March 7, 2018
Dr Lance Timmerman DMD is a Regence Dentist, a dentist for your entire family. With today’s changing climate, it is important to get the most “bang for your buck” and easy to manage your dental benefits. When seeing a dentist IN network with your insurance, coordinating and managing your benefits can’t be any easier. When Dr Timmerman was OUT of network, things were very complicated. Now that Dr Timmerman has been recruited to the network, everything is much more streamlined.
When choosing a Regence Dentist (sometimes referred to as “Regence Blue Shield”), you don’t have to shop around looking for the best price. Since it won’t cost any more or less when seeing a network provider, you can find a dentist that offers the treatment you seek, or at the location that is convenient. Dr Timmerman is among the most experienced and trained dentists in the NATION, with a Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry, a Diplomate with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and a fellowship in the International Congress of Oral Implantology. Less than 2% of the dentists nationwide have this level of training and experience, so he is often asked to lecture and teach OTHER dentists.
Dr Timmerman’s office is very convenient to get to. Tucked behind the Family Fun Center in Tukwila, near the Southcenter Mall (Westfield Shopping Center), Dr Timmerman practically shares a parking lot with Starfire Sports Complex (home of the Seattle Sounders). Right off exit #1 from I-405, you can arrive very quickly from all over the Seattle metropolitan area. Patients come from all over the world to see Dr Timmerman, so you are fortunate that he is so close to you!
Managing costs of dental care can be confusing. Let us help you manage your Regence dental benefits or coordinate our many financing options.
April 25, 2017
Dental PPO participation is important to many people. Dr Timmerman is in network with Delta Dental of Washington (WDS or Washington Dental Service), Cigna Dental, Regence Blue Shield, Aetna Dental, Guardian Dental, and Humana Dental (our Delta participation also allows us to be “in network” for Delta from other states). If you have coverage from ANY of these plans, you can know that we can make usage of your dental benefits EASY for you.
It may be important to clarify from the start that dental insurance does not exist, but pre paid dental benefits are very common. Insurance (like home, medical, auto, or fire) is where we pay into a common fund and hope to NEVER use. It is certainly great to have when we NEED, but we don’t really WANT our house to burn down so we can use it. Coverage for triple bypass heart surgery is great, but I don’t WANT to have the treatment unless I NEED it.
Dr Timmerman accepts ALL dental insurance that allows you to choose your dentist. Some plans REQUIRE you to go to specific offices (like Group Health or Kaiser Permanente), but most other plans allow you to see ANYONE, and encourage you to see someone IN the network. The percentages are higher, but the actual money paid is the same wherever you go. The easiest example is: PPO pays 100% of $100 item if seeing an IN network, dentist, but that exact $100 is only 90% of the $111 fee from an OUT of network office. If seeing an out of network dentist, that $11 must be paid by the patient.
Probably the most confusing aspect to dental benefit plans is their rules and limitations. Most decisions are NOT made by a dentist when denied benefits, or “hoops to jump through” to get the chosen treatment, but are in fact decided by someone with little or zero background or training in dentistry. They simply know the plan rules and enforce them as they choose.
As experts, we know how to navigate your plan. We won’t let an insurance employee dictate our treatment or what we offer, but we certainly will play by their rules. This can be confusing to you, so be sure to ask for clarification in advance if necessary.
Another confusing aspect to dental benefits is the annual maximum. While it may say “100% coverage”, be sure to know the ceiling to coverage. Most plans have a max up to $1000 or $1500 and some of the better plans pay up to $2000 per year. This means that if your treatment plan is $5000, the plan will only pay $2000, even if they say “100% coverage”. Some treatment plans can be broken into pieces and done over time, but some things (like a bridge) are done at a single time and can’t be broken up.
To confuse even more, companies will use “UCR Tables” to determine benefits. They state that this is “usual, customary, and reasonable” but often is not any of the three. The tables are 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, and 90th percentiles, so it is important to know which percentile your plan uses. Some plans pay 100% of the 50th percentile, yet not a single dentist has a fee at that number. The HR department at your employer may have simply chosen a plan that doesn’t pay as well as another plan.
Some plans have rules that confuse everyone. If a cheaper alternative is possible, then they will only pay what would have been paid for that option, not what was actually done. For example, some plans will pay for a bridge if only missing a single tooth. However, if TWO teeth are missing, they will pay for a removable partial denture (sometimes called a flipper), ONCE in the patient’s lifetime.
Some people feel that they MUST have a dental plan, but their employer does not offer ANY dental benefits. In this case, they purchased a plan individually. All financial planners will tell you that this is a very poor investment, as you will ALWAYS pay more out of pocket than you receive in benefit. Always.
The most common way is a mandatory waiting period. Often, the plan may contribute for a cleaning, but NOTHING else for 18 months. If your premium was $200 per month, you will pay $3600 before you can “do” anything, and then you will have $1000 maximum benefit per year. You will never catch up, receive more than you paid in.
