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Illustration by Paola Saliby

Why Being Out of Network Can Be a Good Thing

With Tend, being out of network can actually be a good thing.

By Tend

When you’re looking for a dentist, you’re probably aiming to check a few different boxes: you want your dentist to be close to where you live or work, you want them to have good reviews, and you want them to take your dental insurance (if you have coverage).

On this last point, you’re probably looking specifically for someone who’s “in network” with your insurer. “Out of network” feels like something to avoid: we associate it with more expensive care, specifically big surprise bills that show up in the mail months later.

And these associations are often justified. If a dentist is “in network,” it means they’ve negotiated set rates with your insurer. So you’ll just owe your normal deductible and coinsurance. If a dentist is “out of network,” they may bill you for more than your insurance will pay. Thus the surprise bills.

However, if Tend is out of network with your insurer (we can’t speak for the other guys), it can actually be a good thing.

For 80% of our out-of-network members, dental exams are fully covered. By dental exams, we mean your twice-per-year cleanings, with x-rays, an oral exam, and a polish. We also include a free oral cancer screening ($60 value), so you get more thorough care than you might elsewhere, without paying anything extra.

Summed up, if you’re coming in for an exam, there’s only a 1 in 5 chance that being out of network will be any different than being in network. And if you’re in that 20%, we’ll make sure you know ahead of time and allow you to cancel, no questions asked.

If you have more questions about being out of network, give us a call at (212) 686-3686. We’ll talk you through it.

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