"How Do We Live Like This?" — Woman Struggles to Find an In-Network Dentist

In a now-viral video, a woman ranted about how challenging it is for her to find an in-network dentist. Check out the full story below.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Nov. 9 2023, Published 11:07 a.m. ET

A woman describes her struggle to find an in-network dentist.
Source: TikTok / @awalmartparkinglot

Adulting is very intimidating; there's so much we need to learn to succeed as adults, and it all starts with taking care of ourselves. Navigating the world of healthcare may be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding insurance networks and coverage. Ugh, just writing that stressed us out!

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But seriously, it's frustrating AF! Take it from TikTok user @awalmartparkinglot, who recently took to the social media platform and ranted about how difficult it is for her to find an in-network dentist.

Check out the full story below, and keep scrolling to hear what others have to say about the TikToker's struggles.

Young woman looks happy at the dentist.
Source: Getty Images
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This woman revealed how difficult it is for her to find an in-network dentist.

In the viral video, posted on Nov. 7, 2023, the TikTok creator explained her main issue with the dentist. She revealed that she has dental insurance through her employer. So, she made an appointment at one of the offices but quickly found out that the dentist she was supposed to see wasn't actually in her network.

While speaking with the receptionist, the TikToker learned that the dentist hadn't been part of that specific network for years. The TikToker pointed out that she found the office on her network's website, to which the employee replied, "Oh, my god. Yeah, that happens all the time. They don't update the website, but yeah, it would be out of network."

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After the TikToker asked how much the appointment would cost, the front desk worker said she couldn't tell her — weird! She added that the office usually does "a price thing a couple of days before your appointment. So call us a couple of days before, and then we can tell you how much it is."

The TikTok creator did just that, but the office still didn't tell her how much the appointment would cost. Nevertheless, they offered her a suggestion — a pretty bad one, at that!

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"We'll give you all of the codes of what we do at a new patient appointment, and then you can call Cigna and ask them how much that they will cover of that," the employee told the TikToker. "Don't ask them a percentage because sometimes they'll say 100 percent ... Ask them a dollar amount."

The TikTok creator declined the advice, telling the employee to cancel the appointment because she didn't "have the time to conduct multiple conference calls just to find out how much the dentist appointment is going to cost."

In the end, the TikTok creator was pretty annoyed. She told her followers, "So if I can't go to my insurance to find out who is in-network, do I just call every dentist to find... like, how do we get here? How do we live like this?"

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Many fellow TikTok users have experienced similar struggles.

The now-viral video has been viewed more than 202,600 times and counting as of this writing; it also received nearly 1,500 comments from fellow TikTokers who shared similar sentiments.

"Girl, literally me trying to schedule with an eye place in-network, and they said, 'So, we're in network, but the doctor isn't' literally HOW," one person wrote in the comment section.

"LITERALLYYYYYY you have to make SO MANY CALLS and it takes SO MUCH TIME"
Source: TikTok / @autumnums
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A second TikTok user said they recently "found out that my dental [insurance] has a $500 max benefit per [year]. What even is the point?"

"OMG, the SAME thing happened to me, and I had to pay like $1,200 out of pocket," a third user added.

Another person shared, "My therapist did this… I went to 12 appts before I found out it wasn't being covered anymore even though the practice is." OK, that is so bad.

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"I work front desk at a dental office- Cigna is gonna be a hard one to find anyone in network"
Source: TikTok / @midaybeauty231

Others pointed out that Cigna has pretty poor dental coverage: "Also have Cigna for dental. It's the worst. You do indeed have to call every dentist to see if they're in-network," one TikToker commented.

"I work front desk at a dental office," someone else said. "Cigna is gonna be a hard one to find anyone in-network."

Another dental office employee stated that they are also "out of network with Cigna," but are still able to "provide patients with an out-of-pocket estimate prior." Well, that's good, at least!

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