Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

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BogleFanGal
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Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by BogleFanGal » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:48 am

Just wondering if there are any fed employees or retirees considering a change in their 2020 dental coverage. GEHA Standard increased to $50+ month for self + one. Not really seeing anything much better, but debating dropping it altogether.

We have GEHA HDHP which does provide 2 annual cleanings and exam preventative as part of the medical HDHP plan benefit. But there's no assurance that just the HDHP alone gives me access to any preferred dental network contracted rates when paying 100% out of pocket on addtl work. (Phone rep said I would still have access to discounted Dental Connections rates, but when asked, she said there's nothing in writing she can send or refer me to that confirms that. I called again - same answer w/diff rep. Neither sounded too sure, so not banking on it.)

The standard GEHA dental plan caps at $2,500 and pays 35% on class c work - root canals, crowns, etc.
"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen." Mark Twain

Cash
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Cash » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:08 pm

I just go with what comes with the HDHP. If I need major work in the future, I will probably switch to one of the separate dental plans during open season. There aren’t very many common dental emergencies that I am aware of.

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Jerry55
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Jerry55 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:18 pm

I had Metlife dental for the first 3 years (retired in 2012), and the dentists that accepted it were running about 50%, but they all did the paperwork for me, and as such, Metlife didn't have lower fees negotiated since they were "Out of Network".
I'm in Illinois, and my family is in NJ / PA areas, and every dentist they use accepts Delta Dental, so I asked my dentist and periodontist and they both accept it, as well as the majority around here.

My Periodontist just recommended "Osseous Surgury - per quad " on my bottom right. Their paperwork indicated:
Fee - $1,530
Insurance - $612
Patient portion - $918

Delta has a lower monetary agreement with my dentist, probably about 15% less, and they pay between 40-50% max.
They pay less for periodontists, but 40 or 50% is pretty good in my book. I'm single, so my monthly payment is around $41.00
Retired CSRS on 12/19/2012 @ age 57 w/39 years | Good Bye Tension, Hello Pension !!!

chalet
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by chalet » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:20 pm

if this is something non-urgent, you have an opportunity to select a plan that will minimize your costs. then schedule the work after 1 January.

even something as simple as going with a high plan instead of a standard plan might make sense this next year.




I will be staying with geha, since I have them for medical. I hope this combination will reduce my hassle.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:47 pm

I plan to stick with my FEDVIP Blue Dental.

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BogleFanGal
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by BogleFanGal » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:45 am

Thanks for chiming in. Other than Cash, doesn't sound like anyone so far is considering skipping dental outright. So many on these boards declare dental insurance a bad value unless employer subsidizes. I've always bought it, but just giving it a bit more thought this year.

It's kind of annoying that I still have to pay 100% out of pocket for things like a 3rd cleaning, even with two different dental preventive coverages. Even though I'm supposed to have 2 cleanings/year from supplemental dental plan, they have never paid a cent in preventive care, since HDHP always pays for first 2 cleanings and that cancels out supplemental dental preventive completely.
"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen." Mark Twain

Yooper16
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Yooper16 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:13 am

We have the GEHA standard plan. Our zip code puts our 2020 premium at 47.84. It also covers our vision care and hearing if needed.

Is it worthwhile to keep? Like you I am on the fence about that. Our previous FEHB medical plan (Rural Letter Carriers) had a small dental and vision component while our present plan (Aetna Direct) does not.

Between glasses for both, contacts for my spouse and our 2X yearly dental checks and repairs as needed, it probably is worthwhile but I have not put pen to paper to see.

At $48 per month it is probably, at worse, a breakeven arrangement.

toofache32
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by toofache32 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:23 am

Cash wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:08 pm
I just go with what comes with the HDHP. If I need major work in the future, I will probably switch to one of the separate dental plans during open season. There aren’t very many common dental emergencies that I am aware of.
I'm no fan of dental insurance, but just a friendly warning to be careful with your stated plan. Many plans require a waiting period of sometimes over a year before covering expensive stuff. A year is often plenty of time to turn a crown into an extraction/implant. Dental emergencies not common? Dental emergencies are sending my kids to college.