Our “In Office Plan” is a much better investment. Our annual fee includes basic care and a discount on treatment, with no waiting periods.
In many cases, we CAN bill treatment to medical insurance, so be sure to bring your medical insurance information. Dentists are NOT in network with medical, but the benefits can still be used. The rule of thumb is anything below the gums may have coverage (dental implants, periodontal surgeries, gum grafts, bone grafts), and we routinely treat sleep apnea while billing medical insurance (there is NO dental benefit for sleep apnea). There is significant paperwork and time involved, so we DO ask for your patience.
Cigna Dentist Insurance Network
Dr Lance Timmerman is a Cigna dentist in Tukwila, helping his patients make the most of their dental benefits. As times change, in this changing world, it is important to know that you get the best VALUE for your investments. Dr Timmerman has the training, skills, and experience that allow his patients world class care.
Limitations to Dental Benefits
A common frustration when choosing a dentist that is IN network, is the limited services offered. In our office, we are proud to offer a wide variety of treatment. First and foremost is our general, FAMILY, dental care. From cleanings and fillings, routine care is done RIGHT here. For those that need more, we offer many specialty services, including dental implants, porcelain veneers, snoring and sleep apnea treatment, and more. While we can do almost anything, we don’t do EVERYTHING, so we DO work with specialists as well.
One Patient at a Time
Perhaps unique to our office is our attention to the individual. While some people experience network offices that rush patients through quickly, we only see one patient at a time. This allows us to get to know you, to get to know your goals, and how best to treat your conditions. This requires a lot of time and attention, and we pride ourselves on TAKING the time.
Efficient with Time
Our systems allow us to offer treatment in a way that saves you time. Some people put off treatment because the appointments are so very long and time consuming. In our office, we use modern materials and modern methods, making your experience take only as long as NEEDED. An example is our dental crown: it takes two visits, the first usually 30 minutes and the second usually 15 minutes. This can often be done before going to work!
Make the most of Cigna
If you want value and convenience for you and your family, call us at 206-241-5533 today!
April 18, 2017
The times, they are a changing…. Dr Lance Timmerman wants to help his patients offset the costs to dental care, and is an IN network Aetna dentistwith Aetna Dental. This means that if you have Aetna dental, there is no reason to seek care anyplace else. World class dental care with network pricing.
Let’s face it. Times have changed. Costs of living are a challenge, so seeking an Aetna dentist can save money. Are ALL dentists the same? Are network dentists better? Not necessarily, so do your homework. Please search our website to learn if we are a good fit for you. We offer general services (cleanings, fillings, etc), but we also offer specialized care, like snoring/sleep apnea, dental implants, or smile makeovers.
It can be frustrating to get the care that you want, but learn that there are rules to follow, and some services aren’t covered. What is worse, sometimes you find this out AFTER the treatment is complete. OUR office seeks transparency. We state UP FRONT the plan, the alternatives, and the costs associated with your care. If payment arrangements or financing is needed, we can help.
Most limitations are due to limited services offered from that specific office, not necessarily the plan, so choose an office with a variety of services.
The benefit of an IN network dentist and the convenience of Tukwila, right behind the family fun center and next door to Starfire (where the Seattle Sounders train) make this a convenient and money saving option. We share the building with the University of Phoenix, so don’t drive past thinking your GPS is broken!
February 9, 2016
While we are very happy to help utilize dental insurance in our office and process the necessary paperwork, there seems to be a common misunderstanding.
Dental insurance is YOUR insurance. Dental insurance does not care.
We do our best to know how your plan works, but as a consumer it is necessary for you to be familiar with your plan. There are thousands of dental plans out there and subgroups as well. Employees in adjacent cubicles can have the same plan but different benefits. It is confusing and we try to help, but it is impossible for us to predict with 100% accuracy what they will cover 100% of the time (we are good and usually ARE correct, but sometimes the insurance companies do what they do…).
As the economy fluctuates, we see some plans reject claims that they covered in the past. The person most qualified to suggest treatment is the doctor that actually LOOKED into a person’s mouth. If an x-ray was all that was needed, dentists wouldn’t need to even look inside of a mouth.
An example was a tooth that had a very large filling and decay all around the filling and cracked enamel. The recommendation was a crown, yet the insurance company refused to pay, saying it was fine. No matter how many photos and x-rays were sent, they just wouldn’t pay. That doesn’t mean the care given was not appropriate. It simply means the insurance company chose not to pay based on the opinion of their minimum wage desk clerk, or occasionally their contracted dentist that gets paid based on how much money is NOT spent. The insurance company is designed for nothing more than to make money. They make their money by NOT spending it. They deny claims for their own profits, and the subscribers (patients) suffer as a result.