Tag Archives: Dental Care

Hey Medicaid – Why So Skimpy on Dental Care?

I finally went to see a local dentist group yesterday and when they handed me the proposed treatment plan, I was shocked to see that Medicaid was only going to pay $154 of the $884 the dentist was going to charge. The rest, $730, was to be my responsibility. So much for having insurance.

My current plan is one of three plans accepted here in Florida by the state. The young lady in the dentist’s office who check me out said that they were not their favorite plan, and that perhaps I could still change to another plan.

I then called the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), but they were closed due to the holiday yesterday. This morning, I called the plan, and was told that they only received the treatment plan today, and that it was being reviewed and that I would hear back in seven to ten days.

In the meantime, I contacted one of my LinkedIn contacts who does medical travel for dental care to Costa Rica, and she will be getting in touch with a dentist down there to compare costs between what they charge in CR, and what the dentist here is proposing.

But the real reason for writing this post today is because Medicaid in Florida limits what services they will cover, and focuses more on the dental care of children, rather than giving adults the same or equal care, relative to their age and medical condition.

For example, Medicaid covers such services for children as: Ambulatory Surgical Center of Hospital-based Dental Services, Dental Exams, Dental Screenings, Dental X-rays, Dentures or Partials, Extractions, Fillings and Crowns, Fluoride, Oral Health Instructions, Orthodontics (Braces), Periodontics, Root Canals, Sealants, Sedation, Space Maintainers, and Teeth Cleanings.

For patients over 21, this is what the all the plans cover: Dental Exams (limited), Dental X-rays (limited), Dentures, Extractions, Pain Management, Problem Focused Exam, Sedation.

There are Extended benefits for patients over 21, and include the following with prior approval from the plan: Additional dental exams, Additional dental x-rays, Additional extractions, Dental screenings, Fillings (silver and white), Fluoride, Oral Health Instructions, Sealants, and Teeth cleanings (basic and deep).

We all know that adult dental care is more comprehensive and more expensive than that of children, yet, there are services missing from the adult plans that should be covered, such as Crowns, Root Canals, Bridges, and yes, even implants. Dentures are so last century.

Fortunately for me, the two teeth that will be extracted are next to each other and are in the back of my mouth, so you can’t see them. But what if they were two front teeth, as the song goes during Christmas? Does Medicaid tell the patient, “Sorry, now you can whistle through the space in your teeth?”

When are we going to catch up with the rest of the Western world and provide all of our citizens with a complete range of services for dental, vision, and medical care that does not cost an arm and a leg? When will we take the profiteering out of health care like other countries do? We need to stop nickle and diming the American people when it comes to our health. We need Medicare for All, not Medicaid  that does not provide enough services.

Dental tourism has some travelling abroad to save money

Another tweet from Josef Woodman about dental tourism in Costa Rica.

Getting a million dollar smile can cost thousands of dollars, money that a lot of people are not willing to spend. That’s why more and more Southwest Floridians are traveling abroad for a dental vacation.

Source: Dental tourism has some travelling abroad to save money

Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care

I wrote about this town in Mexico back in July of 2017 when I posted an article titled, “Cross-border Dental Care in Mexico.”

As the Truthout.com article implies, this is a caravan that no one hears about, and would be closed down if the Orangutan, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Fox News, and Pat Buchanan (he called for a wall on the Mexican border back in 1992 when he challenged the late President George H.W. Bush for the GOP nomination. See Kornacki’s book, The Red and the Blue, page 152) get their way.

Here is the Truthout.com’s article:

The US’s “dental refugees” flock to Mexico in the thousands every day, seeking affordable care.

Source: Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care

Is “Bleisure” Travel the New Trend in Medical Travel?

As someone who never rejects good writing from fellow bloggers, here is an article from Elizabeth Ziemba, who I met three years ago in Reynosa, Mexico regarding a new trend in Medical Travel called, “Bleisure” Travel.

“Bleisure” travel is the combining of business travel with medical travel for short-term medical and dental procedures.

Rather than paraphrase Elizabeth’s article, I will post the link to it from LinkedIn here.

Cross-Border Dental Care in Mexico

On Sunday, NBC Nightly News ran a video report on dental care in Los Algodones, Mexico, south of the border from Arizona, and west of Yuma.

According to the report, during the winter months, up to 7,000 Americans travel to Los Algodones for dental care.

Los Algodones, also known as “Molar City”, is the self-proclaimed dental capital of the world. While that sounds like hype, I can tell you from personal experience that it is not the only town on the border where one can find dozens of dental offices.

When I presented at the 5th Mexico Medical Tourism and Wellness Business Summit in 2014, I visited a town east of Reynosa called Nuevo Progresso where I saw some of the dental offices, along with some of the other attendees.

Here is the video from NBC.

http://www.nbcnews.com/widget/video-embed/1018704963518

And here are some pictures from Nuevo Progresso.

I took these pictures in a small medical center on the main street of Nuevo Progresso, just over the border from Texas. To the left of the picture on the left, is the bridge crossing the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) into the US.

And the people I saw on the street were not Mexicans, they were Americans.

Still think medical travel is a stupid and ridiculous idea? Try telling it to the thousands who go across the border.