On November 22, the Alberta Dental Association and College (ADA&C) released their 2020 Alberta Dental Fee Guide, resulting in a proposed 4.38 per cent overall increase. As you may know, a provincial dental fee guide was developed at the end of 2017 to begin creating a standard reference for dental services throughout Alberta.

While some dentists have adopted the ADA&C guide, following the guide remains strictly voluntary. This means that Alberta dentists still, ultimately, charge varying prices for dental services and can often charge more than what your plan pays.

It’s important for you to understand what fee guide your plan follows and how the ADA&C changes may or may not affect you. To do this, sign in to the Alberta Blue Cross member site at ab.bluecross.ca or the Alberta Blue Cross My Benefits app and select “Dental” from the “Benefits” drop-down menu.

What can I do to get the most out of my benefits when I visit my dentist?

Because different dentists can charge very different fees for dental services, it’s important to be as informed as possible before getting dental work done.

Here are some things you can do to be the best dental consumer possible:

  • Ask your dentist if they charge according to a fee guide. This will give you an idea of whether your dentist is charging according to a specific basis of payment.
  • If you have another plan or a spending account, don’t forget to use those.
  • Most dentists can electronically submit a predetermination to Alberta Blue Cross prior to your appointment. This allows your dental provider to check how much your plan pays for dental procedures and how much, if anything, you would have to pay out-of-pocket. Most predeterminations are processed instantly.
  • Shop around. Because dentists charge differing fees, this can save you significantly. Click here to learn more about the dental landscape, how to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and be a wise dental consumer.

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