By Dean George
Once upon a time there were three pig triplets. On the day of their 26th birthday their pig parents called a family meeting in their pig pen den.
“Listen up Peter, Perry and Pam,” Papa Pig said. “It’s time for you to leave the farm and begin rooting around for your own pig futures. And that includes foraging for your own dental coverage.”
The next week Peter, Perry and Pam bid their parents’ good-bye, but not before Mama Pig gave them one last piece of advice. “You’re all smart pigs. When shopping for dental plans ask questions and study the benefits carefully.”
“You mean, be sure not to ‘buy a pig in a poke,’ right Mama?” Perry Pig asked. “That’s right, sweetheart,” Mama Pig said fondly. “No matter how much lipstick they put on some coverage, if you’re not careful you may need to break into your piggy bank to pay the dentist fees.”
Later that day Peter, Perry and Pam hugged each other before going wee wee wee all the way to their new pig pen homes to begin their own lives.
Peter Pig was the first to settle on his dental plan choice. Upon finding a plan with an affordable premium that covered the benefits he sought, Peter thought his oral care security was set. Two months later Peter awoke one morning with tooth pain. Upon visiting the dentist, he learned he needed a molar root canal.
Reviewing his plan benefits for the first time since enrolling, Peter read that his plan would pay 50% of the $1,100 root canal procedure. “Sooie,” Peter squealed. “It’s a good thing I have this dental insurance.”
Unfortunately for Peter, because he didn’t read his plan details carefully, he learned on the day of his root canal procedure he owed all of the $1,100 because his dental plan had a 12-month waiting period on major procedures. Major procedures included treatment for dental crowns, oral surgery and endodontic services like…”root canals,” he snorted under his breath.
Pam Pig prided herself on being a thrifty shopper and was obsessive about regularly brushing and flossing her teeth. “I know I take better care of my teeth than my brothers, so I don’t really need a comprehensive insurance plan to help with regular teeth cleanings,” she thought.
Pam decided an inexpensive discount plan was all she needed to keep her teeth in proud piggy shape. Unfortunately for Pam, she spent more time piggy primping, crush brushing and flossing than she did reading her policy.
On her first dental visit with her discount plan, because she didn’t check to see if her dentist took the plan before enrolling, she learned she had to use another dentist. When she did find a dentist that took her discount dental plan, she was told she had a pigs-eye sized cavity that needed filled.
She also learned that she had to pay separately out-of-pocket for the oral exam, the x-rays, her tooth filling, and the teeth cleaning she wanted.
It was all that Pam could do not to squeal like a stuck pig!
Perry Pig Perry may have been the Pig family’s runt, but he was like a pig in clover when it came to reading and thinking things through. Once settled into the den of his spacious pig pen in the secluded glen of Swineville, he devoured the benefits summary of the dental plans he was considering. One might say he took to reviewing fee schedules like a pig to slop.
Perry finally narrowed his choice down to a plan with no waiting periods, no deductibles, no annual limit, and a reasonable premium of $15 a month. Upon confirming that the plan required him to use in-network dentists, he consulted the dentist search feature Dental Insurance Store offered.
“If that don’t beat a pig a-pecking!” he exclaimed. “There are five separate dental offices within 10 miles of my zip code. My effective date will be November 1 if I enroll by the 20th of this month. That gives me time to check these dentists out before choosing one as my PPCP (Primary Piggy Care Provider).”
The moral of the story: Always look before you leap into any kind of dental coverage. Most states require companies to provide a 10-day “free look” period after a plan is purchased, and you should take that time to carefully review the plan, its benefits, and any exclusions and limitations that you may have missed.
Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and remember: Dental Insurance Store may not be able to put wings on a pig and make it fly, but we are available to discuss affordable dental plan options and help find a plan for your dental needs!
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