Sunday, April 28, 2019

FWOTW: Saving money off my dental procedure

It’s time for another frugal win of the week (FWOTW) post! 
One of the most frustrating things about medical and dental insurance claims is how confusing it can be to sort out the billing.

Since I have history of dental problems, I made sure to sign up for a premium PPO dental plan through my employer each open enrollment.  My wife also adds me to her PPO dental plan through her employer.

I had a root canal performed by an endodontist in December 2018.  The total billed amount from the specialist was $1,660.  My copayment was $100, and I thought that took care of everything.  4 months later, the specialist office and the 2 separate dental insurances finally finished processing the claim.  I just received a bill for $90.80, which was quite a surprise.

The first thing I did was contact the billing specialist at my endodontist office to make sure that I really owed the $90.80 balance.  After she went over all the charges with me, it was time to pay the bill.  Here’s how our conversation went:

Her: How would you like to pay your balance – check, debit or credit card?

Me: Can I get a courtesy discount?

Her: <pause>  Um… sure I can offer you a 5% discount for paying in full.

Me: Great, here’s my credit card number!

I ended up saving $4.54 just by asking nicely!  While this is not a significant amount of money, every bit helps along our financial journey.  I’m often surprised how many discounts you can get on services just asking nicely.

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