Dental Insurance for Retirees

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Topic Author
robindbee
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Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by robindbee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:56 am

This is my first year of retirement. I've used my two free Medicare cleanings I'm entitled to, and now need to choose some sort of plan. Any suggestions? I've been looking at dental insurance and then the flat rate, discounted plans. What has worked best for you? I'm in NYC and my regular dentist only accepts Delta Dental, but I'm open to other options. Thanks.

fru-gal
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by fru-gal » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:58 am

I've never seen dental insurance worth a plugged nickle.

Topic Author
robindbee
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by robindbee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:02 pm

LOL. But what do you use for dental costs then? What are alternatives?

7eight9
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by 7eight9 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:14 pm

The New York Times had an article titled More Fun Than Root Canals? It’s the Dental Vacation --- https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/07/fashion/07SKIN.html

That might be a good option depending on what dental procedures you require. Otherwise for simple things like fillings I would recommend paying out of pocket and eschewing dental insurance.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

catalina355
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by catalina355 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:28 pm

robindbee wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:56 am
This is my first year of retirement. I've used my two free Medicare cleanings I'm entitled to, and now need to choose some sort of plan. Any suggestions? I've been looking at dental insurance and then the flat rate, discounted plans. What has worked best for you? I'm in NYC and my regular dentist only accepts Delta Dental, but I'm open to other options. Thanks.
I did not know Medicare pays for dental cleanings. Please tell us more.

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FIREchief
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by FIREchief » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:35 pm

I went through this when I FIRE'd. I discovered that dental insurance isn't really much like insurance. It's more pre-paid annual maintenance for a discounted contracted rate. I checked with my dental office for their fees for routine cleanings, exams and X-rays. Then I priced plans and chose a BCBS PPO plan that had my dentist in network. The monthly premiums added up to about the out of pocket costs without insurance, plus I get something like 50% off fillings (basically for free). There is something like a $1000 annual max, so again no real "insurance" for any catastrophic expenses. They also had a higher cost plan that covered crowns at some level. I think the breakeven came out to one crown every two or three years. I skipped that and have had two crown expenses in five years (so, about break even).
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:56 pm

fru-gal wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:58 am
I've never seen dental insurance worth a plugged nickle.
Useful dental insurance is rare, but it does exist. I get insurance through my wife's employer and it is useful. Even so it has limits that are not hard to get to.

The reality is that most retirees can expect significant dental expenses. Since almost all will have expenses insurance has to be more like prepayment than risk-averaging. Especially with no employer contribution the cost of insurance will appear high.

> LOL. But what do you use for dental costs then? What are alternatives?

Accept that you either pay or eat soft food. Unlike most other medical costs, you can usually find out how much it costs in advance and you can shop around if you desire.

HomeStretch
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:03 pm

My dentist accepts only Delta Dental too. If I could get a Delta plan in retirement with an annual premium equal to the out-of-pocket cost of our annual preventative treatments (cleanings, exam, xrays), I would pay for the insurance just to be eligible for the insurer’s discounted contract rate for non-routine items (fillings, crowns, etc.). As an uninsured patient, my dentist’s charge for a filling is about 25-30% higher than the insurer’s contracted rate and a crown is 50-75% more.

ChrisC
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by ChrisC » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:24 pm

I have retiree dental insurance through my employer that I previously had when working, and it has exceptional coverage and it's cheap (now at $27 per month) for my wife and me. (When I was working, it covered my entire family, including orthodontic treatments for my children). My wife and I each have annual limitations of $3K, covers implants (even for "missing teeth") and provides for 2 annual check-up/cleanings, which when combined with my general health insurance coverage for some dental care would allow me to have 4 cleaning a year. I calculate that this insurance has saved me close to 12K over the last 5 years in retirement, when my wife and I had a number of implants, root canals, and crown replacements. With implants, the dental insurance pays 60 percent for the implant and 80 percent of the crown work for the implant. It also covers 80 percent of root canal work. And these dental insurance co-pays along with a $50 deductible per covered insured are reimburseable from my HSA!

I do recall when growing up not far away from the Brooklyn piers that the Longshoremen's Union used to have fabulous dental insurance coverage. Every kid I knew whose father was a Longshoremen would go to the same dental facility and get great dental care. I wonder if there are still any union sponsored dental plans these days.

Kagord
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by Kagord » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:38 pm

I thought medigap can have dental and vision, have no idea if it's of any added value over just paying the dentist direct OOP.

