Bill Confusion

Bill Confusion

While I know that insurance is a wonderful thing to have, WOW, do I hate dealing with it... I know this is long, but please bear with me! I almost want to just stop going to appointments, because the insurance mess is causing me more stress than anything. Basically, here's the situation: In October, I had my teeth cleaned. Insurance covered that 100%, no deductible. A week later (end of October), I had to come back for 3 fillings. My insurance said that they only covered the silver ones for back teeth. My dentist told me that "nobody uses those anymore" and she'd never had a problem getting my insurance to cover the composite ones. She said she would just bill them as if they were silver fillings, since I didn't have a choice. If she had done that, I would've been billed $50 for the deductible, and the rest would've been covered 100%. Well, about 2 months went by, and I never got ANYTHING in the mail, so I called the insurance co. They'd never gotten a claim, and I'd never gotten a bill. I called the dentist, they said, "Oh we submitted it; I don't know what happened... we'll submit it again." So they submitted it, and billed for the composite fillings. I still never got a bill, but my statement from the insurance co. said that I'd be billed $162 (composites are only covered at 80%). I called the dentist, who swore up and down that they billed for silver fillings, and the insurance co. screwed it up. To make a long story short, it took about 20 calls back and forth between the insurance co. and the dentist, but finally, the dentist re-submitted the claim, billed for silver fillings, and the insurance covered it in full. However... I still never got a bill for my deductible. I called the dentist to find out if I still owed them $50. They said my account showed a $0 balance. I knew this didn't sound right, so I called the insurance co. to find out what was going on -- feeling like a crazy person at this point. (Seriously, how many people go out of their way to pay a bill that the dentist claims doesn't exist? But I'm worried about it showing up in collections years from now, or something, and screwing up my credit, so I just want to get it settled and done with!) The insurance co. looked it up, and discovered that they paid the claim TWICE... the dentist had cashed the check from the first (incorrect) bill, and submitted the 2nd (correct) one -- not as a correction, but as if I'd gone back and had 3 more fillings on the same day. And nobody caught this, apparently. Then the insurance guy procedes to tell me that they are "under contract not to dispute with the dentist," so *I* will have to pay back the $162 that they overpaid the dentist. WTF? I flipped... I'm basically getting screwed for being honest? So I asked to speak with a supervisor, who cleared that up and told me that I was not responsible (it was their error, and the dentists', not mine). So, apparently, the insurance co. sent a letter to the dentist (a month ago) asking her to return the overpayment... but I still haven't heard a thing, as far as my deductible is concerned. I mean, I have another teeth cleaning scheduled for next month... but since it's taken them 6 months to resolve the last bill (and it still isn't actually resolved), I'm just going to cancel the appt. and find a dentist with a more competent billing dept. (This one also had a completely incorrect address for me -- my street address, with a totally different city and zip.) I don't need all of this hassle and stress. What should I do about the deductible, at this point? I want to pay it and get it over with, but I doubt they are ever going to send me the bill. I just don't want this to come back and haunt me years from now, after I've totally forgotten about it (at which point, I'll have no idea what I actually owe, and probably get screwed, anyway). I'm also planning to move in a few months, and since I won't be seeing this dentist anymore, they won't have an updated address.
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