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Savings after dropping dental insurance
Old 08-31-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Savings after dropping dental insurance

Our dentist, Ms G and I decided this time last year to drop our dental plan with Delta Dental. We had always had good luck with DD and only disliked the rising premiums. Our dentist said that he would freeze costs on dental cleanings 3X a year and discount other work for cash. Our dentist also saw no major work for a couple or more years if ever. So the drum roll please we have saved $ 1112 since getting rid of DD.

More than offsets the extra $768 a year our BCBS went up.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
Our dentist, Ms G and I decided this time last year to drop our dental plan with Delta Dental. We had always had good luck with DD and only disliked the rising premiums. Our dentist said that he would freeze costs on dental cleanings 3X a year and discount other work for cash. Our dentist also saw no major work for a couple or more years if ever. So the drum roll please we have saved $ 1112 since getting rid of DD.

More than offsets the extra $768 a year our BCBS went up.
Good for you. I did the same a few years back and am already ahead. We are fortunate to have a good dentist that works with us, gives us options and like yours, discounts for cash payments.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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What were you paying for dental insurance? My premiums run about $500 a year. I get two cleanings and two exams a year at a minimum.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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What is a typical discount for cash payment? My dentist offers 3%.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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Dental insurance that is not employer-subsidized is almost always a bad deal. And if you think about it, it's not even really "insurance" but the polar opposite of insurance. Real "insurance" protects you from massive losses while expecting you to self-insure expenses that are survivable and manageable. Dental "insurance" is often the opposite -- it typically insures the first $1000-1500 and leaves you exposed to every dollar above that.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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What were you paying for dental insurance? My premiums run about $500 a year. I get two cleanings and two exams a year at a minimum.
We were paying $104 a month 6 cleaning 1 exam & bitewings, NC between the two of us. The premium was going to $110. a month.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
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What is a typical discount for cash payment? My dentist offers 3%.
We haven't had any extra work done, but he only charges for 1 exam per year, and always looks in our mouths.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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Good for you! It is the hidden periodic expenses that suck the blood out a budget like a vampire on Haloween.

Have to +1 Ziggy on his thoughts on dental health insurance. I never had a taker on the cash discount thing. I have had 2 dentists turn down the cash discount.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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I have been paying the COBRA premium on my dental for the last 5 months @$71/mo but only because DW needed a crown which she will get next week and I had my annual checkup and a cleaning so we came out slightly ahead. After that, I'll drop the dental insurance and pay as we go (typically 2 checkups and 4 cleanings a year).
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:13 PM   #10
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In my 23 years of working, I had employer subsidized dental coverage. My share of the premiums was pretax while the employer share was tax-free. It was a good deal, especially when I had quite a bit of work done in the 1990s.

When I cut my weekly work hours back in 2007, I became ineligible to remain in the group health program but I was eligible for COBRA as long as I paid the entire premium (plus an extra 2%). This was not as good a deal but I did have some more rather costly dental work done in 2008 in anticipation of my ER by the end of the year which would include a total loss in any dental coverage.

Now ERed, and with all of my costly dental work out of the way, what I pay for dental services is about the same as what I would have paid under COBRA along with deductibles and copays, as long as I don't have more than one cavity per visit. I have in my budget about $500 a year which covers a visit every 6 months and some X-rays once a year along with a small filling or two. My dentist does not give me any cash discounts.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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I pay for dental work on my own. Then use my HSA to reimburse myself. I'm on a 4 month recall for examinations and cleanings and this year got my dental implant finished, so the cost is gonna put a bit of a strain on my HSA balance. But that's okay as that's why I have a HSA in the first place, to cover the qualified expenses.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:29 AM   #12
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We get 10% off (on expensive procedures) if we pay in cash.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #13
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My retiree dental insurance for a family of four is $53/month and pays for cleanings and other preventative services. It has a cap of $1500/year per person for repair work (extractions/crowns/bridges, etc.). So far this year we have met the cap for two family members. The dentist gives a 7% cash payment discount for services that are not paid by insurance. By cash I mean cash or check, no credit or debit cards.
I think it is a good deal.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:46 AM   #14
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When I turned 65 a few years ago my dentist gave me a 10% discount that I was not expecting. We pay our dental visits by CC. I'll inquire about a cash discount next time.
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