Monday, February 11, 2013

What About Dental Insurance??

Even though my parents worked hard to make it from payday to payday (and sometimes we didn't) they always made sure that we went to the dentist, not that we wanted to go.  I still have a mouthful of those big old giant fillings to prove it.  Luckily, we had a very good dentist, so none of us feared the drill like some kids.

At Christmas dinner we were talking about Medicare and the fact that it does not cover the dentist.  I pay $46.34 per month for dental and was just sure it was a good deal but I wanted to make sure, so I called up my dentist's office and had a little chat.

First thing that I want to mention is that I was Dr. Young's first patient.  He was just out of school and was hanging around over at Dr. Dugan's office one day when I had a dental emergency.  He solved the problem and I have been with him ever since, and that is close to 30 years.  He has a lovely office building and great long time staff, and is rumored to be the most expensive dentist on the Peninsula, but they are totally worth every penny, as far as I'm concerned.

Now that I have that out of the way, I want you to know that I was really surprised when Beth told me that I would be money ahead to fund my own dental every month instead of paying out for insurance.  The reason is that my insurance has a $1500 yearly cap, meaning that is all they are going to pay.  Gasp!!  So if I'm paying $556.08 per year and I used all my insurance for that year, the insurance company would only be paying out $943.92 extra that year.

So the question is - Is $1500 coverage worth $556.08??  Could be if you need a couple of crowns and a root canal every year but we usually don't.  Most years, it is two cleanings and maybe an x-ray and we lose the rest that we don't use that year.  That is how insurance companies make money.  Hmmm.

This is how my dental fund would look the first year:

End of first year balance = $556.08 ($46.34 per month)

                                      -  188.00 (2 cleanings @ $94 each)

                                      -    94.00 (full set x-rays)

Normal year end balance   = $284.08

Then that balance would be carried over and $46.34 added to it every month.  After two years the balance would be $568, and so on.  One can see that if you only have $1500 in yearly coverage anyway, that this might be the better way to go about taking care of your dental visits.

Here is a short list of the usual dental costs (at my dentist) to help with planning:

Crown - $1044.00

Root Canal - $799.00 (molar - 4 roots)
                       617.00 (side teeth)
                       548.00 (anterior teeth - 1 root)

X-Rays - $94.00 (full mouth)
                 51.00 (4 bite wings)
                 18.00 (roots)

Cleaning - $94.00

My dentist offers a cash rate so check into that when you are asking about your insurance's dental coverage cap.

You may be wondering about the dish pictured above.  I made this dish last week with some leftover Swiss Chard from my garden.  I got this idea from my friend, Miss Jeannie, who is a nutritional therapist and really knows her stuff.  All I did was heat the greens in the pan.  When they were hot, I made two holes and slipped an egg into each one, salt & pepper, put the lid on until done to your liking.  This was really very tasty and made a great dinner - good on nutrition and good on the wallet.

1 comment:

  1. Now I know for sure that we aren't from the same family! Or maybe mom took us to different dentists? I have memories of mom holding my legs and feet, the nurse holding my arms down and the dentist drilling.... I can hardly breathe in the dentist chair to this day. I have no issues with the shots or drilling. I just want them to do it from the other side of the room!

    The egg dish looks delish!!

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