Everyday Ethics

Dental plans are the worst, aren’t they? Some of you may remember my worst-date story in which I also described an accident that resulted in a mouthful of broken teeth – after paying more than half those costs out-of-pocket, I feel traumatized simply walking past a dentist’s office.

So I must admit there’s a part of me that’s a bit jealous of this dilemma – apparently a New York City dental office is overcharging insurance companies so that the patients will not have to pay their deductible or share. Case in point, the patient who passed along this dilemma had two cavities filled but discovered the office charged the insurance company for four fillings so that she would end up paying nothing. When she questioned the discrepancy, the receptionist admitted that the doctor did it “as a courtesy to patients” and it could be removed if she wanted.

Wow. A kindly dentist…or, a conniving cheat?

What should she do? After all, she’s not the one committing the…fraud? (Not quite sure of the legalities) However, she is the one benefiting from it. Does the ball now lie in her court to correct the deception?

What would you do? Count your lucky stars for finding a guardian angel of a dentist? Or simply kiss those dollar bills goodbye in the name of honesty?

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