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Dental readiness - is this normal?

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  • Dental readiness - is this normal?

    I have a question regarding dental readiness. Me and my wife are in the MA National Guard. At the last PHA my wife (who's a 92A) was found to have a dental problem and they (since they didn't have a mobile dental office nearby this time) gave her a voucher to fix it later - they said it'd be absolutely free. Recently we have been contacted and given a time for an appointment, However, when we arrived, the doctor examined her and said that the voucher given was only for a filling, while the tooth needed much more, including the cleaning of the root canal. They called the company which gave us this voucher (Logistics Health), at least this is what I understood, and later told us that the Army doesn't pay for this type of dental work, only cheap stuff like fillings, and that there's no way to get an approval for all things which this tooth does need, so we will have to use our own health insurance anyway. Luckily, we have Tricare Dental, but it still amounted to $330 out of our own pocket (and she will have to come again to do the actual filling). For us it was a serious financial blow.

    My question therefore is: does anybody know if this is normal or not - that if it turns out that you have a more serious dental problem that they saw at the PHA, you have to fix it at your own expense? Or there's something dishonest going on in the clinic and/or Logistics Health?

  • #2
    Yes, this is true. I am active duty and had to pay for my spouse to get a crown (which cost me over 300 bucks) and I had to pay 25 dollars for my kid's cavity. So with dental, there are a lot of out of pocket costs for my dependents. If you are an active duty SM, then its different.

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    • #3
      I think there's a bit of a disconnect between the OP and Chief's answer here. My experience with the LHI program is that they will cover the issue that is identified via the IMRX / Dental Screen. Other issues uncovered after the Dental referral, are not always going to be covered as you have found out. I had several soldiers receive full vouchers for work that went well beyond just fillings this past year, however these were issues that were identified during the IMRX.

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      • #4
        LT, thanks for the clarification. I have not heard of the LHI program nor IMRX/Dental screen. I do know that with dental, there are out of pocket costs that I experience whenever my dependents deal with outside of normal care.

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        • collk22
          collk22 commented
          Editing a comment
          CPT collk22, unless you know something I don't

          Dental Screening for Guardsmen typically comes during the IMRX. Any issues identified lead to a referral which (as you probably know), need to be corrected by the soldier in order for the SM to maintain proper dental/medical readiness. The Guard uses the dental vouchers administered through LHI to address many of these issues. I could tell right away you were talking apples and the OP was asking oranges, but no biggie.

      • #5
        Congrats on the promotion. That is why its great to be a Chief. You get promoted and the title never changes. Just the number designation lol

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        • #6
          Yes, I'm about to enlist in the Guard and my husband is currently active duty. Right now I'm still covered under Tricare Prime for health insurance and under Metlife for Dental. I called Metlife before going to the Dentist and they said that typically for small stuff like fillings and cleanings you're covered 100% but major stuff it's covered about 80% or so.

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