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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by junior » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:44 pm

I haven't needed emergency dental procedures in my entire adult life. Any procedure I've had was recommended upon examination but had no urgency. It might be different if I had kids but I plan to drop the dental plan.

I thought the Geha plan has a dental network you're saying it does but they don't guarantee a particular rate in writing?

Mako
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Mako » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:59 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:23 am
Cash wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:08 pm
I just go with what comes with the HDHP. If I need major work in the future, I will probably switch to one of the separate dental plans during open season. There aren’t very many common dental emergencies that I am aware of.
I'm no fan of dental insurance, but just a friendly warning to be careful with your stated plan. Many plans require a waiting period of sometimes over a year before covering expensive stuff. A year is often plenty of time to turn a crown into an extraction/implant. Dental emergencies not common? Dental emergencies are sending my kids to college.
FWIW, the GEHA FEDVIP plan only has a waiting period for orthodontics (12 months). That was typical of the federal plans I looked at, but I haven't looked extensively in a couple years. Obviously this could change in any year so one has to be wary.

seity
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by seity » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:52 pm

I skip dental unless there is thousands of dollars of dental work needed. (Basically never) What I pay out of pocket is almost always less than the cost of the plan. Having the preventative cleanings covered for my family via HDHP is all the coverage we need.

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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Traveler » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:14 pm

If I had to pay $50/month for dental insurance premium with a standard max payout limit of $1500-2500, I would skip the insurance and self insure. Seems about the same as buying insurance for a cell phone or laptop (again, I would skip it).

As it is, my employer subsidizes my dental and this year the $1500 limit policy has no premium, it goes up to $7/month next year and I will keep it because my two dental cleaning appointments are more than the $84 in premiums and are covered 100% by insurance.

tj
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by tj » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:39 am

There are non fedvip plans from geha, geba, afspa, mail handlers and probably more which arent limited to open season. They might have waiting periods though. I would research those and if you could utilize one of those, it might be an option to avoid paying year round for insurance you don't need.

This year I just had the dental coverage on the hdhp.

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Info_Hound
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Info_Hound » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:43 am

seity wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:52 pm
I skip dental unless there is thousands of dollars of dental work needed. (Basically never) What I pay out of pocket is almost always less than the cost of the plan. Having the preventative cleanings covered for my family via HDHP is all the coverage we need.
I self insure on dental each year. My BCBS Basic (major medical plan) covers x-rays and 2 cleanings a year per person. I am lucky to have good teeth with a rare filling needed. I talked to my dentist a few weeks ago and she indicated that most dental plans don't cover/pay much for other dental work so it seems to be a wash in her eyes of premiums vs. coverage. She also gives me a discounted 'cash' price for dental work not covered by my BCBS plan.

For the past 10 years the cost of dental plan coverage was larger than the work needed that was paid out of pocket in my household.

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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Tdubs » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:14 am

BogleFanGal wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:48 am
Just wondering if there are any fed employees or retirees considering a change in their 2020 dental coverage. GEHA Standard increased to $50+ month for self + one. Not really seeing anything much better, but debating dropping it altogether.

We have GEHA HDHP which does provide 2 annual cleanings and exam preventative as part of the medical HDHP plan benefit. But there's no assurance that just the HDHP alone gives me access to any preferred dental network contracted rates when paying 100% out of pocket on addtl work. (Phone rep said I would still have access to discounted Dental Connections rates, but when asked, she said there's nothing in writing she can send or refer me to that confirms that. I called again - same answer w/diff rep. Neither sounded too sure, so not banking on it.)

