Insurance doesn’t mean coverage

After reading the Thursday editorial, “Rising ‘emergency’ dental care: Sign of a system in crisis,” I felt I needed to add to it. It does not matter if you have insurance or not. You still cannot get the dental help you need. We have dental coverage through Washington Dental Service, but there is a dirty secret they have that prevents you from getting the critical care you may need.

You go to the dentist in good faith that you will be properly cared for. They clean your teeth, take X-rays, and proceed to tell you that you have a major problem that can cause serious health complications if not taken care of. This problem will cost $6,000 according to their calculations. Now comes the dirty part. The cleaning and X-rays have used up your yearly “allotment,” and although you are supposed to be covered at 80 percent, there is a convenient cap on how much that 80 percent covers, and it is only about $1,800 a year.

This cap has not been raised to accommodate the rise in cost since around 1964, or so I am told by everyone I have asked. So, Washington Dental continues to conveniently take money to cover having insurance while they will not pay for much more than routine cleaning and X-rays, and articles get written about people ending up in emergency due to complications caused by their dental problems.

Dental insurance or no dental insurance, it makes no difference, since they don’t cover you like medical insurance does. Next stop for me, emergency, as I already have complications due to coverage that’s really non-coverage.

Char Monaghan