Only Half of Dentists Still Accepting Dental Insurance

Dentists Dropping Dental Insurances

Dentists are sick and tired of dental insurance companies dictating fees and treatments. Just over half of the dentists in this survey said that they had mostly or completely stopped accepting dental insurances.Dental Survey Results

“We still work with hundreds of insurance companies by filing the paperwork, etc,” said an Ohio dentist. “But by not being ‘in-network’ on any plan, we get paid for what we do.”

Dropping insurance can raise a dental practice’s bottom line, but it can also cost them patients. One-third of respondents felt that dropping insurances was not a financially realistic option for them.

Here are some more thoughts from dentists:

  • “Insurance has ruined medicine.” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “I have a brand new office and a lot of debt. Being a preferred provider for insurance companies is not ideal long-term, but it is necessary now to get people in the door.” (Indiana dentist)
  • “If I dropped insurance, I’d be cutting ties to 85% of my patient base!” (Endodontist)
  • “Those who can’t be bothered with insurance are self-serving people who have lost sight of the service part of being a professional.” (California dentist)
  • “If all dentists dropped all insurances, then ALL dentists could collect their fees in full from everyone.” (Virginia dentist)
  • “Dental insurance is a joke.” (Alaska dentist)
  • “Some of the contracted insurance patients are the most demanding and unappreciative.” (Minnesota dentist)
  • “We have no contract with any insurance companies. It is a great benefit to have control of our fee structure.” (General dentist)
  • “I have dropped all insurance plans, and patients pay us first. However, we will fill out paperwork and fight for the patient to get the benefits they are owed.” (Washington dentist)
  • “Free At Last!!” (Minnesota dentist)
Post your own thoughts on dental insurance, or check out the full survey results to read stories of dentists who have successfully dropped insurances.


About Julie Frey

+Julie Frey is the Editor of TheWealthyDentist.com blog. She has dedicated her career to Internet marketing and communications, working side-by-side with dental marketing guru Jim Du Molin since 2006. She has a degree in Linguistics from Stanford University, has a passion for language and writing, and lives in San Francisco.

  • david szczesny dmd

    you should be telling all of these graduates from dental school how to manage their tuition debts!! they have no idea what it is in the real world of general dentistry!! advertising is rising!! coupons in every sunday newspaper half price off!!!the economy is in shambles!! the specialists dont accept their insurance but they will give them a 20% discount and the patient has nothing left to spend after the perio or endo is done!!! here it all the time!!!!! south east fla!!!!!! how many so. east fla dentists have responded to this?? kindly advise me!!!

  • Gil Simpson

    Am I a dinosaur? I graduated in 1975 and the only “contract” that I signed was Delta because I was told it was stated by dentists. We “accept” all insurances and are sometimes “penalized” for not “participating”. For 30 years I treated medicaid kids, but when Blue Cross took over and required that I sign a 27 page contract last year, I declined. It will be nice to retire. I’m getting too old for this #%*@.

  • david szczesny dmd

    i agree with the jersey dentist that states that insurance has ruined medicine!! i graduated from the college of med and dent in 1978!! hope your family has lots of backup money to bail you out of debt my friend!!! keep the overhead down and dont do root canals on molars for 579!!! it will get you in legal troubles!!

  • http://pearlywhitesdds.com Angela Maynard

    Our practice became insurance dependent about 6 years ago when teachers changed to the Delta DPO and we just happened to be contracted. We are just beginning to weed out the worst PPO plans, but the Delta DPO will be the greatest hurdle. The PFG fee hasn’t changed in the last two years, but the price of gold has skyrocketed. Here in Southern California, the competition is great. If you get out of PPO’s, the guy/gal next door will just absorb your patients. We need to unite and terminate these plans as a band of brothers.

  • Ronald Chalk, DDS

    Every dentist has to make this decision for himself. I have been in private practice since 1970. I have never accepted insurance assignment. You just have to have the courage and confidence in your ability to believe ther are many quality patiets out there that are looking for more than a dentist only because they take insurance. If you get so busy with insurance patients you don’t have the time to spend with those quality patients that are looking for cosmtics or implanta. If I had to do dentistry at a fee determined by insurance companies I would have gotten out of the profession years ago.

  • jerry simon

    given that the number of patients is increasing and the number of dds is declining, and most insurance companies do not cover newer proceedures or pay what the services are worth, why would any dds accept the rules of an insurance company?
    this is the only industry where supply and demand is ignored.
    every dentist is not the same in skills and training and standards, and every office does not offer equal services so why be part of something like an insurance program. it is really silly.

  • FSM

    I just dropped 3 PPOs this year and kept Delta. It’s tiring to cater for insurance companies who makes billions in our expense. Postage increased 5X since I practiced. It’s not helping our bottom line because it’s expensive to mail x-rays (more than once sometimes if they say they didn’t receive it) on top of not getting reimbursed because of denial of some procedures, and other delayed payment tactics while our bills are piling up. It makes me envious how much plumbers and the person who did my kitchen w/in a few days(for thousands of dollars)make without spending so much time and money to continuing education…

  • db

    I can’t afford to go to a dentist that won’t take my insurance.

  • dmy

    I’m like db, ditto on not taking the insurance.

  • M&M

    Are they freaking kidding us?! I can understand not wanting to have to deal with the insurance companies, but what about us working class people who WANT and NEED to get our teeth looked after but can’t because we can’t afford to shell out a few hundred dollars at one shot. Dentists accepting insurance is the only way that people even have a chance of keeping healthy teeth. Just because they get paid thousands of dollars, doesn’t mean that everyone does….think about it and quit being so selfish!

  • andy

    I agree w/ m&m. It makes dentists look really selfish when people are walking around w/ gaps and abcesses! It would cost 2400 dollars for one molar restoration! I bet the dentist has plenty of money…do they know what it feels like to be told by an insurance company that you have full coverage for that and be given a list of “provider” dentists by the Insurance Co. and none of the dentists on it will accept the insurance? But they are listed! They don’t deserve to be listed. Can anyone help? Three people at the Ins. Co. told me I’m covered. How do I get this to align so I can get my throbbing tooth repaired?

  • CC

    I’ve been thinking about learning how to do my own dentistry. I just can not afford it even with my dental insurance. I think Dentists should accept only what the insurance pays as payment in full.

  • Pat

    you folks complaining about the dentists making thousands should see the bills i pay as a dentist. if a person makes a hundred grand and pays half of it for school loans and taxes, it doesnt leave a very luxurious lifestyle. the total i owe in all is way over a million dollars. how stressed would that make you?

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