Author Topic: Dental insurance post FIRE?  (Read 1541 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Dental insurance post FIRE?
« on: May 24, 2018, 06:33:04 PM »
Seeking thoughts.

1) Self insure?
2) Company plan continued into retirement (poor full cost)
3) New plan?

. 2 Adults. 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 01:18:30 PM by PizzaSteve »


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Location: Bellingham, WA
Re: Dental insurance post FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2018, 07:45:20 PM »
IMO just pay out of pocket for dental.  Most plans have a maximum benefit not far beyond what you pay for premiums in my experience.


  • Stubble
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Re: Dental insurance post FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2018, 08:51:27 PM »
I lost my dental coverage but really liked my dentist so I asked about paying cash etc. Turns out they have a plan for people without insurance. 350$ a year includes two cleanings and any X-ray you may need ever and 15% off any work. This was pretty close to my coverage but had a deeper discount on work I may have needed.  Close enough for me so this is what I’m doing. 

My local military base has a clinic and sometimes they’ll do work for free if your diagnosed somewhere else first. I may try this if I need expensive work. 


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dental insurance post FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2018, 09:18:57 PM »
I bought dental insurance on my own for a while.

Recently, I changed to an employer that offers dental benefits.  I was surprised to see that the amount taken out of my check is about the same as when I bought it myself.

I also noted that the dental insurance has a deductible that is about what a yearly check would be and the cap seemed low enough that it may only cover one major job.

How do they price dental insurance?  It is priced, of course,  to make money for the dental insurer.  I am wondering if dental insurance is one area of health insurance where it is better if you assume the risk yourself.


  • Bristles
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Re: Dental insurance post FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 12:08:58 PM »
Dental insurance mostly smooths out payments. If you can cover a root canal + crown yourself for ~ $4500, you may not need it. Insurance will pay for hygiene visits and a good chunk of cavities. Larger expense coverage will vary. Most dental insurance also has a yearly coverage cap, so if you need lots of work all at once, it won't cover it all. Most private dental insurance has lower coverage for 12 months, then better coverage. Buy it before you need it.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dental insurance post FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2018, 01:56:52 PM »
Dental insurance, at best is a budgeting tool.  What do most plans insure?  Up to $1,000 per year, minus deductibles and co-pays, oh, uhm and usually NO DENTAL IMPLANTS...Smoke and mirrors.

Look back at your records and look at what you tend to average per year.  Create a slush fund.  For any major work, shop and negotiate with your dentist. 


  • Bristles
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Re: Dental insurance post FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2018, 04:17:39 PM »
Do you have a dental school near you? 

We have good dental insurance and I like my dentist, so we haven't gone to the one by us.  But I know someone who has and is pretty happy and the rates are supposed to be much cheaper. 


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dental insurance post FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 12:24:04 PM »
My parents have a great & cheap dentist near where I grew up, so I just go once a year when I visit them.  Pay $105 (discount for paying day of appointment) for check-up and cleaning.  If/when I need something major, will consider dental tourism... eastern Europe or Mexico, with references.

My old dental plan at work was over $300 a year, and I still had to make co-pays.  And the crummy dentist was always trying to convince me I needed something like deep cleaning that would be another couple hundred $.