GeMoney
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by GeMoney » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm

Another thing to look into are dental discount programs where you would just pay the contract rate to the dentist. I think Delta Dental offers it in certain locations. Aetna has one called Vital Savings for $75/year which I'm considering for next year.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jeffyscott » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:07 pm

robindbee wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:02 pm
LOL. But what do you use for dental costs then? What are alternatives?
I've found that my dentist accepts cash, checks, credit cards. Maybe yours does too. :wink:

I've also not seen dental insurance ever being worthwhile, unless someone else such as an employer, is paying part of the cost.
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:22 pm

I often quip that if the same underwriters wrote auto insurance that write dental insurance, auto insurance would cover oil changes and nothing else.

My cleanings are reimbursed; they’re not a problem. I could use a bit of assistance with my implants. Every now and then they surprise me by paying an inexplicable portion of a random dental bill. I just submit everything and play dental lottery.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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robindbee
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by robindbee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:28 pm

I have AARP Medicaid Managed Care Mosaic plan and they cover 2 cleanings per year. I find this to be a good Advantage plan for me bc all my doctors here in NYC accept it; my preferred hospital (Weill Cornell) accepts it, and there is zero monthly premium to pay. They use Optum for drugs and the 3 RX I use daily come out to be approx $35ish per 90 day supply. I've only had it for one year, but so far so good...knocks on wood !

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MN-Investor
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by MN-Investor » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:41 pm

My dentist offers a dental plan which includes certain things (two cleanings per year, bitewing x-rays once a year, etc.) and a 15% discount (10% if paid by credit card) on all other services. It's $285 for me, $530 for a couple, $950 for a family of 4 with each additional person being $195.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.

jebmke
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jebmke » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:52 pm

MN-Investor wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:41 pm
My dentist offers a dental plan which includes certain things (two cleanings per year, bitewing x-rays once a year, etc.) and a 15% discount (10% if paid by credit card) on all other services. It's $285 for me, $530 for a couple, $950 for a family of 4 with each additional person being $195.
Those can be helpful for the first dollars on dental but the real budget busters aren't the basics - it is what you pay when you have a problem like a root canal and/or implant.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

gtd98765
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by gtd98765 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:23 pm

Unfortunately independent dental plans I have seen suffer from an "adverse selection" problem - most people that sign up have bad teeth and will need a lot of work, which means the insurance is very expensive. People who just need cleanings/checkups and want to insure against a rare additional procedure do not really have an option; as someone above said, the few available plans are more like prepaying for routine things, and real problems are excluded.

A very few people have regular health insurance that includes decent dental coverage, but I have never been eligible for such a plan.

GrowthSeeker
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by GrowthSeeker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:53 pm

I just have Traditional Medicare with no gap.
I just have A, B, and D; no C.
AFAIK, I have no dental coverage for cleanings or anything else.

My prior dentist gave a 10% discount for seniors. (over age 60 I think, maybe 55).

My current dentist has a deal where you can pay an optional annual fee (about $150.) which then includes 2 cleanings and all routine xrays. I think there is then also a discount on other xrays (not sure). And there is a cash discount for other fees beyond the cleanings and routine xrays.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jeffyscott » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:56 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:22 pm
I often quip that if the same underwriters wrote auto insurance that write dental insurance, auto insurance would cover oil changes and nothing else.
Nah, they'd also pay for 50% of the cost of repairs due to collision, up to a maximum of $1000. :sharebeer
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

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Stinky
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by Stinky » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:25 pm

catalina355 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:28 pm
robindbee wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:56 am
This is my first year of retirement. I've used my two free Medicare cleanings I'm entitled to, and now need to choose some sort of plan. Any suggestions? I've been looking at dental insurance and then the flat rate, discounted plans. What has worked best for you? I'm in NYC and my regular dentist only accepts Delta Dental, but I'm open to other options. Thanks.
I did not know Medicare pays for dental cleanings. Please tell us more.
I have limited dental through my Medicare Advantage plan.

I don’t believe that traditional Medicare has any dental benefits.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

catalina355
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by catalina355 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:53 pm

Stinky wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:25 pm
catalina355 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:28 pm
robindbee wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:56 am
This is my first year of retirement. I've used my two free Medicare cleanings I'm entitled to, and now need to choose some sort of plan. Any suggestions? I've been looking at dental insurance and then the flat rate, discounted plans. What has worked best for you? I'm in NYC and my regular dentist only accepts Delta Dental, but I'm open to other options. Thanks.
I did not know Medicare pays for dental cleanings. Please tell us more.
I have limited dental through my Medicare Advantage plan.

