Treatment costs at the dentist increase



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Federal Council decides higher fees for dentists

Going to the dentist can be significantly more expensive for patients from next year than before. The Federal Council has decided to adjust the fee schedule for dentists (GOZ), which will come into force on January 1, 2012 and provides for a significant increase in fees for services that are not covered by the statutory health insurance funds.

According to the Federal Council's decision, fees for corresponding dental services should increase by six percent from next year. In total, dentists can expect fee increases of 345 million euros. Patients are threatened with significant increases in treatment costs, but only for services that are not included in the service catalog of the statutory health insurance companies.

Reorganization of remuneration for dental services Since the fee schedule for dentists (GOZ) has not been revised since 1998 and since then numerous new treatment methods have been introduced that have not yet been included in the GOZ, politicians were forced to revise the fee regulations for dentists . With its current decision, the Federal Council has decided to reorganize the remuneration for dental services that are not covered by statutory health insurance. This affects, among other things, more complex forms of dentures or fillings that go beyond the simplest requirements. For the legally insured patients, the corresponding treatment costs will rise significantly from the coming year, but members of private health insurance companies do not have to fear any additional costs, since the costs for more complex treatment alternatives are usually also borne here.

Best possible treatment only at your own expense? Statutory insured persons can also at least partially protect themselves from the additional treatment costs at the dentist with the help of so-called supplementary insurance. However, if you have not taken out additional insurance, you must in principle pay for treatments that are not covered by the statutory health insurance benefits. And since the statutory health insurance companies are always trying to save money due to the tense situation in the health care system, only the costs for adequate medical care are calculated - regardless of whether better treatment methods may be available. Those who are legally insured will therefore often only enjoy the best possible dental treatment at their own expense. However, in order to keep the associated financial burdens on the patient manageable, the Federal Council also made the mandatory changes to the GOZ that dentists must offer the patient a cost estimate for dental technology services from an amount of EUR 1,000 before starting treatment .

Demanding treatments cause considerable additional costs. However, this does not save the legally insured patients from the dentists' fees, which will increase significantly from next year. Even today, insured persons have to dig deep into the dentist's pocket if they do not use the simplest treatment method such as amalgam fillings, but instead prefer more sophisticated solutions such as ceramic fillings. In the future, the costs for such treatment alternatives will continue to increase based on the GOZ change. The long-accused allegation of the social associations that the income of people in this country can be recognized by the dentition seems to be more and more confirmed. Further adjustments - in particular the benefits catalog of the statutory health insurance funds - seem to be urgently required. (fp)

Also read:
Dentists: rip off teeth cleaning?
Mouthwashes clean interdental spaces
Dental disease and the cardiovascular system
Dentist treatment better in the afternoon

Image: Michael Horn / pixelio.de

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