Insurance – Episode Two

In you missed Episode One, you can get caught up here.

In the 1960’s a group of dentists here in California formed a dental insurance company named California Dental Service, otherwise known as the CDS.  

The dollar amount of payments was $1,000.00 per year.  I remember the price of gasoline at that time being 28 cents per gallon.  That thousand dollars was enough to pay for cleanings, x-rays, fillings and a crown or two. 

Eventually the CDS became Delta Dental of California.  Today the majority of participants in Delta Dental and the myriad of other companies still receive $1,000 in reimbursements per year. 

How much does a gallon of gas cost today?  Twice as much? Ten times as much? 

At some point in this timeline the CDS switched from being a traditional insurance company to a Preferred Provider Organization, PPO.  Dentists who participate, agree to accept a lower amount in payments then the usual and customary compensation.  Hence the dark side of the force of dental insurance. 

PPO, HMO, I call them the “Ought Oh Oh’s.” Sadly, decades ago the physicians of this country signed over their souls to OOO’s.  Their annual incomes have actually decreased, and their patient loads have increased. 

Today Delta Dental is the Godzilla of the PPO’s.  The CEO’s of the OOO’s are paying millions of dollars a year, the Dr’s get paid poorly and the patients do not receive the treatment they deserve.  In addition, dental insurance is not like medical insurance.  If fact, dental insurance is a thorn in the sides of medical insurance companies.  They provide it only because you ask for it from your work. 

If medical insurance was like dental insurance, while you are laid up in a hospital bed, dental insurance would come in the middle of the second day and tell you benefits are used up!

Check back next week for episode three to learn about an alternative. i.e. the Light Side of the force.