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    The dreaded “Why do I have to pay?”

    How to answer your patients’ most common dental insurance questions.

    Regardless of your practice philosophy regarding insurance management, you are bound to have heard this kind of statement from patients many times in the past.

    Helping your patients understand their dental benefits and, more importantly, what they are and are not responsible for paying themselves, is a difficult task. After all, even dental professionals are often confused about what insurance carriers will and will not pay for and the seemingly endless changes that take place year after year. (Translation: insurance carriers paying less and less while asking for more and more from the dental provider.)

    What is important to communicate to patients, however, is that if prescribed treatment is in their best interest, insurance coverage should be looked at as benefit and not as the reason for declining or delaying needed care.

    More on insurance: Why insurance coordinators need to be flexible in today's dental world

    Having a system in place to communicate insurance benefits with your patients starts with having internal credit guidelines in place that allow your treatment coordinator to present payment options based on the cost of the treatment and anticipated insurance contribution. Even if you are one of the lucky offices that does not accept insurance payments, this is valuable information to know as you will most likely be asked these questions anyway!   

    Helping patients understand what "dental insurance" really means

    My colleague, Diane Glasscoe-Watterson, recommends communicating with patients about their dental insurance benefits using verbiage such as, We’re happy to help you maximize your benefits, but please understand it is our experience that some dental benefit providers are making changes that may or may not be communicated to you. We promise to be fair and consistent with all our patients, but we have no control over what insurance companies ultimately do or don’t cover and at what rate.”

    Video: What does the future hold for dental insurance?

    Continue reading on Page 2 ...

    Jan Keller
    Janice Keller has 25-plus years of experience in dentistry – clinically, and as an office manager and software trainer. Now, as a ...


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