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QUESTION: An insurance company sent me payment via a credit card number. I’ve never seen this before. Do I have to accept it?


ANSWER: Many insurance companies have started to send claim payments using credit cards via mail or fax. The payment page usually includes the name of the patient, the date of service, and the claim ID number. The payment may come separately from the matching EOB (explanation of benefits). The issue I hear with this is that the dentist/manager is reluctant to process this form of payment due to the additional cost of processing a credit card payment. One attendee in a class pointed out that not only are you providing a discounted fee (if you’re a PPO provider), but you’re also paying to process their payment. Another attendee pointed out that she’d rather pay it so she has the money in the bank. As you can see there are differing viewpoints on this.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can contact the insurance company and tell them that you do not wish to accept payment in this method and to please reissue the payment in the form of a check. Clients have told me that the insurance company will refuse and point out that in contracts the method of payment is not clarified. Yet other managers I talk with tell me that they were able to successfully refuse. If you are not comfortable with accepting credit cards for claim payment, I would call to discuss this with the insurance company.

This is another good reason to accept direct deposit from insurance companies. This will not cost you anything and you’ll receive your money faster than a traditional check payment. If you’re not currently accepting direct deposit, I highly recommend that you consider it.

Christine Taxin
36 Abington Avenue
Ardsley New York 10502
United States of America