The standard GEHA dental plan caps at $2,500 and pays 35% on class c work - root canals, crowns, etc.
Not sure what you are looking for, but the brochure explains GEHA access to the Connections network (see pg. 100 of the 2020 brochure). If a provider is in Connections, you, as a GEHA medical plan member, get the negotiated rates for all work. The HDHP coverage kicks in a minimal 10% extra on the negotiated rate for restorative per Checkbook. If you call GEHA again, ask to speak to a dental specialist (they have those).

The additional coverage from GEHA dental plans gives you access to three more networks--Aetna and two others I'm forgetting at the moment. So, your access to providers expands. However, a dentist in the Connections network is almost certainly going to be the best buy compared to the other networks.

The added GEHA plans are not a good deal because the federal government doesn't kick in extra for them. I use one because I have a very old bridge. The replacement will have to be larger and will cost a ton. If all you are likely to need are fillings and a crown now and then, they are not really worth the cost.

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BogleFanGal
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by BogleFanGal » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:28 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:14 am
BogleFanGal wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:48 am
Just wondering if there are any fed employees or retirees considering a change in their 2020 dental coverage. GEHA Standard increased to $50+ month for self + one. Not really seeing anything much better, but debating dropping it altogether.

We have GEHA HDHP which does provide 2 annual cleanings and exam preventative as part of the medical HDHP plan benefit. But there's no assurance that just the HDHP alone gives me access to any preferred dental network contracted rates when paying 100% out of pocket on addtl work. (Phone rep said I would still have access to discounted Dental Connections rates, but when asked, she said there's nothing in writing she can send or refer me to that confirms that. I called again - same answer w/diff rep. Neither sounded too sure, so not banking on it.)

The standard GEHA dental plan caps at $2,500 and pays 35% on class c work - root canals, crowns, etc.
Not sure what you are looking for, but the brochure explains GEHA access to the Connections network (see pg. 100 of the 2020 brochure). If a provider is in Connections, you, as a GEHA medical plan member, get the negotiated rates for all work. The HDHP coverage kicks in a minimal 10% extra on the negotiated rate for restorative per Checkbook. If you call GEHA again, ask to speak to a dental specialist (they have those).
Your first graph was exactly what I was seeking - thank you! Will definitely review that brochure page later today. All I wanted was something in writing that GEHA HDHP medical plan members get access to connections dental network discounts, even when paying out of pocket. That's a great benefit. Two GEHA reps I called both said there was nothing they could see in writing about that. I thought about asking for a dental specialist, but was concerned they'd transfer me to GEHA dental insurance division. If I'm dropping dental, not sure they'd have been able to answer my HDHP questions.
"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen." Mark Twain

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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Tdubs » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:12 pm

Has anyone used the Humana Dental plan? Unless I'm missing something, it is about 1/2 GEHA's premium and services are cheaper. It is a regional plan, but that isn't a problems for me.

tj
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by tj » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:43 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:12 pm
Has anyone used the Humana Dental plan? Unless I'm missing something, it is about 1/2 GEHA's premium and services are cheaper. It is a regional plan, but that isn't a problems for me.
Premiums are going to vary by the five different region prices, for me it was cheaper than all the othe higher plans, but there are standard plans that are cheaper.

I just wasn't sure how the procedure pricing compares as the other plans just show coinsurance %, they don't show the negotiated price.

I don't currently have a fedvip, but i've been thinking about getting one.

Tdubs
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Tdubs » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:00 pm

tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:43 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:12 pm
Has anyone used the Humana Dental plan? Unless I'm missing something, it is about 1/2 GEHA's premium and services are cheaper. It is a regional plan, but that isn't a problems for me.
Premiums are going to vary by the five different region prices, for me it was cheaper than all the othe higher plans, but there are standard plans that are cheaper.

I just wasn't sure how the procedure pricing compares as the other plans just show coinsurance %, they don't show the negotiated price.

