Not everyone with Medicaid benefits have plans that include Dentistry as an option. When they do, it’s an unbelievable benefit.
With Dentistry costs at an all time high, any type of insurance in this field of Health Care is an asset. However, finding a Dentist who is willing to participate with Medicaid can be a daunting task. Not only do case workers fail to disclose the names of Dentists who participate, but even if general lists of those who do were created, they would change so quickly, the cost of re-printing them would be much to time consuming.
Why is it that Dentists shy away from accepting patients with Medicaid benefits? Many factors are involved, but first and foremost, is the monetary loss to the practice itself.
When a Dentist agrees to accept any insurance, they agree to charge the fees the insurance states they can charge for procedures. Medicaid insurance is one, if not the most, lowest of payment plans. Patients receive preventative and basic procedures at no cost to themselves with the exception of adults who are required to pay an out-of-pocket expense of $3.00, commonly known as a co-pay. Many patients leave the office without even paying that.
One visit from a Medicaid patient involving a cleaning, x-rays and an exam brings in only one third of the income a Dentist would get using more popular plans like Delta, Blue Cross or Metlife. This means the Dentist actually loses money by treating these patients. A Dentist would have to see three Medicaid patients in one hour to bring in the same amount of money they’d get for the above mentioned procedures if they instead used a non-Government sponsored plan. Federal employee plans can be just as bad.
Medicaid payments come in bulk checks, unlike other insurance companies. One check from Medicaid can include up to sixty or more patients at a time, so entering these payments into the proper accounts in the computer can be a very timely task. Furthermore, unlike other insurance companies, Medicaid checks come either before or after the statement that lists who the payments are for, leaving the insurance biller to wait until both items are received.
Medicaid plans renew each month, but can also cancel each month too. To ensure you’ll receive payment when a Medicaid patient comes in, you must check their benefits month to month, and quite often you’ll find coverage has been canceled if the patient has failed to renew their plan with their worker.
Anther reason Dentists shy away from Medicaid is the cancellation or no-show rate of patients. Quite often, when you’re given something for nothing, you tend not to appreciate it. There is an extremely high rate of Medicaid patients who fail to show for their appointments, or who call at the last minute, leaving the office no time to fill that spot with another patient that needs to be seen. This can leave huge gaps in Dental schedules that are impossible to fill because not enough notice was given to do so. A Dentist can not prosper monetarily in their business if they are paying their,his staff to stand around waiting for patients who never show for treatment.
Having Medicaid is a benefit to many and when it includes a dental policy it is an added plus. Use your benefits wisely and keep appointmentss you make with Dentists because many will not see you a second time if you fail to show for one. It’s not because you’re being discriminated against, it’s because the cost of your absence hurts the practice.
Keep in mind that although Dentists may see you with Medicaid, that does not mean all benefits will be performed in their office. Many Major procedures such as Bridges, Partials, Dentures and Crowns are not services dental offices provide because the cost to them is much more then the payment they’ll receive. If you find you fall into the category for major work, many Colleges offer Dental Schools that take Medicaid and provide these services.
Just remember, getting something free doesn’t mean it’s not worth something. Many people who need dental work can’t get Medicaid.
Take that into consideration before you fail to show for an appointment.