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ACA Exchange Dental Plans for 2015
Old 11-15-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
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ACA Exchange Dental Plans for 2015

For 2014, we only had 2 rather expensive dental plans available.

In 2015, there are 12 different plans with premiums (for 2) as low as $44/month or $528/yr. I checked, and my dentist is a provider on the cheapo insurance.

They cover 100% of preventive care. 50% of everything else (after a $75 deductible) subject to the normal dental insurance evasive terminology of things they don't cover or limit in terms of scope or time between services.

That's compared to our pretty good employer provided coverage right now that covers 100% of preventative, 80% of minor services and 60% of major services (IIRC) with $50 deductible.

At $528/yr for the two of us, that's not much more than paying cash for 2 cleanings x2 plus the occasional x-rays (the dentist knocks 10% off for uninsured cash/credit card customers). And any other services will be partially covered plus we get their negotiated rate discount.

Take a look at your exchange's dental coverage for 2015 if you haven't already. I was pretty shocked to see a plan that isn't much more expensive than the preventative care alone.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:27 PM   #2
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Just to add to the decision process :-) you can also price the discount offerings like Aetna Vital Savings and Carington.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:38 PM   #3
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......... I was pretty shocked to see a plan that isn't much more expensive than the preventative care alone.
Me, too. It would not seem to be much of a business model.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:29 PM   #4
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Me, too. It would not seem to be much of a business model.
I know. I'll have to ask my dentist's office manager on her take to see if she knows anything good or bad about it. Maybe the insurer I found for $44/month has a practice of aggressively denying claims or their policy language is very narrow and doesn't cover much. I didn't dig that far. Just figured the preventative stuff is worth around $200-250/person per year and having just one filling or other procedure per year would probably make it break even for policyholders.

They did have a three tier network of in network, Premier in network (they pay the dentist more under the premier network, and so you pay more), and out of network. My dentist appears to be in the regular network so we would get the lower pricing, but it might be limited networks.
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:38 PM   #5
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Observation only loosely related: On a recent flight I sat next to a dental student who was now in his residency. He was chatty, and we talked about dentistry. He kept returning to the issue of how quickly he could perform procedures, and finally I asked him about this. He said it was a major factor in how much he would earn as a dentist, so all of his classmates strove to be able to do procedures rapidly. Obviously, he said, there was more money to be made as an oral surgeon or other specialties (orthodontics, etc), but for a "regular" dentist, speed was critical.
I guess that makes sense. Still, I never felt like my dentist was really rushing to get to the next patient, but I certainly spent a lot more time with the hygienist and assistant than with the dentist.
Anyway, just one observation--and not even firsthand.
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:59 PM   #6
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Observation only loosely related: On a recent flight I sat next to a dental student who was now in his residency. He was chatty, and we talked about dentistry. He kept returning to the issue of how quickly he could perform procedures, and finally I asked him about this. He said it was a major factor in how much he would earn as a dentist, so all of his classmates strove to be able to do procedures rapidly. Obviously, he said, there was more money to be made as an oral surgeon or other specialties (orthodontics, etc), but for a "regular" dentist, speed was critical.
I guess that makes sense. Still, I never felt like my dentist was really rushing to get to the next patient, but I certainly spent a lot more time with the hygienist and assistant than with the dentist.
Anyway, just one observation--and not even firsthand.
I think my dentist is a pretty crappy businessperson because he spends tons of time thoroughly explaining things to me.

He'll spend the time to get a procedure done just right, even if it takes more time. He's a one guy shop, so I guess he gets to decide how he operates, but sometimes I wonder if he knows he could blow through procedures and pack more patients in a day.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:53 PM   #7
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I didn't even know the exchanges had dental. I'm going bare and DS has Delta, which our dentist said was decent. We love our dentist but it was a bit weird that I had to follow up and remind them to bill me for the work he did in my implants in June. Finally paid the bill for $4K in October. His wife is the office manager. How could they not miss that much cash flow?
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