I don't currently have a fedvip, but i've been thinking about getting one.
I have only compared it to GEHA. In the GEHA site, you can look up the negotiated price for various procedures. For the high GEHA plan, I believe you just apply the percentage of the coinsurance coverage to the price. So, if you are getting a new crown that is covered at 50% in the high plan, you would pay half of the negotiated price. Humana tells you right off what your copay is.

As I calculated it, Humana copays are less than the GEHA coinsurance provided in the high plan.

tj
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by tj » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:02 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:00 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:43 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:12 pm
Has anyone used the Humana Dental plan? Unless I'm missing something, it is about 1/2 GEHA's premium and services are cheaper. It is a regional plan, but that isn't a problems for me.
Premiums are going to vary by the five different region prices, for me it was cheaper than all the othe higher plans, but there are standard plans that are cheaper.

I just wasn't sure how the procedure pricing compares as the other plans just show coinsurance %, they don't show the negotiated price.

I don't currently have a fedvip, but i've been thinking about getting one.
I have only compared it to GEHA. In the GEHA site, you can look up the negotiated price for various procedures. For the high GEHA plan, I believe you just apply the percentage of the coinsurance coverage to the price. So, if you are getting a new crown that is covered at 50% in the high plan, you would pay half of the negotiated price. Humana tells you right off what your copay is.

As I calculated it, Humana copays are less than the GEHA coinsurance provided in the high plan.
If your dentist is in network for Humana, then it sounds like Humana is a no brainer.

Tdubs
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Tdubs » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:12 pm

tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:02 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:00 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:43 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:12 pm
Has anyone used the Humana Dental plan? Unless I'm missing something, it is about 1/2 GEHA's premium and services are cheaper. It is a regional plan, but that isn't a problems for me.
Premiums are going to vary by the five different region prices, for me it was cheaper than all the othe higher plans, but there are standard plans that are cheaper.

I just wasn't sure how the procedure pricing compares as the other plans just show coinsurance %, they don't show the negotiated price.

I don't currently have a fedvip, but i've been thinking about getting one.
I have only compared it to GEHA. In the GEHA site, you can look up the negotiated price for various procedures. For the high GEHA plan, I believe you just apply the percentage of the coinsurance coverage to the price. So, if you are getting a new crown that is covered at 50% in the high plan, you would pay half of the negotiated price. Humana tells you right off what your copay is.

As I calculated it, Humana copays are less than the GEHA coinsurance provided in the high plan.
If your dentist is in network for Humana, then it sounds like Humana is a no brainer.
It does. So much of a no brainer, I don't know why I haven't switched sooner.

crankyoldguy34
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by crankyoldguy34 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:37 pm

I'm going to keep Metlife, which I've had for 5-6 years.

So far in 2019, our dentist has billed us $3074 for treatments, and per the Metlife EOB's the allowed amount was $1512.10. The total amount we paid to the dentist plus our monthly Metlife premiums adds up to $1432.60. So overall we have saved (ie paid less than the billed amounts) $1641.40, which amounts to about 53% of the billed amount. Most of the 'savings' from this FEDVIP dental plan seem to come from the negotiated discount on the fee charged. This sort-of makes sense -- the government is not paying any part of the cost, it is all borne by the subscribers -- so the negotiated discount will be your savings, more or less.

I note parenthetically that we live in Florida, which in the infinite wisdom of its Legislature, makes it illegal for insurance companies to 'force' dentists to accept anything less than their full charged amount for services that the insurance company does not pay anything for -- ie if a dental treatment has a dentist charge of $1000, but the insurance contract states the 'negotiated amount" (ie maximal charge) for that service is $500, and the insurance company pays 0% of that negotiated amount -- you the customer must pay the Florida dentist the full $1000. Thank you, state legislature! HOWEVER, the law that created the FEDVIP states that the terms of the contract signed by the dentist (with the FEDVIP insurance company) has precedence over any state or local law or regulation. Our oral surgeon pretends to not understand that, conveniently for him and his Porche payments! So they gleefully bill us their 'full amount' for services that Metlife has a lower negotiated fee, and they happily point to the Florida State law -- and even after I had a Metlife rep speak on a 3-way call with the oral surgeon's office staff, they mysteriously have not followed the law, yet. Beware!

trueblueky
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by trueblueky » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:08 pm

BogleFanGal wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:45 am
Thanks for chiming in. Other than Cash, doesn't sound like anyone so far is considering skipping dental outright. So many on these boards declare dental insurance a bad value unless employer subsidizes. I've always bought it, but just giving it a bit more thought this year.

