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Should I pay the dental bill?

Our orthodontist recommended my daughter have her wisdom teeth removed. We got an estimate of cost from an oral surgeon's office of around $580. This was after we faxed them our insurance and they called back saying they had verified our benefits. Surgery was done and now they are billing over $1,300. They have admitted they didn't call our insurance they just used a typical percentage. The problem is we have a $1,000 maximum payment but since they didn't actually call the insurance company that was overlooked.

What do you think is fair?

Answer Question

Asked by Dyndudes at 1:02 PM on Feb. 24, 2009 in Money & Work

Level 11 (626 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • make them bill the insurance first.

    Answer by coala at 1:10 PM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • No and I would report them to the bbb. Call their office and talk to the person in billing and let them know that you feel that what they did isn't fair and ask them what they plan to do about it. I personally would pay what they quoted. They should be willing to "pay" the rest since it was their mistake they should not have lied about calling insurance. IMO they should eat the cost of their mistakes not the customers.

    Answer by heather.darin at 1:12 PM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • I would insist they adjust the cost based on the quote you received which should have reflected your insurance allowances. You may not get it back down to $580 but I would certainly insist that they cover some of the difference due to their own negligence in following proper procedure. The bill should be paid for the work done but only the portion that is fair. Don't pay the entire bill blindly without negotiating with the dental office first.

    Answer by sillyt at 1:13 PM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • well, they don't have to call an verify your benefits, they were giving you an estimate. You check with your insurancem or check your eob's to make sure they are billing you the correct amount, but you should pay. They don't have to tell you at all up front what you will have to pay and it wouldn't stand up in court on your side

    Answer by SMWOODS at 2:07 PM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • Mine always says its just an estimate so that they can't get stuck with that problem. I would ask them to do an adjustment if at all possible since you were not expecting to pay this much based on their quote. If they refuse to adjust the payment, you could try going at it in court, but I don't think it would turn out in your favor and you may pay more that way. Because unless you recorded the call or have a written quote that does not say it is an estimate, then you have no legal ground to stand on. I would pay.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 2:34 PM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • I agree that legally I'm liable. My question is whether it is an ethical practice for a dental office to lie about verifying your benefits then bill you over twice what they told you was "the maximum amount you will pay".


    Answer by Dyndudes at 2:58 PM on Feb. 24, 2009

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