New dental fee finder for Sun Life Financial plan members in Alberta

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You may be aware that, unlike the rest of Canada, the Alberta Dental Association and College does not publish an annual fee guide for dentists to use as a reference. As a result, dental fees can vary widely among Alberta-based dentists. In light of this, Sun Life Financial and other insurers have to establish their own reimbursement levels for dental fees in Alberta.

Some dentists charge fees that are higher than our reimbursement levels. This difference between what dentists charge and what Sun Life reimburses is the plan member’s responsibility. You asked us for information on the range of dental fees in Alberta to help plan members be more informed consumers of dental services and we’ve listened.

Making it make sense

Sun Life has developed a dental fee finder to help plan members in Alberta determine the range of fees that dentists charge in a certain area. This dental fee finder will allow members to have some insight into how their dentist’s fees may compare with others in the area and with the maximum levels under Sun Life’s reimbursement guide. While we know that price is not the only consideration in choosing a dentist, this information can help plan members make an informed choice in determining what steps, if any, they wish to take to help maximize the value of their dental coverage.

How does it work?

By visiting sunlife.ca/albertadental, members will be able to select a specific geographic area (by the first 3 characters of an Alberta postal code) to see the fees for 15 commonly submitted dental procedures in that area for which Sun Life receives claims. This dental fee finder, which is based on our claims data, shows just how much variation there is in fees in the various regions across the province. By being a better informed consumer, members can choose how they want to manage their out-of-pocket costs. For example, they can negotiate a better price with their dentist, get a cost estimate from another dentist in the area, or agree to pay their dentist’s extra fees.

Check out the website to view the dental fee finder, FAQ and member information.

A few things to note

Sun Life’s Alberta dental fee finder report is for informational purposes only and to help members understand the dental situation in Alberta. The range in dental fees is for the time period indicated on the report and includes claims for services performed by general practitioners only which were submitted to Sun Life in the period indicated.

The report may not include all regions; in regions where there are fewer than 5 dentists, there is insufficient information so no fees will be available for those postal codes. A Sun Life dental plan may not include all the services listed in the dental fee finder report. Refer members to their benefits booklet for details about their specific plan.

Sharing this information with your plan members

A communication has been created for you to share this new functionality with your members.

Questions?

Please contact your Client Service Administrator at 1-877-786-7227.