I mentioned in a previous post that I’d recently gone to the dentist and had a rather large bill to pay. Let me tell you my story of insurance idiocy and how I’m only making this mistake ONCE in my life.
After moving to Edmonton and getting my job, I had to quit going to my lifelong dentist back home. I got a recommendation from a coworker and went to a dentist downtown, and ended up paying $220 for my checkup out of pocket. I was surprised that the checkup cost that much (I’d been on my dad’s plan and thus had never paid a dentist’s bill before), but decided to put away the money for next year, no biggie. I’ll also take this time to say that every time I go to the dentist, I’m told that our benefits’ fee schedule is “at least 15 years behind everyone else,” hence the high cost of an annual checkup.
I should mention as well that my teeth are SUPER sensitive. Like, ridiculously so. Every single tooth is insanely sensitive to hot and cold. When I walk around in the winter and the wind is blowing, if I open my mouth I get a shock. I used Sensodyne for years to no avail, and now use that Colgate Pro Relief stuff which is better but doesn’t last all day (I’ve been assured that it’s the best product on the market for sensitive pearly whites). This is definitely genetic – my Oma microwaves her ice cream.
The next year (2010), I went to the dentist and got the hygienist from hell. Seriously. It was almost like when I told her my mouth was extremely sensitive she heard “My mouth is indestructible and I will not mind if you dig out every single flake of plaque with the sharpest tools you have available” and proceeded to do just that. I hurt like HELL. It was awful. The dentist was fine, but that experience put me off going back. Luckily, a different coworker recommended a dentist who not only was awesome but had a hygienist that specialized in sensitive-wussie-babies like me, so I made an appointment for my annual checkup.
That was my first mistake. My insurance only allows for a new initial exam once every 5 years.
My second mistake was that I thought I’d last been to the dentist in September 2010. WRONG. My last appointment was December 13, 2010. Which meant I wasn’t eligible for coverage of numerous items – items that can only be done once a year. I didn’t even bother to check this info on my insurance company’s website which was another huge mistake. Had I done that, this bill would’ve been less of a strain on my wallet.
The final total for my checkup? $288.89. Completely my fault, but it stings nonetheless. As I said, you only make this kind of dumbass mistake once, because let me tell you, I am not getting another checkup a day before October 12, 2012.
Moral of this story? Always, always, ALWAYS check your insurance before you go for a checkup.