Author Topic: Employer dental insurance - worth it?  (Read 2407 times)

Mayan

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Employer dental insurance - worth it?
« on: June 13, 2013, 08:05:03 PM »
I'm switching medical insurance to my employer's plan next month and am debating whether it is worthwhile to get their dental insurance.  I have had a few cavities previously, no other dental problems.  The insurance would cost me $29 per month and covers preventive care with no deductible.  Anything else would incur a $50 deductible and 20-50% copay depending on the service.  The plan has a $1000 maximum annual benefit. 

I'm currently debating whether I would be better off taking the insurance or simply paying out of pocket for dental care.  My medical plan will be a high-deductible one and my employer pre-funds it with $750/yr.  Am I correct in understanding that I could pay dental expenses out of my HSA even if I don't have dental insurance?  Anyone have experiences or thoughts with  dental insurance and whether it truly saves money?  I have always had dental coverage in the past, so I'm not very familiar with the out of pocket costs of preventive care and common services

George_PA

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Re: Employer dental insurance - worth it?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 08:48:52 PM »
I recommend that you don't get it; I have not had dental insurance in probably at least 5-10 years.

When you go without, it creates an incentive system to encourage you to brush and floss every night.  See if you slack off, you get cavities and its like a punch in the face when you have to pay $200 out of pocket to get each one fixed;  Thus, the fear of paying for these procedures drives you to take better care of your teeth.  As a result, I have not had a cavity in probably about 5 years. I used to slack off but learned my lesson through the wallet.  Thus, its a win-win, you get better health for less money (since there are no premiums to pay).

I do go in to the dentist for 6-month checkups; my health insurance actually covers these checkups (but it does not cover any other dental procedures at all).  Thus, this system has worked out great for me.  I have no idea about that HSA stuff because I don't use it.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 08:50:30 PM by George_PA »

TheDude

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Re: Employer dental insurance - worth it?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 09:21:02 PM »
I would think 29*12=348 maybe more than you would pay for just a teeth cleaing and check up. Call around and figure what cash prices are in your area. If they are more than 300 for two checkups a year I would buy the insurance if not its not worth it.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Employer dental insurance - worth it?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 10:10:55 PM »
I have free dental through my work, but before that, there was a period where I had no insurance. I remember telling the office manager when I had to do some minor cavity about paying for the full cost, and they discounted me something like 20% (might have been more - I don't remember it costing that much at all). So might want to check with your dentist to see what the rates are for cleanings, x-rays and basic cavities if you have no insurance. If they offer a discounted rate, it may be worth it to go without the paid dental through your work if you're teeth and gums are in decent shape... and try your best to keep them that way.

And also check whether you can get on the dental plan later (both when you can enroll,  and then the waiting period for coverage) as you could always jump in if you have a checkup where it looks like you might need some work done in the near future.

Mayan

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Re: Employer dental insurance - worth it?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 06:55:41 PM »
Thanks for the input!  I just moved and need a new dentist anyways, so perhaps calling around and finding out non-insurance prices for routine services will factor into my selection.  I will have the opportunity to enroll again each January, so if I decide to go without and something comes up, I may be able to have it covered in the future.