Being Overcharged After Seeing a Dentist

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RichieL
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:50 pm

Being Overcharged After Seeing a Dentist

Post by RichieL » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:35 am

This is my first post on the boglehead forum and I feel so blessed to be here. You guys are awesome! I wish I was here and invested earlier :)

Anyways, my old dentist retired and I found a new dentist who is "in network" and was recommended by a friend. I needed to have two fillings and I called the dental office how much would I have to pay since I'm insured with delta dental. She said she will just send the bill to the insurance and I am responsible to pay my share as a patient. After I had my two fillings, I paid $148.00 and that includes the $50.00 deductible. I got the receipt and left.

I received the statement from my insurance and it says that the patient should pay $106.40. I emailed the dental office about it but never responded. I called the dental office to clarify and she said that I should be paying $156.40 because the $106.40 does not include the deductible. She laughed and said "don't worry, I won't charge you $156.40. You just need to pay $148.00." So I responded, "let me clarify this with my insurance."

I emailed my insurance and they said that I should pay a total of $106.40 and that already includes the $50.00 deductible. So I went to the dental office myself and showed the front desk my statement. She still thinks that I should be paying $156.40. I told her that I can show her the email saying that the total is $106.40 and that already includes the $50.00 deductible. She said she will contact my insurance and will call me back the next day.

I waited one week and she hasn't called me back. So I decided to call my insurance to get a refund difference of $41.60. For some reason, I could not get to talk to any insurance representatives over the phone so I emailed them. The insurance replied my email and said that I need to resolve this issue directly with the dental office, which I already did.

Has this happened to you before? What should I do? This is getting frustrating and I plan to switch dentist after having a bad experience with them.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 19481
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Being Overcharged After Seeing a Dentist

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:10 am

Why did you pay anything upfront? I would have waited to receive the advice notification from insurance before forming over any money. In any event, it might just be a misunderstanding between the dentist and the billing manager who handles the receipts.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

UncleBen
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: Being Overcharged After Seeing a Dentist

Post by UncleBen » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:21 am

This is a fairly common occurrence in my experience. Just like restaurants, medical providers have a "front of the house" and a "back of the house" operation. The best food served poorly is not a pleasant dining experience. And likewise we have left quite a few dentists and doctors that we liked due to poor reception, scheduling, paperwork, and/or insurance issues.

At this point, I would send a snail mail letter (with the insurance company's e-mail attached) requesting a refund for my overpayment of $41.60. Calls and e-mails can get shrugged off by overloaded employees but a letter will give the billing person a physical reminder to process the correction at a moment in the day that is convenient to them and more likely to get your desired result.

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