It's kind of annoying that I still have to pay 100% out of pocket for things like a 3rd cleaning, even with two different dental preventive coverages. Even though I'm supposed to have 2 cleanings/year from supplemental dental plan, they have never paid a cent in preventive care, since HDHP always pays for first 2 cleanings and that cancels out supplemental dental preventive completely.
We skipped dental insurance for years. It was not worth it for two cleanings each. BCBS health insurance always paid a little toward annual exams.

Since we retired, we have had BCBS dental. Also have had two crowns and gum deep cleaning in that time. As one ages, it makes more sense, in my opinion.

Some plans cover orthodontics if you have them three years or so. We didn't try that.

tj
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by tj » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:12 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:12 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:02 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:00 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:43 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:12 pm
Has anyone used the Humana Dental plan? Unless I'm missing something, it is about 1/2 GEHA's premium and services are cheaper. It is a regional plan, but that isn't a problems for me.
Premiums are going to vary by the five different region prices, for me it was cheaper than all the othe higher plans, but there are standard plans that are cheaper.

I just wasn't sure how the procedure pricing compares as the other plans just show coinsurance %, they don't show the negotiated price.

I don't currently have a fedvip, but i've been thinking about getting one.
I have only compared it to GEHA. In the GEHA site, you can look up the negotiated price for various procedures. For the high GEHA plan, I believe you just apply the percentage of the coinsurance coverage to the price. So, if you are getting a new crown that is covered at 50% in the high plan, you would pay half of the negotiated price. Humana tells you right off what your copay is.

As I calculated it, Humana copays are less than the GEHA coinsurance provided in the high plan.
If your dentist is in network for Humana, then it sounds like Humana is a no brainer.

It does. So much of a no brainer, I don't know why I haven't switched sooner.
unfrotuantely for me, Humana is in Rating 4 out of 5 for my zip code, so it's just under $15/paycheck...BlueCross has our zip as 1. Weird how they vary so much.

Humana is a little cheaper than United Concordia, but all the standard plans are cheaper than Humana.

toofache32
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by toofache32 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:33 pm

tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:12 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:12 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:02 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:00 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:43 pm


Premiums are going to vary by the five different region prices, for me it was cheaper than all the othe higher plans, but there are standard plans that are cheaper.

I just wasn't sure how the procedure pricing compares as the other plans just show coinsurance %, they don't show the negotiated price.

I don't currently have a fedvip, but i've been thinking about getting one.
I have only compared it to GEHA. In the GEHA site, you can look up the negotiated price for various procedures. For the high GEHA plan, I believe you just apply the percentage of the coinsurance coverage to the price. So, if you are getting a new crown that is covered at 50% in the high plan, you would pay half of the negotiated price. Humana tells you right off what your copay is.

As I calculated it, Humana copays are less than the GEHA coinsurance provided in the high plan.
If your dentist is in network for Humana, then it sounds like Humana is a no brainer.

It does. So much of a no brainer, I don't know why I haven't switched sooner.
unfrotuantely for me, Humana is in Rating 4 out of 5 for my zip code, so it's just under $15/paycheck...BlueCross has our zip as 1. Weird how they vary so much.

Humana is a little cheaper than United Concordia, but all the standard plans are cheaper than Humana.
What does Rating 4 mean? Who governs this metric and what are the criteria for each rating level? Surely you're not talking about Yelp or similar low-level subjective data.

