What is the Dental Fee Guide and how does it relate to your Insurance Plan?
When your Insurance Plan renews this year, the Insurance company takes into consideration the changes in the Dental Fee Guide for 2017.
What is the Dental Fee Guide? The British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) produces an annual suggested fee guide for dentists in BC. This document outlines over 1,400 dental codes and code descriptors related to specific elements of dental treatment.(1)
How does the Dental Fee Guide relate to your Insurance Plan? Many dental plan carriers will base plan coverage on fees and codes within this guide. In some cases the coverage is based on previous year's guides (going back a year or more). Note: Dental plan providers do not work with the BCDA to develop the guide.(1)
At your Insurance Plan's Renewal time, the Insurance company take into consideration this years Dental Fee guide and uses the fee guide as a reference to the costs of how dental claims may affect the claims usage for the year. In British Columbia, the 2017 Dental Association's Dental Fee Guide increase is 4.50% from 2016. This is the highest increase out of all the provinces in Canada. Newfoundland & Labrador is right behind at a 3% increase, while PEI had the lowest increase at 1.54%.(2)
While many dentists will follow a number of fees within the guide, there is no requirement to do so. Dental offices consider a number of variables when determining costs for their office.(1) Since it is not a requirement, but a recommendation, for the dentists to follow the Fee Guide, each dental office may have different costs for the same treatments. Be sure to talk to your dentist to discuss all your treatment options and the associated costs. You can ask your dental office if they follow the suggested Dental Fee Guide and ask for an estimate before proceeding with your treatment. (1)
Contact us if you have any questions about this and how the Dental Fee Guide influences your Insurance Plan.
(1) British Columbia Dental Association
(2) Stats provided by: Maximum Benefit