Well, yes he has the 2 phases of treatment and it is disturbing that they want payment for both in the first 3 years. I called and like I stated above, I can do two separate contracts, "but it will cost more".
As for the insurance, I did call them today. I've been on the phone and computer all day. The insurance company has no regulation on how this office bills b/c they are out-of-network, but the benefits are the same for in-network verses out-of-net work. The only benefit of in-network is that those doctor have agreed to charge the insurance acceptable rates for treatment. An in-network doctor might therefore be a bit cheaper, but my drive at least 80 miles round trip plus time out of school -- isn't worth it.
I did check this dentist out on the Board of Dentistry website, he's been licensed in this state since 1977 and when to school in this state. And he doesn't have any commplaints filed with him. He is well established in the community, so he isn't likely to leave town or state. I really do question the finacial business practices though.
The complaint issue isn't really a good tool to go by, since our family dentist who I think is fabulous and trust has 2 counts of someone displeased enough to go to the board of dentistry with a complaint. And my former gyn had a lawsuit filed against him and I would trust him for a gyn matter more than any other gyn in town.
The contract is very lengthy on my obligation to pay, like appliances will not be removed until account is cleared. There is one pharagraph that states if treatment is stopped, payment is due for services rendered plus a records fee if you move from the area all other. Transfers or stopping of treatment will cost $100 plus services rendered if for a reason other than moving. And I love the last sentence "Dr. blank, reserves the right to discontiue treatment at his discretions, then treatment fee will revert to the amount of treatment rendered." Yeah, I was already terminated by my OB, didn't know that could happen!
There is no word anywhere about there obligation to follow through with their contract, to remain in business, that Blank will take over patients under contract if Blank is unable to continue treating patients etc.
It is a contract to cover them, not the consumer. I, the consumer, feel very vunerable putting out $7000 in 3 years for treatment that consist of phase 1 approximately 3 years and phase 2 to begin at around age 12 to 14 (which isn't for another 6 to 8 years).
Considering all that I have read today and all whom I have talked to it does not appear that orthodontist just close the doors (doesn't mean it won't or can't happen). This doctor is the president of the Southern Orthodontist Association a chapter of the American Orthodontics Association, he isn't likely to tarnish himself with bad business practices.
Since I called I have the option to do a contract for just phase 1. I don't know what I'm going to do at this moment (it isn't the money, we can manage either way). They are saying that the 1st phase is $5340, which would mean they only plan $2180 for braces. That seems a bit off...
Since I lost over $800 on a 2 yr gym membership plus childcare a year and a half ago, I'm very leary about long term contracts requiring payment for services not yet rendered. I thought I was getting a great deal, I had the money so why not make the committment. This gym had been in the area for over 2 decades and had a good reputation, no one knew they had filed bankruptcy 2 years prior to them shutting their doors leaving members and employees baffled. It took me all day that day to determine when they filed bankruptcy. But I also realized I had no way of knowing b/c it isn't common to search hours in the bankruptcy court docets looking for a company until you find it. What a headache I had... pregant to boot!
I probably worry to much since I've been stiffed. I realized that not even
established businesses are safe from financial woos and I refuse to put myself out there to be a victim again.
I have a really bad sinus headache, I thought allergies had hit me, now I'm not so sure it might not be a cold or both. My dh went out of town for 3 days and I need to get the 3 children out of the house to go into a store to buy tissues for my poor nose!!! And I haven't done a stitch of housework all day...