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Dental Insurance
Old 09-15-2013, 05:50 PM   #1
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Dental Insurance

Does anybody know of decent dental insurance that covers people in their late 50's that is reasonable and covers things other than cleanings?
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:23 PM   #2
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I've only heard the name of this outfit. I don't know anything about them (good or bad) .
Delta Dental | Employee Benefits and Individual Dental Insurance

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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Generally dental insurance is not a good deal unless it is employer subsidized. Ditto for eye care. Basically, you are insuring against costs that most of us can sustain out of pocket, so it makes more sense to self insure.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:37 AM   #4
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As someone already said, don't buy it unless subsidized by employers. You pay a lot and there are still waiting period, deductible, copay, yearly limit to make it not worth it. Just shop around there are many docs that will give you price break for cash payment. If you're lucky enough to be in Cali, you can find places doing cleaning for $5, fillings for $20, deep cleaning for $200, root canal for $200, crown for $300, implant for $999...cheaper than insurance price.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
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We looked into dental insurance and found we would pay premiums that were just about what the annual maximum payout would be--I.e., give the insurer $1000 a year and they would pay up to $1000 a year. And then we would still have to pay 50 percent of most services other than cleanings until we reached the cap.

It was a good deal when it was employer-subsidized. But now It is a great deal for the insurer.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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In all my years of practicing dentistry I have not found an individual policy worth purchasing. If you live near a dental school you can get dental work done at discounted prices. The trade off is it will take more time to get the work done.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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We also decided not to use dental insurance once we retired. So far so good. Note that health insurance will typically cover major stuff such as root canals and periodontal surgery. (ours does)
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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I have chosen to pay $20.50 per month for Delta Dental through COBRA. That's only $246 per year. I just had 2 small cavities filled. The bill was $202 for each filling, equals $404. I had to pay $114 after the insurance (deductible had already been met) or $57 per filling, with insurance.

The question is "what would he charge me for the two fillings were I to pay cash?" Guess I'll just have to ask.

I also had a crown put in earlier this year, for total cost of around $800, for which I had to pay $500, with insurance. I can't imagine he would charge less than $500 cash for a crown.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #10
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Give the insurer $1000 a year and they would pay up to $1000 a year.
+1. We came to all the same conclusions. Our dentist also said he has never come across a non-employer policy that was worth the money.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
I have chosen to pay $20.50 per month for Delta Dental through COBRA. That's only $246 per year. I just had 2 small cavities filled. The bill was $202 for each filling, equals $404. I had to pay $114 after the insurance (deductible had already been met) or $57 per filling, with insurance.

The question is "what would he charge me for the two fillings were I to pay cash?" Guess I'll just have to ask.

I also had a crown put in earlier this year, for total cost of around $800, for which I had to pay $500, with insurance. I can't imagine he would charge less than $500 cash for a crown.
If you were running an insurance company, would you charge less for annual premiums than you expected to pay out on an average claim?
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:01 PM   #12
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I have chosen to pay $20.50 per month for Delta Dental through COBRA.
We kept dental when we were on COBRA as well. COBRA is still an employer plan. It is post COBRA we couldn't find any plan that seemed worth the premiums.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:31 PM   #13
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I have chosen to pay $20.50 per month for Delta Dental through COBRA. That's only $246 per year. I just had 2 small cavities filled. The bill was $202 for each filling, equals $404. I had to pay $114 after the insurance (deductible had already been met) or $57 per filling, with insurance.

The question is "what would he charge me for the two fillings were I to pay cash?" Guess I'll just have to ask.

I also had a crown put in earlier this year, for total cost of around $800, for which I had to pay $500, with insurance. I can't imagine he would charge less than $500 cash for a crown.
He can charge you anything he wants. And you can also shop around. I have friends and relatives that had dental cleaning done for $5, another got tooth colored composite done for $20, and another got PFM crown done for $300. This was in SoCal where there's a couple dentists on every corner. Free pickup/dropoff too!
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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Thinking ahead a few years (knock wood) to when I am retired and will no longer have my dental insurance through my employer, on my last visit I asked my dentist whether or not any of his retired patients carry dental insurance. He said there is not a plan out there that is cost effective, and all his retired patients pay cash. I believe he said they give a discount for cash, but can't remember what it was.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:26 AM   #15
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We have always used DW's dental insurance from her w*rkplace, and it has always paid the lion's share of our dental bills. When she retired, she was able to keep it, so we are happy to pay $30/month for the two of us.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:50 AM   #16
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We have always used DW's dental insurance from her w*rkplace, and it has always paid the lion's share of our dental bills. When she retired, she was able to keep it, so we are happy to pay $30/month for the two of us.
But is is subsidized by your former employer? I pay $6 monthly, but it is not the full cost.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #17
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In all my years of practicing dentistry I have not found an individual policy worth purchasing. If you live near a dental school you can get dental work done at discounted prices. The trade off is it will take more time to get the work done.
Best advice. I kept mine on COBRA but it's not worth the premium. My BIL is a dentist, that was always his advice. A coworker had major expenses to fix her issues and she did that. She ended up with this dentist for a lot of work at dental college, and at his state boards exam.

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Old 09-19-2013, 10:53 AM   #18
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Dental insurance that isn't employer-subsidized is a bad deal because of all the adverse selection. Many dental policies can charge you *almost* as much in premiums per year as their annual maximum benefit. And if you think about it, it makes sense; people who may need a lot of dental work one year can buy a policy, get all the work done, and then cancel it until they need a lot more work again. Under such a model you'd expect premium costs to be very nearly what the annual maximum benefit would be.

Employer group plans also include people who rarely need more than regular exams, cleaning and X-rays, as well as many "dentaphobes" who never go to the dentist. So they are much cheaper, and for people needing regular dental care and getting regular semi-annual cleaning and maintenance, they are usually worth buying if they come with an employer subsidy.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:12 AM   #19
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Similar to others' experiences, I was unable to find a dental insurance plan that was worth the cost. However, I was also frustrated that my long-time dentist would not offer any discount once I was without insurance and paying cash. So, I shopped around and found a dental discount plan and confirmed that my dentist participates. It costs me a little under $100/year and saves me more than that with just two routine visits per year. When something else pops up (just this week I had a crown replaced), it saves me considerably more.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #20
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But is is subsidized by your former employer? I pay $6 monthly, but it is not the full cost.
It is subsidized. Covers 90% of regular services and 50% of an implant. We're happy with it.
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