I don’t believe that traditional Medicare has any dental benefits.
Thanks. I wanted to clarify that the OP was referring to Medicare Health plans and not original Medicare which does not provide dental coverage.

Chris K Jones
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by Chris K Jones » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:01 pm

I am not yet retired but use Aetna Vital Savings. If you search this board, most people here don't like it, but it works well for me. It is $108 per year for family coverage and buys you discounted rates with participating dentists. It is not insurance. The biggest complaint seems to be limited/bad dentists in network, but my dentist and periodontist are participating in it and I am very happy with them and the plan. Previously I had a nonemployer dental plan with Humana and it was terrible.

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FIREchief
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by FIREchief » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:23 pm

catalina355 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:53 pm
I wanted to clarify that the OP was referring to Medicare Health plans and not original Medicare which does not provide dental coverage.
I'm familiar with Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans. What is a "Medicare Health Plan?"
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

TravelforFun
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:46 pm

I retired and joined Medicare this year and my monthly health insurance premiums are as follow:

_ Medicare Part B, $136
_ Medigap Plan G, $122
_ Medicare Part D (Drugs), $16
_ Dental, vision, hearing, $31
_ Wife COBRA (from my former employer), $499
_ LTC insurance for both of us, $381

Total: $1,186 a month. I may be over-insuring but I guess I'm paying for my peace of mind.

TravelforFun

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ClevrChico
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:28 pm

Delta and Metlife are the big ones around here and who I would stick with.

The real savings with insurance is that you pay in network fees for procedures vs. cash price. Cash price on a crown here is $1,200. With Metlife, $740. Insurance is likely going to cover your checkups too. So if you regularly go to the dentist and at least have some work done, it's worth it. If you have a lot of work done, it's very worth it simply to pay the negotiated fees. If you rarely go to the dentist, then it's not worth it.

Both Delta and Metlife have two tiers of networks: a "primary" network vs. a larger, "extended network". The extended networks don't have the best negotiated rates.

Price shopping for dental work is extremely difficult, as most dentists won't quote a price without an exam first :moneybag . Another reason to be insured.
Last edited by ClevrChico on Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

catalina355
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by catalina355 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:25 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:23 pm
catalina355 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:53 pm
I wanted to clarify that the OP was referring to Medicare Health plans and not original Medicare which does not provide dental coverage.
I'm familiar with Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans. What is a "Medicare Health Plan?"
Medicare Health Plan is the CMS term for plans offered by private companies who provide Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage plans are one type of Medicare Health Plan.

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change ... alth-plans

jcar
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jcar » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:27 pm

7eight9 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:14 pm
The New York Times had an article titled More Fun Than Root Canals? It’s the Dental Vacation --- https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/07/fashion/07SKIN.html

That might be a good option depending on what dental procedures you require. Otherwise for simple things like fillings I would recommend paying out of pocket and eschewing dental insurance.

I would recommend this option highly. I've had a few friends do this with excellent results and saved significantly. I attempted to use in March and when I visited dentist in Cancun she said tooth I was told needed crown did not need. She did do one small filling for $22.00 US cash. One person I went with did have a crown which they made in office. We went on a 4 hour snorkel trip and they installed when we returned a few hours later. He said it is fine.

jcar
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jcar » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:27 pm

7eight9 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:14 pm
The New York Times had an article titled More Fun Than Root Canals? It’s the Dental Vacation --- https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/07/fashion/07SKIN.html

That might be a good option depending on what dental procedures you require. Otherwise for simple things like fillings I would recommend paying out of pocket and eschewing dental insurance.

I would recommend this option highly. I've had a few friends do this with excellent results and saved significantly. I attempted to use in March and when I visited dentist in Cancun she said tooth I was told needed crown did not need. She did do one small filling for $22.00 US cash. One person I went with did have a crown which they made in office. We went on a 4 hour snorkel trip and they installed when we returned a few hours later. He said it is fine.

toofache32
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by toofache32 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:07 am

robindbee wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:02 pm
LOL. But what do you use for dental costs then? What are alternatives?
When you were working, how did you accept payment from clients?

toofache32
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by toofache32 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am

There is no such thing as dental "insurance."

TravelforFun
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:22 am

toofache32 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am
There is no such thing as dental "insurance."
What do you mean? I pay Aetna $31 a month for dental, vision, and hearing insurance.

