps you could decrease your personal expenses. Perhaps you could decrease your work-related expenses, like your transportation to and from work, or like other expenses you may pay in relation to your job. Do you feel this decrease in pay? Is it right and fair? Can you provide the same quality of work for your job at the lower pay? All these answers are up to you.
Now, let’s go back to the in-network dentists who are getting paid perhaps 25-35% less for the same services as out-of-network dentists. What do they do to afford the decrease in pay? Do they double-book appointments? Do they triple-book appointments? Are they using the known and proven brand-name dental materials that are placed in your mouth? Are they doing more work per patient, perhaps being more aggressive in their treatment planning? If you were the in-network dentist, how would you manage this decrease in pay?
The answers are all individual, depending upon the person of the in-network dentist.
So, what dentists are on your dental plan? They are the ones for some reason willing to accept a 25-35% decrease in pay for the same work as many out-of-network dentists. Are they just out of the goodness of their heart willing to accept below market rates for pay? Have they financial support outside of the dental office? Are they finding a way to increase their profit margins with the decrease in pay? The answers to all these questions are best known from within the heart and mind of the in-network dentist, or of the corporate or retail entity that has hired them.
I have opted not to experience this interference from insurance companies. We do accept out-of-network payments from insurance companies. We do still save patients money in many ways. We truly do. We invite you to find out more about my unique practice. We invite you to call to experience my brand of dental care. We have hundreds of patients who have entrusted us with their care for over 15 years! We invite you to call us at (972) 250-2580.