Are You Getting the Best Value from Your Dental Plan?
The California Dental Association is backing a bill to ensure patients get their money’s worth from dental insurance premiums
Currently, there is no standard dictating how much of patient premiums dental insurance companies must spend on patient care versus company overhead and administration. This makes it difficult for patients to compare dental plans on a like-to-like basis and make sure they’re getting the most for their money. A new patient protection bill sponsored by the California Dental Association seeks to change this.
The California Dental Association recently commissioned a study which showed that the loss ratios among dental plan provides ranged from 38 to 80 percent. In other words, some plans spent just 38 percent of premiums on patient care while other spent a much more reasonable 80 percent.
Medical insurance providers are required to adhere to a minimum loss ratio of 80 percent by the Affordable Care Act and by California state law. In the first year that this rule was implemented, patients received $1.2 billion in rebates and savings as insurers scrambled to bring their loss ratios into compliance. The California Dental Association is confident that enacting comparable regulation on the dental side could achieve a similar result.
The proposed patient protection bill will call for all dental plans to spend 80 or 85 percent of premium revenues directly on patient care. This change is expected to not only give patients more for their money, but also provide more transparency for consumers comparing various dental plans and encourage insurers to improve the administrative efficiency of their operations.
What if You Don’t Have Dental Insurance?
Some people may choose not to purchase dental insurance in order to avoid paying premiums at all. For these individuals, paying for care out of pocket will be necessary. Don’t let a lack of insurance or a fear of treatment costs keep you from getting professional care for your teeth! Regular dental cleanings and exams are vital for keeping teeth healthy and identifying minor problems involving gum disease and decay before they can become big, painful, and expensive problems.
At California Dental Group, we offer gentle, affordable, and effective dental cleanings by expert hygienists. These cleanings really are an excellent investment in yourself, especially considering that professional cleanings combined with good home care can prevent the two most common causes of tooth loss, namely tooth decay and gum disease.
If you need help paying for services out of pocket or paying your premiums, we offer financing through Care Credit to enable all patients to get the care they need.