Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
wije
Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:35 pm

Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by wije » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:27 pm

My wife is planning to get braces next year and we're shopping for the best insurance plan. My key question is: which should be the most important consideration- coverage or the lifetime maximum? GEHA offers 70% for orthodontics with a $2,500 maximum, while FEP BlueDental and Metlife offer 50% with a $3,500 maximum.

User avatar
Bruce
Posts: 355
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:02 am
Location: Alaska

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by Bruce » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:42 pm

Waiting period before the ortho coverage begins, and which orthodontist you want to use and their plan participation would be key decision factors for me, In addition to the factors you are looking at. The billing office at your orthodontist of choice should be able to tell you down to the dollar what your final out of pocket cost will be after any of these plans cover their part.

Regards
Bruce | | Winner of the 2017 Bogleheads Contest | | "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

skepticalobserver
Posts: 1027
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:29 am

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by skepticalobserver » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:51 pm

Have you looked at the Consumers' Checkbook Guide to federal health (and dental) plans?

https://www.checkbook.org/newhig2/AboutGuide.cfm

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:34 pm

I had GEHA and the admin at my dental place said the benefit was not as good as Delta Dental, so we changed to Delta Dental. Next year it will be the high coverage Delta Dental, coverage up to $30k. I’m not sure if we need it that high but we decided to pay the premium for next year.

Benton Bair
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:06 am

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by Benton Bair » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:45 pm

Isn't this a type of risk many on the board would suggest self funding with money from savings? It's an inconvenient expense but not in the catastrophic category. Even with losses that can be life changing many people want to save the fixed insurance cost to save for longer term objectives. How does this balance with those other opinions?

fundseeker
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:02 am

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by fundseeker » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:11 pm

This doesn't answer your question, but don't forget that you can max out your FSA and at least not pay taxes on the amount you spend for the braces (or other qualified expenses).

User avatar
grabiner
Advisory Board
Posts: 25662
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by grabiner » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:53 pm

Benton Bair wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:45 pm
Isn't this a type of risk many on the board would suggest self funding with money from savings? It's an inconvenient expense but not in the catastrophic category. Even with losses that can be life changing many people want to save the fixed insurance cost to save for longer term objectives. How does this balance with those other opinions?
You are correct from the standpoint of risk management, but these plans can give you a positive expected value.

Many of the federal dental plans have no waivers for pre-existing conditions, so if you know you will need a major service in 2018, you can switch to a plan which provides that service now, and get the plan benefit. You can then drop the plan for 2019 if you don't need to pay for follow-up care.

In addition, there is the usual benefit of having a network, although it isn't as large as the benefit for medical insurance. If you would have $2000 of dental expenses without insurance, and you pay $1000 for insurance which negotiates a rate of $1600, then you and your plan can each pay $800 and you will both come out ahead, with the dentist losing the $400 as a price for being in the network.
Wiki David Grabiner

toofache32
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Post by toofache32 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:02 pm

Be careful with the federal plans. They pay notoriously low rates which can make it more difficult to find a quality provider.

Post Reply