Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
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.
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.
Bruce | | Winner of the 2017 Bogleheads Contest | | "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
Have you looked at the Consumers' Checkbook Guide to federal health (and dental) plans?
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.
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?
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).
You are correct from the standpoint of risk management, but these plans can give you a positive expected value.Benton Bair wrote: ↑Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:45 pmIsn'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?
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.
Be careful with the federal plans. They pay notoriously low rates which can make it more difficult to find a quality provider.