Is it legal to pay a different co-payment for dental treatment than what you were told to pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal to pay a different co-payment for dental treatment than what you were told to pay?

I went to my dentist for a special cleaning. I knew there was going to be a very small co payment. The receptionist informed me I had to pay 3. So I paid it and went on to do the procedure. When checking out they told me that I had to pay $95 because my insurance didn’t cover it. They showed me a paper I signed saying that I knew this but why didn’t they tell me this before I did the procedure? Is that legal? I couldn’t afford it and they have done this before to me.

Asked on February 12, 2019 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is legal. You write that "they showed me a paper I signed saying I knew this." The law holds people to what they sign: you are expected--required--to read what you sign before signing and are presumed to understand and agree to what you signed. In having signed a document that youo would be liable for the cost if insurance did not pay, you contractually obligated yourself to pay this amount.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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