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Friday, June 16, 2017

Dentist and Health Insurance


Dentist and Health Insurance


Many years ago, a cranky young man had three younger children and a job which allowed his family to live pay check to pay check.  Health insurance was mostly subsidized through work, that was good.  Health insurance that was subsidized through work paid for 50% of normal health problems, and 80% of serious stuff like operations and hospitalization…after a $1500 deductible (or well over one month’s take home pay), that was not so good. 

There was no dental insurance, and having a baby was considered optional and was not covered at all.  On the plus side, doctors and even the hospitals accepted monthly payments without charging interest.  As long as you sent something every month you were good.  

I used to send the dentist $10 every month.  There was always a new charge before the original bill was covered.  I paid about $20 a month for the cost of child birth.  I paid for about ten years.  When the medical costs of my children’s births were paid off, my insurance decided they would cover most of child birth expenses.  Too late, and I did not take advantage of this new benefit…three children was plenty…well one more came much later and that cost was covered.

Recently my dental insurance would not pay me to use my dentist of over 35 years.  He was not covered under their plan.  I used the insurance for some specialist procedures, and paid out of pocket to my regular dentist for normal dental needs.  I did not like the specialists that were in my plan, they worked in dental factories and patients were treated like a piece of meat.

A year ago, I needed work done and I wanted my regular dentist of 35+ years to do the work.  I changed dental plans to do this.  My insurance went from $50 a month, to $150 a month.  The $150 a month covered my youngest son who never uses it because his step-father is an oral surgeon.  Mrs. C does not go to a dentist, because, well she just doesn’t, so essentially, I pay $150 a month just for myself and my crappy teeth.

This year I went to my regular dentist, who was covered by my new expensive plan and had the work done that I had been putting off.  The proceedure cost $3500.  At first my insurance only wanted to cover $500 as they questioned the need for some of the work.  Eventually they paid the maximum covered by this plan, $1500.  They cover a maximum of $1500 for each member on the plan.

I did some quick math and realized that I was paying $1800 a year to cover a possible $1500 of dental work for me, and maybe $1500 to my son’s step-dad if my son needed work, and I really don’t give a flying frig if he is paid anything…just saying; and maybe $1500 for Mrs. C if she had a dental emergency. Not a very cost effective plan.

Next year I am simply going to have a $150 portion of my SS automatically deposited in a special account to be used just for dental costs.  I am going to insure myself and take my chances.

The trouble with health insurance is companies want to make a profit so they fight every payment, the insured want their monies worth and will take advantage of the companies if given the chance.  There is fraud on the insured side and also from a small segment of crooked practitioners.  It is a very cold sterile process of rampant distrust and dissatisfaction. 

I kind of miss the old days where Doctors, in effect subsidized those who had difficulty making payments. They accepted low monthly payments or barter and probably charged their wealthier patients a bit extra.  Maybe not so great for the doctors, but I don’t remember doctors driving anything but new cars. 

Of course, medicine was cheaper in those old days, because they didn’t have the machines and medicines to cure you like they do today.  The service was great, the bed side manner was great, the cures not always so much.

One thing for sure when it comes to health care and insurance, it will never be fair, it will never be inexpensive and there is no solution to make everyone happy.  After all, the only people who get their monies worth out of health insurance are those who are real sick.

20 comments:

  1. Wow....I always appreciated my 'through work' benefits and my hubs 'through work' benefits but now I REALLY apprecciate them. Actually, self insurance sounds like the best plan for you.

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  2. It upsets me greatly that dental health is not covered by health insurance. After all, if your teeth are diseased, so is the rest of your body, and you aren't going to get healthy no matter how many drugs they give you until your teeth are healthy. If they want us to pay more and cover needed dental work that keeps you healthy, i would pay it, i think it would be worth it for all sides.

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  3. We are also considering dropping the dental and going to a 'fund ourselves' plan of action. We haven't gotten any bang for our bucks in years.

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  4. Yeah, I hear you. Health insurance, be it medical, dental, or vision, is a mess. And expensive. Something has to give.

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  5. We definitely need a better health insurance programs. A single-pay system is what we need to keep costs down.

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  6. I never purchased dental insurance through work. I always had to file to get the money I paid in. I also paid more than I got which helped the insurance company. Health insurance is more important as you get older. I hope we all weather the storm in Washington.

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  7. Insurance is a racket. Just paid a hefty sum for my monthly premium through work, and it's still the cheapest we can get.

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  8. I take the vision part of my insurance very 2 years. It pays for an exam every 1 year, but new glasses every 2 years. Right now my eyes are healthy enough to have an exam every 2 years. So I skip the yearly exam and get coverage every 2 years which pays for the exam and a major portion of new glasses. I remember the good old days when doctors would take minimal payments. My mom for years would be owing the optometrist for keeping us 3 kids in glasses. Yet she paid a little monthly and they never complained.

    betty

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  9. Dental work was all I ever had to pay for so I got rid of the teeth. It was that easy haha.

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  10. When I had my children, hubby was in the Army so everything was fully covered and didn't cost us a thing. We were also fully covered for dental which I didn't know about and every time I needed something done with my teeth, hubby kicked up a fuss, so I avoided going as much as possible, ended up losing about eight teeth. If I'd known we were covered I would have had all my teeth capped and saved them all.
    Many years later, when my second husband got drunk and beat me, my daughter took out private health insurance for me, because I can't afford to pay those premiums and she made sure he understood the cover was only for me, not him. I divorced him too after one bad beating, but she keeps the insurance going so that I have cover for dental and optical, also hospital should I ever need it. Now and again I save enough to make an extra premium payment for her.

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  11. I'm a bit shocked that Mrs. C doesn't go to the dentist!

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  12. Insurance, BAH! You gamble that something bad will happen and the insurance company gambles that it won't be bad enough.

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  13. Dental insurance is a joke and dentists are really high priced. You are smart to insure yourself. BTW, several friends have taken a trip just over the border and had excellent and cheap work done on normally expensive procedures. Their US dentists were amazed how well the work was done. Maybe combine vacation and dental work? I'm thinking on that.

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  14. I'm surprised that your wife doesn't go to the dentist either. Not a good idea. At least once a year to see if everything is okay. Just saying.

    I have good medical insurance, but my dental and optometrist insurance aren't very good. Oh ell. I still go when I'm supposed to go.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  15. We actually have decent coverage right now. AT&T puts money in a reimbursement account each January that I can use for co-pays and meds. When that runs out, I'm on my own but I've been lucky so far. Our dental, like yours isn't very good. When I had all the work done last December, I had to do one of those 6 months same as cash deals.
    It pays to stay as healthy as possible. I fear a lot of these people who are hooked on cigarettes and other things that impact health will soon be out in the cold when it comes to healthcare.

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  16. My medical insurance is good but seems to be changing yearly, its paying less and costing more, one thing that really ticked me off was when I first retired, went to get my eyes examined, picked out the frames and went to settle up, gave them my vision card and I couldn't be located as a member, long story short, they still sent me a vision card but the vision coverage was only for workers, not retirees....

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  17. I agree. It will never be fair. Good idea to have some funds set aside.

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  18. Sadly, that bartering system doesn't work any more. Try bringing a chicken to the radiologist...they'll send you to the accounting department and have you ever known an accountant to know what to do with a chicken?

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  19. We need a national dental insurance plan - Dental services are outrageous even if you have insurance. We could use universal vet insurance as well.

    So far I am good with the medical - it';s through the DOD due to my husband military. But the powers that be, are always trying to freak us out, by threatening to cut those benefits. Hopefully I will be dead by then.

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