Author Topic: Dental insurance/DHMOs  (Read 2365 times)

apoclater

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Dental insurance/DHMOs
« on: April 17, 2014, 05:59:57 AM »
I couldn't find a topic on this, but I'm having some real trouble with my dental insurance.

My company provides only an option for an HMO.  Unfortunately that means I'm limited to "chain" or "corporate" dentists who try to push fancy toothbrushes, "deep cleans", and other unnecessary treatments.  I recently was told I had pre-gingavitis and needed a $500 treatment, but I got a second opinion and the dentist laughed and said I am far from having that and does not recommend any sort of treatments.  But my insurance wouldn't allow them to do a routine cleaning (which is all I really want) since it was a second opinion on my gingivitis.

I guess I feel like my hands are tied because my options are more corporate dentists or I pay out of pocket for a private practice. Anyone have any experience with this?

BuzzardsBay

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: Dental insurance/DHMOs
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 06:19:04 AM »
I have never had dental insurance and I'm kind of glad.  A few years ago I did a complete study on dental insurance at work.  The Owner of our company wanted to see if it was a benefit that we could start offering employees.  I researched several plans from several companies and the conclusion was that it wasn't worth it.  The cost just didn't make sense compared to the insurance people would be getting.  I would much rather go to the dentist of my choice and pay out of pocket.  If the insurance is something you have to sign up and pay for, I would drop it.

babysteps

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: Southern Tier NY State
Re: Dental insurance/DHMOs
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 07:02:45 AM »
You can trim costs with a private practice dentist in a few ways - I bet other folks will have additional ideas. 

We have gotten a discount for paying in full at time of service and additional discount for being flexible on appt timing for procedures - "just call me when you have a gap in your schedule" got us 10% off the filling.

Also, discuss with the hygenist how often your teeth 'should' be cleaned - might be less frequent than the standard every 6 months if you are diligent with brushing & flossing.

We looked at dental insurance but money out of pocket for insurance was more than our average annual spending, so we've chosen to "self insure" (that is, not have dental insurance and just pay for procedures out of pocket).

Now that there are 3D printers, some mustachian should develop a process for DIY dentures!!  Okay, that might not be feasible with current technology but it's a fun idea.

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Dental insurance/DHMOs
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 07:36:01 AM »
You can trim costs with a private practice dentist in a few ways - I bet other folks will have additional ideas. 

We have gotten a discount for paying in full at time of service and additional discount for being flexible on appt timing for procedures - "just call me when you have a gap in your schedule" got us 10% off the filling.

Also, discuss with the hygenist how often your teeth 'should' be cleaned - might be less frequent than the standard every 6 months if you are diligent with brushing & flossing.

We looked at dental insurance but money out of pocket for insurance was more than our average annual spending, so we've chosen to "self insure" (that is, not have dental insurance and just pay for procedures out of pocket).

Now that there are 3D printers, some mustachian should develop a process for DIY dentures!!  Okay, that might not be feasible with current technology but it's a fun idea.

I'd second all of what babysteps wrote. I have only had formal dental insurance for about one year of my life, because my mother works for a dentist and all our services are write-offs. Most of my dental care has been fairly inexpensive, though. I'd call around to dentists to find out what kind of deal they will give you for paying up-front for services, instead of having to bill you later. Find out actual prices for a cleaning/filling/extraction without insurance at various dentists and compare costs. I'd probably avoid any place that advertises as 'cosmetic' dentistry, because they're probably going to push additional products/services like veneers/whitening. Sure, they will also care about your teeth and potential problems, but they likelihood of 'upsell' is probably greater. Also, I would highly recommend finding a place that offers cleanings and calc removal with this water tool that my dental hygienist has... I can't think of the name of it, but once I do, I'll post. It's much less invasive than having your teeth scraped.

nushagak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Dental insurance/DHMOs
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 11:22:10 AM »
I just got back from the dentist (paid out of pocket as I'm self-employed) and need to have work done. The receptionist suggested I look into dental savings plans (e.g. from dentalplans.com and the like). Took a look and it's about $154 for 15 months for my whole family and it roughly halves our dental costs.

Worth it? What do mustachians think?