TravelforFun

brajalle
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by brajalle » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:38 am

GeMoney wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm
Another thing to look into are dental discount programs where you would just pay the contract rate to the dentist. I think Delta Dental offers it in certain locations. Aetna has one called Vital Savings for $75/year which I'm considering for next year.
The Delta version is called Delta Dental Patient Direct. It was (last time I priced it) $80/yr for the entire household. Buy it direct, not through a reseller and beware it auto-renews. It's not insurance but gives you access to their PPO rates. If the office takes Delta Dental Insurance, it has to take this. For another option, or for expensive procedures, you might see if there is a dental school near you - sometimes this is a pretty cost-effective option.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:52 am

I have a BCBS Advantage PPO Plan with limited vision, hearing, and DENTAL coverage. The premium cost for this coverage is only $50 a month with the largest advantages for me: (1) twice a year opthalmologist exams. Eyeglasses are not provided for those, however. (2) For hearing, I can receive new aids with batteries each year. (3) For DENTAL, twice a year exams. xrays, and cleaning are paid for. There is some DENTAL procedure coverage (root canals. tooth removal, bridges, etc), not a lot, but I receive more than the premiums, like over $1000 received from the dental insurance last year while I paid out of pocket $3400.
(I also received a pair of hearing aids with a years worth of batteries. Plus some for my eye physician, but I didn't have much done.....just 2 eye exams where testing beyond normal vision was partially covered while I paid out only $40 total copay for each visit.)
Just because it isn't your fault doesn't mean it isn't your responsibility....Josh Reid Jones

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:17 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:22 am
toofache32 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am
There is no such thing as dental "insurance."
What do you mean? I pay Aetna $31 a month for dental, vision, and hearing insurance.

TravelforFun
You have to understand that insurance is a business, not a charity, for the insurance company. If customers buy insurance not for risk mitigation, but for financial gains, then the insurance is not a good business model and the insurance company is expected to lose money. Most of the dental, vision, and hearing cares may be planned and the expenses are not budget busting. I have high myopia and need expensive prescription eyeglasses including most of the expensive options such as premium high index and all kinds of coatings. However, if your vision is 20:20, would you even consider a vision insurance? If you have excellent hearing, you have no need for hearing aids or insurance. If you have excellent teeth and take care of your dental health meticuously, you don't expect expensive dental procedures.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:17 am

brajalle wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:38 am
GeMoney wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm
Another thing to look into are dental discount programs where you would just pay the contract rate to the dentist. I think Delta Dental offers it in certain locations. Aetna has one called Vital Savings for $75/year which I'm considering for next year.
The Delta version is called Delta Dental Patient Direct. It was (last time I priced it) $80/yr for the entire household. Buy it direct, not through a reseller and beware it auto-renews. It's not insurance but gives you access to their PPO rates. If the office takes Delta Dental Insurance, it has to take this. For another option, or for expensive procedures, you might see if there is a dental school near you - sometimes this is a pretty cost-effective option.
When I tried to find the rate for Delta Dental Direct, I found that it is only offered in 3 states, Ohio, Michigan, and one other. But while on the site, I then went ahead to get quotes. To my surprise, they appear to have a plan that would save us a small amount and then also give us the Delta rate for anything not covered. Quote was $36.15 per month for 2 people with $90 per person deductible, so full cost would be $614 for a year, which is maybe $50 less than we pay for 2 check ups/cleanings each per year. The only added coverage is 50% on fillings.
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

TravelforFun
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:21 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:17 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:22 am
toofache32 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am
There is no such thing as dental "insurance."
What do you mean? I pay Aetna $31 a month for dental, vision, and hearing insurance.

TravelforFun
You have to understand that insurance is a business, not a charity, for the insurance company. If customers buy insurance not for risk mitigation, but for financial gains, then the insurance is not a good business model and the insurance company is expected to lose money. Most of the dental, vision, and hearing cares may be planned and the expenses are not budget busting. I have high myopia and need expensive prescription eyeglasses including most of the expensive options such as premium high index and all kinds of coatings. However, if your vision is 20:20, would you even consider a vision insurance? If you have excellent hearing, you have no need for hearing aids or insurance. If you have excellent teeth and take care of your dental health meticuously, you don't expect expensive dental procedures.
Of course, we buy insurance to mitigate our risks and not to make financial gains. Are you saying a healthy individual shouldn't buy medical insurance?

Also, when I buy home, car, life, medical, dental, long term care, and umbrella insurance, I want the insurance companies to win. The only policy I want them to lose to me is my annuity policy.

TravelforFun

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jeffyscott
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:50 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:21 am
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:17 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:22 am
toofache32 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am
There is no such thing as dental "insurance."
What do you mean? I pay Aetna $31 a month for dental, vision, and hearing insurance.

