It is truly shameful, say many dentists, referring to the recent overhaul of the NHS dental service. The situation has gotten so bad that dentists are leaving the NHS in droves. Seven in ten dentists have left the NHS or signed their new NHS contract temporarily and “in dispute”. This means that in July of this year, they have the right to refuse NHS patients and go into private practice entirely.
The hullabaloo is all about the new NHS contract which many dentists say was rushed and imposed without proper consultation. An investigation published in the Daily Mail found that nearly a third of dentists were still negotiating deals with their health authorities just three days before the deadline. The final rush led to resentment, anxiety, and confusion among dentists over what is in fact a complex set of changes.
Regarding the patient, the new contract greatly simplifies the costs. Instead of around 400 different dental fees, there are only three standard fees. Patients will be charged £ 15.50 for each exam, £ 42.40 for fillings regardless of the number of fillings and £ 189 for more complicated work such as crowns and bridges. Each of these fees pays for a full treatment, regardless of the length of treatment and the number of teeth to be treated.
But dentists believe these three price brackets will persuade many patients to delay treatment, leading to an explosion of tooth decay. Dr Anthony Halperin of the Patients’ Association says: “I am concerned that many patients wait until they need more than one treatment to try to get their money’s worth. If this happens, it is likely that we will see a significant increase in dental caries. “.
This unprecedented exodus of dentists from the NHS means up to 16 million patients could be left without state dental care. And there is no guarantee that if you decide to go private, you will find a dentist who will treat you. Some reports indicate that dentists are increasingly choosing who to treat. It seems possible that some dentists only accept patients who are well-off or have dental insurance.
So how can you be insured? Well, without a doubt, the Internet will be the place to find the best deals. Try searching under “dental insurance” and you will find many options. Of course, many dentists will leave details of one or two insurance plans in their waiting room, but dentists are not insurance experts and are unable to provide expert advice. insurance.
Insurance companies are now widely promoting dental insurance, but they will only sell their own products. We believe that the best option is to find a broker who specializes in dental insurance. These brokers will essentially find you the best option among a wide variety of dental insurance and dental funding plans. There is a third option – cash plans – but these tend to include a wide range of medical treatments, with dental care being only a small part of the insurance coverage.
The problem for the patient is the wide range and complexity of policies available. Almost every insurance policy is different with its own advantages and disadvantages. The broker’s job is to assess your needs and develop policies that fit your budget.
A typical policy helps to define the picture of what is available. A policy with Western Provident pays for the first 25% of each dental treatment, but you claim up to £ 250 per year for routine treatments such as checkups, fillings and hygienist visits. Emergency dental treatment is often very expensive, so you are covered for up to £ 1,000 per year with the maximum accidental dental injury claim set at £ 250 per treatment. The cost? If you are between 18 and 49, the premium is £ 12.48. For people aged 50-69, it’s £ 15.90 per month.
A funding system is invariably the most expensive, but it is the option favored by many dentists. Before purchasing a capitalization policy, your dentist performs an assessment of your dental health and places you in one of five treatment groups. The group you are in then sets the cost of your program. The worse your dental condition, the more you pay.
For example, a Denplan capitalization program costs between £ 9 and £ 30 per month.
Cash flow plans
The last alternative is a composite health fund plan. These plans cover you for a wide range of health treatments ranging from dentistry and eye treatment, hospital care, physiotherapy, podiatry and allergy testing. Each treat has maximum claim value, but they tend to be a bit average. In our opinion, you are much better off with a dental insurance policy or a capital accumulation plan.
You pay your money and make your choice!