I am 80 years old, and on Medicare. At the time Great Expressions was the only dentist on my plan. I went to Great Expressions at 6236 Merrill Rd., Jacksonville, on 6/9, 6/12, 6/29, and 6/30. The original problem concerned a molar. Years ago I had a gold filling put in, and some time before 6/9 a bit of the supporting enamel had chipped away. I figured it was a matter of time that decay would enter. The dentist, Ms. Deshaydia Boykin, said decay had set in, and I needed a root canal and crown.
Over a year before that I had visited another branch of Great Expressions. The dentist at the time told me that I needed to have my four upper teeth pulled and implants installed.
When the work on the molar (first paragraph above) was done I brought this up to Ms. Boykin and she said that that wasn’t necessary; they could be crowned. They told me the cost to me would be $2871.50, with Florida Blue’s Advantage Plan HMO paying the rest. They showed me a printout with 3 columns: one: total cost; two: the part my insurance will pay; and three: the part I willl pay.
With an HMO, whenever I need to see a specialist, I have always had to wait to get approval before work is done. Judging from the fact that these dental specialists went ahead immediately with the work, I assumed that they had approval and that $2871.50 was the total charge. I told them that I didn’t have that kind of money around, and they told me about CareCredit, a plan which immediately pays the bill, with me making payments of $250 to CareCredit over a two-year period. I began making those payments. Why start me on a payment plan for $2871.50 if you know the bill will be added to?
Some time after this I received a Dental Explanation of Benefits from Florida Blue Insurance dated 8/03/17 informing that $5944 had not been paid. I brought this in to the office on Merrill Rd. and spoke at first with Amanda, last name not known. She assured me that all I owed was $2871.50. Later during that same visit, as I sat in the dentist’s chair being worked on, Amanda came in with Dr. Boykin and both assured me that all I owed is $2871.50 and to disregard the Dental Explanation of Benefits from Florida Blue. Later I received a bill from Great Expressions for $1535, then an updated one for $1633. The additional $98 is for perio.
I went back to Merrill Rd. and found out that Amanda no longer works there. I don’t know if she quit or got fired for telling people things like she told me. Regardless, she was a representative of the company, as is Dr. Deshaydia Boykin, and they both insisted that all I owe is $2871.50. I accepted that in good faith, and am paying on that to CareCredit. Ethically, morally, that is all I owe.