Am I Being Taken For a Ride with Invisalign Bill?

I promised my granddaughter that I would pay for her to get Invisalign as her graduation present. She choose the office, and I spoke with them over the phone and they said there wouldn’t be a problem with me handling the finances. We agreed on an amount, and I paid it in full, up front. Now my granddaughter says that I only made the down payment, and that they are expecting additional money every month for the next six months. I don’t really doubt my granddaughter, but it doesn’t make sense. I tried to talk to the office ladies, but they said that they can’t talk to me about my granddaughter’s treatment because of privacy laws. I feel like I’m being taken for a ride, but I don’t know by whom. Any idea on how to resolve this?



Dear Paula,

Each office sets its own policies for Invisalign payments. Some offices require a flat fee for all services up front, while others will accept a down payment to cover the initial costs, and will then spread out the ongoing costs over time. It’s possible that you only made a down payment, and that they didn’t clearly explain it.

There are privacy laws that are designed to protect patients, at any kind of a medical or dental facility. The office really can’t tell you about the nature of her bill or why it was incurred. If you need more information to go on, the office should be able to print out an itemized statement and give it to your granddaughter, so that she can pass the information on to you. As an alternative, you can also ask your granddaughter to sign a release form for the office, granting the office permission to speak with you about her treatment.

If you’re hoping to sidestep your granddaughter and get information, you can ask the office questions like, “How much does this service normally cost?” or “How does your office normally bill for Invisalign?” While they can’t comment on your granddaughter’s Invisalign treatment, they can provide general answers. There’s a good chance that if you explain to them what’s going on, they’ll work with you and prepare the paperwork for your granddaughter, so she can give them written permission to talk to you when she’s in the office next.

This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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