nbc 7 responds

The Tooth Hurts, Insurance Pains Deputy Sheriff

NBC 7 Responds helps a retired deputy sheriff with billing issues over a root canal

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Gerry Bedard had nothing to fear but the fear of getting a root canal. The retired deputy sheriff from Encinitas had purchased dental insurance from a third-party insurance provider. 

But when it came time to schedule the surgery in February of last year through Delta Dental, Bedard felt a whole new kind of pain. The company said his plan did not cover root canals.

“Most dental companies cover 50 percent of a root canal. It's pretty typical,” Bedard told NBC 7 Responds. “It's still a lot of money, but it at least covers 50 percent.”

The pain was too much for Bedard to handle so he went ahead with the procedure.

Weeks later, Bedard says he got another surprise in the mail.

“When we got the bill, it said the insurance would only pay $109,” Bedard said. 

That meant the couple was out of nearly $1,300.

Bedard called Delta Dental and said he was eventually told that his dental insurance plan was for a baby, not an adult.

Problem was Bedard and his wife didn’t have any babies, let alone any children at all.

“My wife and I are over 60,” said Bedard. “We don't have children, we didn't register any children, but somehow we purchased a plan just for infants.”

After months of back and forth, Bedard decided to call NBC 7 Responds to get things straightened out. 

“We were in a complete dead-end at this point.  We had nowhere to go and we were going to be out $1300 bucks,” Bedard told NBC 7. 

NBC 7 Responds reached out to Delta Dental. A few weeks later Bedard got some much needed news. 

“They were going to refund us the whole amount of the root canal which was over $1,200,” said Bedard. “I don't like injustice. And justice is something I fought for being a retired deputy sheriff. Injustice really gets me going. But NBC 7 Responds made all the difference.”

In a statement, Delta Dental told NBC 7:

“Our goal is to provide our customers with great care and service in every interaction, and in this case we didn’t live up to that standard. We reached out to the Bedard’s to apologize for their experience and covered the full cost of the procedure.”

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