Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Dentist Bills and Employee Weirdness about Money...?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Dentist Bills and Employee Weirdness about Money...?

    So I went to the dentist to fix my teeth.

    I was really worried about it because I hadn't been in years and I knew even with insurance it can be pretty costly.

    After the consultation with with the finance lady they came up with a number that is less than 2K. I was so happy since I have to get a root canal, two crowns and then a number of fillings.

    Then the lady told me if I pay a flat $99 fee which is a first time patient special, that would also help me out because the wouldn't have to bill insurance for my first visit. I was still very happy. Even though she was a bit strange when she took my credit card like she was waiting for it not to go through or something.

    Fast forward to the next appointment, I walked in for the most expensive chunk of what they have to fix so I just handed over my credit card and asked for the fee to be charged on there. It was almost a thousand dollar charge.

    The woman (different one from last time) looked at the card so strangely like it was a brick of gold or something and then asked to confirm if I just wanted to put it all on that card as if it was something astonishing. I said yes that's what I'd like to do and she did it.

    It was a strange experience. Like they have a lot of trouble with people paying their bills or something? Have you experienced anything like this?

    I started to wonder too if this means it will work in my favor. Like if I ever needed anything they will move me to the front of the line because they know they are going to be paid...
    Last edited by Permanent Temp; 10-21-2015, 11:27 PM. Reason: grammar

    #2
    I think trying to charge large sums to credit cards can get a little dicey. If a lot of the payments they take are in the 4-digit price range, they've probably had a good bit of experience with payments not going through and people wanting to break up payments between multiple payment methods.

    Thinking back to when I bought flooring for my house with my credit card, I definitely caused some headaches for the flooring place. I was paying for upgrades on top of the standard level of flooring that came with my new construction house, and the bill was somewhere in the range of $6,000. Supposedly, most people just rolled such upgrades into their mortgage, but I figured I'd prefer some cash back over extra closing fees. I asked for a credit limit increase and got my limit up to $4,500, and I paid my balance down to zero. I figured I'd be able to put $4,500 on my credit card. Nope, the credit card company thought the unusual purchase was fraud and blocked it. So, I called them and got them to set things up so the payment could go through. This time when the flooring place tried to run my card, it was blocked for being identical to the previous payment. I think I finally got a payment of $4,499 to go through. After going through that with me, I wouldn't be surprised if the salesperson looked at the next person who handed him a credit card with a degree of skepticism.

    Comment


      #3
      When talking to dentist, vet, Doctor, auto mechanic, etc., I have often been taken aback by the assumption that we don't have the means for whatever. It actually has aggravated me in the past because our mechanic kept returning our car with a list of problems that I'd rather have taken care of when he had it. We told them our preference was to take care of everything at once, and they eventually got it. A Doctor once told me, "Well I would have done this or that test but it's expensive" - kind of telling me after the fact. This is really disturbing to me. We would never go cheap on our health and we have plenty of means, but these assumptions are all due to young age and our debt culture I guess. My dentist always acted like there was no way I could every pay for the extra bill when it was time for X-rays - it was weird. I mean, like $100 or $200??? We've *always* had ample cash/savings for any thing that comes up.

      Our auto mechanic actually recently retired and we just tried out a new shop last week. The weirdness begins again.

      Comment


        #4
        Possibly the fact that it had been a long time since you went to the dentist had something to do with it. Maybe they find that when people have a long gap in dental care it is often because the patient is broke.

        I think something like that might have happened to me, too. My dentist died. I procrastinated finding another one. Finally, I just decided to go to my husband's dentist. The dentist and her office help initially seemed almost surprised that I did not have insurance. She ended up giving me a referral to a specialist of the same sort to which she'd previously referred my husband.

        The place she referred me to turned out to be a factory-like clinic. It was something else! I felt like I had been dropped down into Soviet Russia. At the time my husband had been referred to such a specialist, it was a "normal" single person practice, personable and attentive to each person. Back then, we did have insurance.

        So I'm guessing that the dentist suspected I did not have ability to pay much, and thus referred me to to the "Soviet Factory Specialists," who seemed to have something like a dozen patients in chairs at a time, a dozen in the waiting room and a dozen in the recovery room. I'd had no clue what kind of place I was being referred to. The work they did was fine, but I don't think I will accept a referral there again.
        "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

        "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

        Comment


          #5
          This reminds me few months ago. We were looking for a beater SUV for my daily commute. We went to a used car dealer that we found online SUV 2002 with 170K miles on it. Appearance wise looks decent, but needed some major tune up. Knowing this fact and KBB value, and the needed repair I knew their asking price is not worth. After 15 minutes of verbal exchanges with the salesperson, I dropped $3K CASH on the table as my "Last and final Offer" and slowly walked towards the door. Suddenly the salesperson stopped me from walking away (of course I wouldn't do leave my money but made enough impression to her that my tactic work) as designed.
          Got debt?
          www.mo-moneyman.com

          Comment


            #6
            It could be skepticism, or maybe they're looking at the *** or last 4 digits of the card, or verifying the name or signature on the card matches you, the patient or responsible person (guarantor) for paying the account. Or maybe they just installed a new POS (point of sale) terminal and taking money has a new process. Or, with the advent of FSA and HSA plans with linked debit cards, I'm sure a lot of people often don't have enough to cover those kinds of bills and have to split between multiple cards, etc so the staff knows settling the bill could be a process.

            Maybe that provides a different perspective. Or maybe that office just has a large non-paying or vulnerable population contingent that has minimal coverage or state-assigned coverage/Medicaid.