TravelforFun
You have to understand that insurance is a business, not a charity, for the insurance company. If customers buy insurance not for risk mitigation, but for financial gains, then the insurance is not a good business model and the insurance company is expected to lose money. Most of the dental, vision, and hearing cares may be planned and the expenses are not budget busting. I have high myopia and need expensive prescription eyeglasses including most of the expensive options such as premium high index and all kinds of coatings. However, if your vision is 20:20, would you even consider a vision insurance? If you have excellent hearing, you have no need for hearing aids or insurance. If you have excellent teeth and take care of your dental health meticuously, you don't expect expensive dental procedures.
Of course, we buy insurance to mitigate our risks and not to make financial gains. Are you saying a healthy individual shouldn't buy medical insurance?

Also, when I buy home, car, life, medical, dental, long term care, and umbrella insurance, I want the insurance companies to win. The only policy I want them to lose to me is my annuity policy.

TravelforFun
But the issue with dental insurance is that it does not really mitigate risk to any significant extent, because the benefits are always capped at a low level like $1000-2000 per person per year.

Would you buy home, car, life, medical, long term care, and umbrella insurance that would only reimburse losses/expenses of up to $1000-2000 per year?
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

David Althaus
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by David Althaus » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:00 am

Personal Philosophy: Use insurance to mitigate catastrophic losses with the highest deductible allowed. With dental insurance--by the time you pay the monthly premium, account for deductibles, account for procedures not covered under any circumstance, and the fact that dental procedures probably won't have a major impact on lifestyle or net worth these policies make little sense. We self-insure, prepay each year, and the dentist provides 5% discount for doing so.

All the best

fru-gal
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by fru-gal » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:10 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:22 pm
Every now and then they surprise me by paying an inexplicable portion of a random dental bill. I just submit everything and play dental lottery.
I have had some oral surgery covered by Medicare. The oral surgeon's billing person was some sort of genius who knew just how to code things. At this point, I don't remember that the procedures were, but some things seem to wander into medical procedure territory.

fru-gal
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by fru-gal » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:12 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:17 am
If you have excellent teeth and take care of your dental health meticuously, you don't expect expensive dental procedures.
That's simply not true for people with bad mouth chemistry. Or to be more accurate, you can expect or not expect all you like, but then reality strikes.

fru-gal
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by fru-gal » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:13 am

David Althaus wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:00 am
dental procedures probably won't have a major impact on lifestyle or net worth these policies make little sense.
Let me introduce you to the cost of implants.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:54 am

fru-gal wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:13 am
David Althaus wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:00 am
dental procedures probably won't have a major impact on lifestyle or net worth these policies make little sense.
Let me introduce you to the cost of implants.
I am well aware of how expensive some dental procedures may be. I remember seeing an ad of full mouth implant (upper or lower, but not both) runs somewhere $10-20k if I remember correctly. How expensive may it be, there is a fairly fixed upper limit unlike other healthcare costs. A heart surgery or cancer treatment may easily ruin one's finances without adequate insurance. Or automobile liability. Yes, hearing aids may also run high thousands of dollars, too.

toofache32
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by toofache32 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:33 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:22 am
toofache32 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am
There is no such thing as dental "insurance."
What do you mean? I pay Aetna $31 a month for dental, vision, and hearing insurance.

TravelforFun
Dental "insurance" is the opposite of insurance. It covers basic small stuff but coverage is very poor for major expensive work. It would be like if your auto insurance paid for an oil change but not a major collision. It's a pre-paid gift card for a very limited amount.

http://meadfamilydental.com/2011/12/lik ... rol-freak/

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Stinky
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by Stinky » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:44 pm

DW and I both have horrible teeth. We would always spend more than the max on my employer's dental insurance.

So we paid for dental insurance, and the premiums were less than the benefits received. A (small) "win" for us.

