Our dental office is located close to the Washington/Oregon border, so it’s not unusual for us to have patients cross the border from Oregon to make their appointment. Some new patients may be reluctant to cross state lines for a dental appointment because they don’t know how this will affect their dental insurance coverage. In this post, we’ll clear up some common concerns about crossing state lines to go to the dentist.
Paying For Dental Care
The quality of dental care varies depending on your dentist’s skill and experience. But in general, dental care is more or less the same from state to state. The only complicating factor is how you pay for your dental care.
If you’re paying cash, good news – you don’t need to worry about getting approval for any dentist in the country. You should be able to choose a dentist in any location with ease, and not have to worry about insurance coverage. If you are using dental insurance, things can get a little more complicated.
If you have dental insurance through a major provider, you will probably be covered for out-of-state dental appointments. Smaller providers may be more limited in their coverage and may only offer reimbursement for in-state dentists.
In-Network and Out-Of-Network Doctors
One key factor in determining the cost of out-of-state dental care is in-network vs. out-of-network dentists. Insurance companies reimburse you differently for each type of doctor. Just because a dentist is out-of-network doesn’t mean you can’t see them – it just means that your co-pay might be lower and your out-of-pocket costs may be higher.
Larger insurance companies may have in-network doctors nationwide. Depending on your insurance company, out-of-state options for in-network dentists may be more limited than the ones you get in your home state. Be sure to check with your insurance company to determine if the out-of-state dentist you’re planning on seeing is in-network or out-of-network.
Checking Your Coverage
Before you plan a trip to see an out-of-state dentist, make sure you check your insurance coverage. This is important to both ensure that you are covered if you travel out of state for your dental care, and to determine if the dentist you plan on seeing is in-network or out-of-network. A quick search on your insurance provider’s website can help you set the proper cost expectations for your dental care.
Most insurance providers have a dentist search tool on their website. Check your insurance company’s website, log in to your account, and do a provider search for dentists to get the information that you need.
Advantages Of Out-Of-State Dentists
There are some very good reasons why you might want to see a dentist outside of your home state. First and foremost is cost. Some states or metro areas have a higher cost of living that extends to dental care. Taking a trip across state lines might lead you to an area with a lower cost of living, and lower rates for dental procedures. In some parts of the country (like our home area of Vancouver, Washington), you can take a very short trip from a large metro area (in our case, Portland, Oregon), cross a state line, and end up in a smaller city with lower costs. Driving a few extra minutes might save you a lot of money when you go to the dentist.
We encourage our neighbors in Portland, Oregon to visit us, as well as our local friends in Vancouver. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!