            Comment


              #7
              I had to replace all the flooring in my townhouse when my brain damaged mini-dach passed and we were finally done dealing with incontinence. I knew it would be a lot, even just doing laminate throughout three floors, I wanted the cc points. I called Discover ahead of time told them I wanted to charge 11k and then pay it in full next month. They were fine with that. they said if I had just gone and done it, they would've blocked it because I never spent huge lump sums like that. The floor guy was kind of not nice about it, he kept pushing the 0% interest. Often I will take advantage of that for the convenience but I didn't want to this time. He had his boss call me, who had already tried to get me to do the 0% interest card. They must make a good chunk off that to be so pushy or they know you won't pay it in time and end up with 27% interest.

              Comment


                #8
                We were at Best Buy this week and were offered no interest financing. Not too surprising really. I'm guessing they offer it to everyone, but we were buying an item that was less than $400! Of course, we said no.

                We did ask them to Price Match the Amazon.com price and used $200 in gift cards we earned from credit card rewards...so our out of pocket cost was around $200 with taxes.
                My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I wonder if the dentist office is just use to people with dental insurance vs patients paying by cash? Although I know it varies all over the country, I bet 99% of the patients at my dentist office have insurance.

                  Over the years I've had to pay large sums for my kids dental implants or wisdom teeth surgery simply because it was over the yearly limit. I quickly use my credit card just for the reward points and they never seem to blink.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My guess is that there's a sensitivity of laying on the full price of dental work, like the example with the auto repair shop and not wanting to do everything at once. A smart businessperson understand psychology doesn't want to mentally break people and laying a 4-5 figure bill on them will scare people off, give people negative feelings etc.

                    I knew a mechanic like that, nice guy but he always assumed I was poor (I wasn't).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I am all for a living wage, but I have to wonder where dentists come up with their prices.

                      My son got a "comprehensive oral examination" which consisted of less than 10 seconds of actually looking in his mouth, another 10 seconds feeling his neck and jaw, and then a quick glance at the Xray taken and delivered by another party. $85 for less than a minute.

                      The estimate for 4 wisdom extractions? $1600. Oh, and we wanted nitrous oxide gas to relieve anxiety, that is an extra $150, out of pocket.

                      It sure seems to me like these clowns collude and set the "going rate" and then the insurance company has to pay their part. Consumers are powerless to provide downward pressure on the prices. How many times do dentists go out of business because of low demand? Insurance companies don't, they keep raising their premiums. No, it is the consumer who always feels the pinch.

                      They have us over a barrel. Want to stop that ache in your mouth? It's gonna cost you! That Mercedes SL550 in the lot doesn't pay for itself, you know!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JoeP View Post
                        I am all for a living wage, but I have to wonder where dentists come up with their prices.

                        My son got a "comprehensive oral examination" which consisted of less than 10 seconds of actually looking in his mouth, another 10 seconds feeling his neck and jaw, and then a quick glance at the Xray taken and delivered by another party. $85 for less than a minute.

                        The estimate for 4 wisdom extractions? $1600. Oh, and we wanted nitrous oxide gas to relieve anxiety, that is an extra $150, out of pocket.

                        It sure seems to me like these clowns collude and set the "going rate" and then the insurance company has to pay their part. Consumers are powerless to provide downward pressure on the prices. How many times do dentists go out of business because of low demand? Insurance companies don't, they keep raising their premiums. No, it is the consumer who always feels the pinch.

                        They have us over a barrel. Want to stop that ache in your mouth? It's gonna cost you! That Mercedes SL550 in the lot doesn't pay for itself, you know!
                        I'm sure you could find a much cheaper dentist to work on your kid, but would you want to?

                        Dentists are basically medical doctors, so there's quite a bit of time in expense in becoming one. Running a nice practice isn't cheap and there's a lot of risk, so it makes sense that good care comes at a premium.

                        $1600 is pretty cheap for wisdom teeth considering it's technically a surgical procedure. Gets a lot more expensive if your kid wants to be knocked out for it..

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ua_guy View Post
                          I'm sure you could find a much cheaper dentist to work on your kid, but would you want to?

                          Dentists are basically medical doctors, so there's quite a bit of time in expense in becoming one. Running a nice practice isn't cheap and there's a lot of risk, so it makes sense that good care comes at a premium.

                          $1600 is pretty cheap for wisdom teeth considering it's technically a surgical procedure. Gets a lot more expensive if your kid wants to be knocked out for it..
                          Price should be based upon what people are willing to pay.

                          The consumer is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to impacting medical care pricing, because we cannot exactly decrease demand or barter; insurance companies reflexively pay their portion of "fair market value" and we're on the hook for premiums and co-pays.

                          We put a ton of value on our well-being and comfort. Providers know this, and charge high prices because they can get away with it with insurance kicking in. And veterinarians are just as bad in my book, because they are basically saying, "Pay up or your pet will suffer. Are you the kind of person would let their pet suffer?"

                          Yeah, this is borderline rant, but I am a little hot about the subject right now.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by JoeP View Post
                            Price should be based upon what people are willing to pay.

                            The consumer is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to impacting medical care pricing, because we cannot exactly decrease demand or barter; insurance companies reflexively pay their portion of "fair market value" and we're on the hook for premiums and co-pays.

                            We put a ton of value on our well-being and comfort. Providers know this, and charge high prices because they can get away with it with insurance kicking in. And veterinarians are just as bad in my book, because they are basically saying, "Pay up or your pet will suffer. Are you the kind of person would let their pet suffer?"

                            Yeah, this is borderline rant, but I am a little hot about the subject right now.
                            Understandably ranty. I generally think less of insurers than what I flush down the toilet after eating Taco Bell.

                            Providers...it's tough. Some are more expensive than others depending on their insurance contracts or what they charge if you're self-pay/without insurance.

                            Obviously this won't work in an emergency, but for elective work, ask for a price estimate. Use it to shop the market.

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X