Plus, the dental premium was paid from pre-tax dollars, while the benefit reduced our outlay that is made in post-tax dollars. So another "win" for us. :D
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

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robindbee
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by robindbee » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:45 pm

So many options and POV! Yes, I meant my plan is a Medicare Advantage Plan, not original Medicare. It has (basic) vision coverage and the 2 cleanings mentioned. I also have high myopia and always have to end up paying a lot for my contacts and glasses; I used Costco Vision services which are very affordable. And yes, preventive dental upkeep important because of IMPLANTS which cost an arm and a leg. I bit into what was supposed to be a non-pitted olive and promptly broke a back molar in half. It was beyond repair. I actually contacted insurance company of retail store where I purchased the olives and they paid out a substantial enough sum to me to cover the expense, thank god. With the dental, I think I'm gonna stick with the two cleanings, x-rays/checkup etc provided and if something dramatic pops up, then go with a dental discount plan, which they say you can sign up with immediate start date. Best thing would be to BE a dentist, or be married to one LOL.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:57 pm

fru-gal wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:13 am
David Althaus wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:00 am
dental procedures probably won't have a major impact on lifestyle or net worth these policies make little sense.
Let me introduce you to the cost of implants.
Which will not be covered by your dental insurance. And even if they were, it will be something like 50% and a maximum of $1000 per year.

But I am finding that it does appear to make sense to buy for us, to my surprise. I now found a plan that includes our current dentist in network and will cost us $472 per year, while paying for services that we know will cost us about $660 per year. It does, however, make no sense that we have to involve a 3rd party in order to get this discount, by signing up for what is basically a contract for basic preventive dental at a discounted price and a further discount on additional dental services,
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

Ztx
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by Ztx » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:19 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:33 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:22 am
toofache32 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am
There is no such thing as dental "insurance."
What do you mean? I pay Aetna $31 a month for dental, vision, and hearing insurance.

TravelforFun
Dental "insurance" is the opposite of insurance. It covers basic small stuff but coverage is very poor for major expensive work. It would be like if your auto insurance paid for an oil change but not a major collision. It's a pre-paid gift card for a very limited amount.

http://meadfamilydental.com/2011/12/lik ... rol-freak/
toofache32 is absolutely correct. Insurance is supposed to cover a _catastrophic loss_ (like a medical insurance that usually only kicks in after $1000-$6000 deductible and (now) has no lifetime maximum), unlike a typical dental plan that has an _annual maximum_ lower than some deductibles on medical, so just like the earlier posters said it's a "payment plan". I have one through my employer and it costs $0 to me, but I would never pay for one myself. There is one exception though - if your preferred dentist is in network with one of those plans (not the insurance plan, but just to get you in-network) from Delta or Aetna - buy it. It's cheap and it will get you in-network fees that are substantially lower than the typical "office fees".

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dm200
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:20 pm

DW and I have a Kaiser Medicare plan - and this plan has some basic dental benefits. The current monthly charge for the Kaiser plan is $36 per month. The dental benefits are quite limited - but a reduction from our dentist's "list prices". Our dentist actually stopped participating in the Kaiser plan, but continued to honor the Kaiser prices for existing patients that are/were on the Kaiser plan. Now, my wife continues with the same Kaiser plan and the same dental practice.

For me, however, several things towards the end of last year. For an additional $23 per month, Kaiser offered much better dental benefits, larger discount on glasses and discount on hearing aids. It was also apparent that I would need/want some significant dental work. So, I went with the added $23 per month and found a new dentist who participated in this Kaiser plan. [I think delta dental is the organization Kaiser deals with.]

This year I have saved much more than the added $23 per month on some considerable dental work - and I will have more done before the end of the year and, probably, into next year. So far, I have no need for the hearing aid benefit. I did use the higher glasses discount - but, with 20/20 hindsight, even with that discount - I could have done better pricewise getting glasses outside of Kaiser. [Although my Kaiser glasses are very, very good]
Let me introduce you to the cost of implants.
My Kaiser Medicare plan does not cover the implant that I will get before the end of the year.

toofache32
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by toofache32 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:53 pm

jeffyscott wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:57 pm
fru-gal wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:13 am
David Althaus wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:00 am
dental procedures probably won't have a major impact on lifestyle or net worth these policies make little sense.
Let me introduce you to the cost of implants.
....It does, however, make no sense that we have to involve a 3rd party in order to get this discount, by signing up for what is basically a contract for basic preventive dental at a discounted price and a further discount on additional dental services,
This is the cost of marketing the dentist pays. The dentist gives this discount in return for the insurance company to list him/her on the insurance website.

If you can send the dentist 10 new paying patients every week (like the insurance does), your dentist will probably give you the same discount without needing to buy insurance.

bac
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Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Post by bac » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:05 pm

My dentist offers an "office plan," which provides two exams a year and a significant discount on restorative services. Cost is probably equal to what the two exams total. Alas, his rates seem high but so does the quality.

I floss like crazy and otherwise try to take good care of my teeth, so whatever work is required is addressing old fillings from my childhood years when I wasn't as conscientious.

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