Are you overpaying your dentist?
Are you paying the correct amounts to your dentist’s office?
Insurance can be confusing, and dental insurance is no exception. Even though the total costs of dental care can be lower than other services like healthcare, dental claims can accumulate to thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your dental coverage, by paying the correct amounts to your dental provider. We’ll list a few keys to help you keep your dental costs in check.
Make sure that dental claims are filed
If you have a dental insurance plan and are receiving services from your dental provider, then you need to make sure that claims are filed with your dental plan. This is usually taken care of by the dentist’s office, but some patients wonder how they can make sure a claim has been filed.
Usually the easiest way to determine a claim has been filed is to see if you’ve received an Explanation of Benefits in the mail. While claims processing can take a few weeks, you should normally receive an EOB in the mail from your dental carrier anywhere from two to four weeks after your services have been performed.
If you don’t receive an EOB, you can either call the carrier or your dentist’s office to inquire about the claims filing. Once you’e verified a claim has been filed and processed, then it’s on to the next step to review the claim’s processing.
Properly checking your EOB will help you pay the correct amounts
Once you’ve received your EOB in the mail, you’ll want to properly review it for key pieces of information. An Explanation of Benefits contains several pieces of important information that you should review for accuracy for the services and procedures that you received. It’s good to have an understanding of your insurance plan’s benefits in order to make sure the charges have been processed correctly.
It’s very important to compare your EOB to the billing statement you receive from the provider. You’ll want to make sure that the patient responsibility at the bottom of the EOB matches the amount a provider is billing you.
If the provider bill is higher than what an EOB is showing for the patient payment amount, you should question this with your dentist and show them a copy of your EOB. Often any discrepancies can be worked out once all the information has been given to the dentist.
Avoid paying providers until claims have been finalized
Another important consideration is the timing of provider payments. It’s often recommended to avoid paying providers up front before you know what your total patient cost will be after insurance has been processed. This way you can avoid any overpayments, which would cause you to have to request a refund.
Many times, an Explanation of Benefits will be received in the mail before you get a bill from the provider. This can help you compare the information once you receive both the EOB and the provider bill to make sure the information matches up.
However if a provider sends a bill and asks for payment before you receive an EOB, you can often request to delay payment until insurance has been processed and you are notified by a completed EOB.
Don’t be afraid to question certain charges or ask for a claim to be refiled
As you review your Explanation of Benefits, be sure to keep your eye out for anything that doesn’t look right. Sometimes a charge may be overlooked, or a wrong procedure code can be filed.
It’s important to review the claims information to verify the charges were processed correctly. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about any charges or information that does not appear to be correct.
Often, if an error is found, the dental office can work with you and the carrier to get the information corrected. Taking a little time to review your claims info can save you money.
Reviewing your dental claim info can save you money
Although it can take a little time and some basic understanding, it is not hard to make sure you’re paying the correct amounts to your dentist.
By reviewing your EOBs for discrepancies and comparing charges to your provider bill, you can identify any potential errors that might cost you if overlooked. Then you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting the most out of your dental benefits and not overpaying the dentist.
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