Why do you think the GEICO camel is running around the office on Wednesday so excited? Sure it’s hump day—but more importantly, GEICO is very profitable. Avondale Asset Management reports online that in 2011, GEICO produced $15 billion in revenue. And, its top executive, CEO Tony Nicely, was paid $12.4 million. That is probably Mr. Nicely in the camel outfit in the commercial.
Why is GEICO so profitable? A big reason is that they can advertise low rates with no disclaimer or explanation about the details of the low cost packages for auto insurance that they advertise.
Auto insurances can manipulate fees by limiting coverages. For example, you can buy a really low rate coverage that offers only $50,000 in personal liability coverage. Or, you can pay more (the non-advertised fee), and secure a more reasonable and reassuring rate of at least $250,000 in personal liability coverage.
Why is a dentist writing about GEICO auto insurance? Well, for one, I do enjoy the humor in many of their commercials. Personally, I am with State Farm, so I want to thank you GEICO insured folks for funding the fun commercials.
But, entertainment aside, I have found a parallel to the lowball offers for auto insurance inthe dental insurance game.
For many of you, your employers and HR departments negotiate one or a selection of dental insurance packages for you. Then you choose your program and pay a portion or all of the premiums.
If you are independently insured, as more and more of us are, then you must find dental insurance packages, wade through the vague information, pick one plan and pay for it, on your own or through a broker.
When choosing your dental insurance coverage, please remember the happy “Hump Day” camel. Less is not always more.
In my practice at Artistic Dentistry of Atlanta, I can offer you a cheap porcelain fused to metal crown made overseas in a sweatshop in China, Thailand or Puerto Rico that may have an unknown metal composition, metal showing unnaturally at the gum line, low grade porcelain and variable fusion temperatures that may not fit well or last very long. In other words, I can offer you that crown at a much lower “advertised” fee, with very little quality.
Or, I can give you higher “personal liability coverage” and create an all-ceramic crown, also known as a no-metal crown, that looks like a real tooth. It will fit with the greatest precision and accuracy, wear comfortably with your other teeth, never show that ugly, grey line at the gum line and will last and last with proper maintenance. That Emax crown does cost a little more, but it is handcrafted in the USA. In fact, it is created in my own office at Artisan Dental Labs.
As I said, Less is not always More.
We all have to make financial decisions daily. Please take the time to evaluate what your dental insurance companies are offering for their “lowest fee available”. And, be aware too, of what your dentist is offering. Ask about what dental lab he/she uses, ask about what dental materials he/she uses and why. Be an informed consumer and you can be as happy as a camel on hump day.