Dental plans and Florida
Today I went to get x-rays using my new dental plan from HumanaOne. The experience was horrible. It took 90 minutes just to see the doctor - just for x-rays - and upon speaking with her it was obvious she was a quack and also obvious that office was nothing but a crown farm. The dental plan that supposedly was all-accepted by this office as recommended by the H1 web site didn't cover anything.
My mistake was this: I stupidly did not use a Florida-local insurance provider. And later on this week I will be ringing up an in-state provider to get on track with my dental stuff. More on that in a moment.
To anyone thinking about moving to Florida, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to stay local.
When I lived in Connecticut, the best way to conduct business is with national companies because they're all right next door to you. CT is most (in)famous for three things - interstates, insurance companies and casinos, so with insurance in particular you get the best of the best with nationals.
Florida on the other hand is the polar opposite of New England concerning the way business is done. Whereas you'd stick to nationals in New England, those same companies have absolutely no clue how to handle The Sunshine State. It is way too easy to get lost in red tape if you conduct business with a national company as a Florida resident. When signing up on the phone for any particular service such as insurance, everything seems to go all right, but then when you try to use it locally, everything (yes, everything) goes all wrong.
The reason nationals have such a huge problem conducting business here is because Florida has its own set of rules for just about everything. Rules that benefit the residents before corporations; something very unique to this state. National companies positively hate these rules, so what they do is anything to skirt around them. The end result is the you, the Florida resident, get screwed when conducting business with a national. Banks, wireless service, ISPs, insurance, real estate and so on all have poor performance here. Anything that a national tries to do in FL will mess up.
If you purposely avoid nationals when living here, your life will go on a whole lot better as a Florida resident.
Before continuing, I will give the nod to GEICO, because they are the only national company I know of that knows how to handle Florida insurance correctly, at least for vehicles. They do have the best deals and the most options for coverage. And I believe the only reason they do well is specifically because they have teams dedicated to insurance on a per-state level. Other companies try to pull off blanket-style policies for all 50 states, and I'm sorry but it just doesn't work that way. You have to get local when it comes to certain things, and auto insurance is definitely one of them.
Later on this week I will be ringing up Florida-local dental insurance providers, one of which will be Florida Blue. This is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, so even though they run under a national umbrella, it still is local to here.
A few notes in closing:
Finding local in-state dental insurance providers is not easy. They obviously exist, but wow do you have to dig around just to find a local office. Once you do, you're good to go and can make a call and do your business, but sheesh is the information buried.
Google searches for dental insurance local to your state result in nothing but a bevy of blog spam, so using Goog for that purpose is absolutely worthless. However there are other ways of getting the info you want using a very custom way of doing it - and I'll mention how to do it in a future post. Once you know it's done you can get the info quick.