Smiles of Atlanta is proud to announce that our new publication, Go Ahead and Smile FREE Dental Report Series, is now available covering a variety of topics that provide very useful information to patients. Choose from the reports below, and be sure to check back often for new reports!
This report covers:
-Unique questions that provide insight into a dental practice
-How patients can judge the best overall value from the new dentist
-Important questions to ask yourself to determine the importance of each question to ask the new dentist
-How technology allows more accurate treatment at a much better value and much more!
This report covers:
-Technology that rids the dental drill and old fashion needle forever
-How new technology allows for virtually pain-free dentistry
-How technology allows more accurate treatment at a much better value
-New tools such as laser caries detector, digital computerize x-rays, computer-assisted anesthetic machines, computer-driven education systems, soft-tissue lasers, the advances in dental materials, and many more!
3. The Secrets Of HMOs/PPOs That the Providers Don't Want You To Know -
This report covers:
-Difference between Idemnity, PPO, DMO/HMO and other discounted Plans
-How PPO/HMO's can effect a dentist's performance resulting in lower quality care
and much more!
What about Insurance?
Blessing or something else?
Without a doubt one of the most challenging and confusing subjects for most patients to understand.
The Good News....
At Smiles of Atlanta they accept all indemnity dental insurance plans and will file claims on your behalf, saving you the time and hassle. Their knowledgeable benefit coordinators can help you maximize your dental benefits and minimize your out-of-pocket cost. If you wish, they can request a pre-estimate so you will know upfront what your insurance plan will pay for before starting treatment .
The Not-So-Good News . . .
Dental insurance even though we call call it "insurance" are really a dental benefit plan administer by insurance companies. Keep in mind, insurance companies are for profit businesses. There are not in any way part of your dental health care team. Insurance benefit schedules clearly have not kept up with inflation or advances being offered in Dentistry. If that is not enough, there are many different plans even within the major categories, that makes it very hard to figure out what you are really signing up for. So unfortunately, when your dental insurance turns out to be less wonderful than you thought, it can be disappointing and frustrating. Dr. Trizzino and every team member wishes this was not your reality.
Dental Insurance Categories Are:
1. Indemnity Plans
These plan compensate the dentist based on his or her's usual, customary and reasonable fee (UCR). The maximium benifit runs about $1000. to $2500. per patient per year. Insurance benifits are usally divided into three main catogories:
1. Preventive services covered at 100%(exams,cleanings and x-rays),
2. Basic service (anterior tooth colored restorations and silver mercury amalgams posterior restorations) at 80%
3. Major dental procedures (crowns, veneers, root canals, oral/periodontal surgery) at 50%
A few insurance plans require a deductible to be met every year which can range from $50. to $100. dollars per family member.
2. PPO/Preferred Provider Organization Plans
These plans are becoming the more common form of insurance because employers can reduce cost by lowering benefits and allowable maximum. They provide members with a list of participating dentists to choose from. The dentists on this list have agreed to accept lower then their normal customary fees ranging from 10% to over 50%. Without realizing dentist that particapate in the severly discounted plans can create a class system within their practice. Class "A" patients that reimburse their normal fee and Class "B" that do not.
Good news is that most of the better PPO plans do allow you to choose outside their "list" if you are willing to pay a higher co-pay.
Bad news is sometimes the insurance plans sounds fantastic but without realizing it you sign up for a plan that forces you to go to a severely discounted dental office.
Do we not all want our family to be consider Class "A" patients and receive the best treatment that dentistry can provide?
It is important to realize that the dental plans that severly reduce dental compensation force dentists to make drastic changes just to financially survive. One of the biggest changes is time spent by the dentist. Time spent on a service in usually in direct proportion to the final quality of product or service being delivered. It would therfore be no surpise that if a dentist severly reduces his or her time that quality would suffer. Other issues could be that staff would be doing procedures that would normally be done by the dentist. The quality of materials used could also be lowered to offset the decreased compensation.
Do not be surprised when insurance companies are selling these kinds of plans to the employer or Human Resource depatment this reality is rarely if ever discussed. It is unfortunate that sometimes you literally have to use the plan to figure out exactly what they are going to pay.
3. DMO/Dental Maintenance Organization HMO/Health Maintenance Organization, Other Discount Plans
These plans are what we call capitated or prepaid insurance, was designed to provide members with basic care at the lowest rate. I do not recommend this kind of plan period. Participating providers receive a monthly capitation check for patients assigned to the office. This amount is only a few dollars per month and is intended to offset the administrative costs. All to often DMO/HMOs expect the particpating dentist to provide exams, cleanings and x-rays no charge. There is usually no additional compensation from the insurance company for any dental services other then whatever the patient's co-pay is.
In my forty years, I have found the discount plans almost always wind up costing the patient the most in the long run.
Here is an example that I hope shows that reality. Auto Paint Shops routinely advertizes wide range of prices for their different paint jobs. Should anyone really be surprised that as the price goes down the amount of time spent and quality of materials used would also have to be reduced as well. Every one would understand that the lower priced paint jobs would not last as long and would not look as good as the more expensive jobs. But somehow dental insurance companies will somehow try to convince you that this will not happen with discounted dental plans. Time spent and materials used is always a big factor that determines the quality of the end product no matter what service is being provided. There is old saying "buyer beware" and I think it is critical that we properly educate ourselves to all the factors that determines true value and ultimate cost when it come to your dental care being delivered.
Know that the fees charged for dental services are the same for every patient, insured or not.
And, by the way -when it comes to dental care, Dr. Trizzino understands he is dealing with you and your families health. He and the entire team understand and take very seriously the responsible that you have given them. Rest assured they will always recommend and provide the best dental treatment possible for you and your family. They cannot make a better case for themselves than that.