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Do you Think I Should continue these Insurance Plans
Old 12-19-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
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Do you Think I Should continue these Insurance Plans


I am very close to my last day and looking at what to do with existing benefits. I have always had very good advice here, so I thought I would ask again.

First Question is Dental Insurance - I am 56, with wife (55) and two children aged 19 and 25. I am wondering if most people get dental insurance when they FIRE, or do they just foot the whole bill out of savings.

Currently, the dental is $1458 per year. Covers me, wife and two daughters. Preventative is free - Class II (I am thinking fillings, root canals, etc.) is 80%, Class III (non metallic crowns, bridges, etc.) is 50%. Max benefit payout per person is $1500 per year, with a $50 deductable.

Second Question - I have a Long Term Care insurance policy I got through the company when I was 49. It provides for $6000 per month for 6 years for nursing home or home care if I get Alzheimers or can't function otherwise. They are telling me that although I can't add my wife to the policy , I can continue this policy on me if I start picking up the tab. The amount is $669.60 per year. They tell me this stays the same as long as I pay the premiums. I think this is worth keeping, but would appreciate any thoughts.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Old 12-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #2
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Don't know much about LTC but that doesn't sound like a bad deal to me as long as it's there if you need it. The dental sounds reasonable to me for the whole family. If you figure what the cleanings cost (I go twice a year and wife three times) that's over $600 for the two of us, throw in x rays every year or two and a crown or two every 5 years and it would be a deal.

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Old 12-19-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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I'm not planning on getting dental insurance. Especially if it cost what yours cost. I could cover the costs without a big problem.

That LTC premium sounds very low from what I've seen around here. If that's it, keep it. But double check to see if that's not a monthly premium or a slipped decimal. I'm self insuring LTC also. We have individual spending accounts that could be depleted to pay for LTC if necessary.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:39 AM   #4
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I haven't done the in-depth math, but off the cuff that LTCI sounds like a keeper for about $55 a month. I would take their claim of "this stays the same as long as (you) pay the premiums" with a huge grain of salt, though, as many folks are sold LTCI with the "lock in low rates now while you are young!" sales pitch -- only to find they aren't locked in at all. Is there any inflation provision? $6000 a month ($200 a day) may not be that much in 15-20 years.

Dental is iffy here -- not obviously bad but not a no-brainer at about $365 per person per year. For four insureds, it's not bad if you all go to the dentist regularly and get all the cleaning/exam/x-ray services on the recommended intervals. How long are your daughters eligible to stay on this plan, and would the premium go down when they are no longer eligible?
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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We don't have dental as it would cost us ~$1,000 a year (for a couple) and we normally only each have one exam and two cleanings a year which costs ~$300 for the both of us. We self insure. At $1,485 a year for the four of you I would drop it unless one of you has some serious dental issues.

Your LTC sounds like a good deal. I would keep it for now and then do some LTC shopping and see if it really is a good deal. If so, then keep it.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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I think most of us self-insure for dental, but I'll give you a data point for comparison.

We have dental insurance with similar coverage, but we pay only $360/year for two of us. That's subsidized by a former employer. Your cost sounds quite high.

OTOH, your LTC deal sounds like one of the best I've heard of, so I would examine that very closely before dropping it.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for the advice. I can't see that the LTC has any inflation protection, so that may be the hitch there. But maybe I can keep it for a while and see how it goes.

My kids are 19 and 25, so only one year left on the oldest for dental coverage. Sounds like self insure might be best for that coverage.

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Old 12-19-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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Our LTC policy (for 2) was bought at age 55... when the $100/day coverage was reasonable... Nursing home costs were about $30K yr... Now the comparable cost is more like $80 to $90K/yr. Still, after about $48K in premiums, we'll keep it.
Since you started so early, your rates are quite low as far as I can see. If you had a cola's plan you'd probably know it as the initial rates are higher, and premiums usually adjust.
As far as the safety... Hmmm... our plan has changed hands three times and is curently handled by a trust... no additional members, and I suspect a limited long term viability. Still at our age, the risk level is pretty high, so we keep on keeping on.
In the fine print... as far as increased rates... you will likely find some obscure wording that is a caveat... rates may be inreased if: and then some gobbledgook about national costs or equalization or something like that... our annual costs over 20+ years has risen by about $150/year... never bothered to figure out the "why" details.
In any case, your deal looks pretty good to me.

About the dental? No opinion, except to note that things like implants or extensive crown/denture work is not cheap...
Dw had an estimate of about $12K for extensive work... Even at the minimum, the cost was still over 5K.
Depends a lot on dental history I'd guess. Problems in the past ight foretell worse problems in the future, whereas relatively healthy teeth might not be a problem at all. Tough call.
Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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In general, I don't insure against losses that I can absorb. Dental insurance falls into this category for most people unless the premiums are subsidized (mine are).
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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One potential benefit of dental insurance is a list of participating dentists with a price list for specific services. Even when coverage limits are met, the price list may compare favorably to what others charge.

I discussed dental insurance with my dentist. She didn't think it was worth paying a full premium but did agree to give me a discounted cash price.
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Do you Think I Should continue these Insurance Plans
Old 12-19-2013, 05:04 PM   #11
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Do you Think I Should continue these Insurance Plans

Your dental costs about $1500 a year for your family of four and will pay out a max of $6000 for your family. I would keep that. We looked at it for us and for an individual it would cost $1500 and would pay a max of $1500. We thought that was a good deal for the dental insurance company but not for us.

The LTC seems like a decent deal.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:51 PM   #12
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My dental is a wash, premiums cost cover cleaning, x-rays. It's capped at 1k per year, so throw in a crown and I'm ahead.
The only annoying thing to me is they refuse to cover prevention. I grind, so every 2 years I eat the splint, and then eat the cost of a $600 device all out pocket.
Edit to add your dental sounds a little higher them mine with better benefits, if you need them. LTCI, I don't know enough.

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