Tdubs
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Tdubs » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:35 am

toofache32 wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:33 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:12 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:12 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:02 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:00 pm


I have only compared it to GEHA. In the GEHA site, you can look up the negotiated price for various procedures. For the high GEHA plan, I believe you just apply the percentage of the coinsurance coverage to the price. So, if you are getting a new crown that is covered at 50% in the high plan, you would pay half of the negotiated price. Humana tells you right off what your copay is.

As I calculated it, Humana copays are less than the GEHA coinsurance provided in the high plan.
If your dentist is in network for Humana, then it sounds like Humana is a no brainer.

It does. So much of a no brainer, I don't know why I haven't switched sooner.
unfrotuantely for me, Humana is in Rating 4 out of 5 for my zip code, so it's just under $15/paycheck...BlueCross has our zip as 1. Weird how they vary so much.

Humana is a little cheaper than United Concordia, but all the standard plans are cheaper than Humana.
What does Rating 4 mean? Who governs this metric and what are the criteria for each rating level? Surely you're not talking about Yelp or similar low-level subjective data.
It is a rating area for allowed negotiated charges between a medical insurance/dental plan and local providers. Usually the higher the number, the higher the allowed fees (and monthly premium). So typically expensive areas have higher numbers.

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Blues
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by Blues » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:30 am

We will keep GEHA high. Missus and I have routine cleanings twice yearly and you never know when a crown will need to be fit or replaced.

It doesn't cause economic hardship and works seamlessly with GEHA medical.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

tj
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Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by tj » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:35 am

toofache32 wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:33 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:12 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:12 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:02 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:00 pm


I have only compared it to GEHA. In the GEHA site, you can look up the negotiated price for various procedures. For the high GEHA plan, I believe you just apply the percentage of the coinsurance coverage to the price. So, if you are getting a new crown that is covered at 50% in the high plan, you would pay half of the negotiated price. Humana tells you right off what your copay is.

As I calculated it, Humana copays are less than the GEHA coinsurance provided in the high plan.
If your dentist is in network for Humana, then it sounds like Humana is a no brainer.

It does. So much of a no brainer, I don't know why I haven't switched sooner.
unfrotuantely for me, Humana is in Rating 4 out of 5 for my zip code, so it's just under $15/paycheck...BlueCross has our zip as 1. Weird how they vary so much.

Humana is a little cheaper than United Concordia, but all the standard plans are cheaper than Humana.
What does Rating 4 mean? Who governs this metric and what are the criteria for each rating level? Surely you're not talking about Yelp or similar low-level subjective data.
If you print the benefits summary for each plan, it shows the chart. I have no idea the methodology of each.

kerplunk
Posts: 802
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by kerplunk » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:36 am

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but most dental insurance plans will only pay out $1,000 to $1,500 max in one year. After deductibles and copays, you’re saving only a few hundred dollars by having dental insurance.

JediMisty
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:06 am
Location: Central NJ

Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by JediMisty » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:48 am

toofache32 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:23 am
Cash wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:08 pm
I just go with what comes with the HDHP. If I need major work in the future, I will probably switch to one of the separate dental plans during open season. There aren’t very many common dental emergencies that I am aware of.
I'm no fan of dental insurance, but just a friendly warning to be careful with your stated plan. Many plans require a waiting period of sometimes over a year before covering expensive stuff. A year is often plenty of time to turn a crown into an extraction/implant. Dental emergencies not common? Dental emergencies are sending my kids to college.
This. I read the fine print on all the network dental plans. All had a long waiting period before paying much beyond cleanings. It's almost as if it occurred to the insurers that people might wait to get dental insurance until they needed work done. For this reason I'm not dropping my employer plan even though the rates went up 30% for 2020. Haven't had more than cleanings in a while, so it's unlikely to be a good value this year. Of course, the same is true for my medical insurance. At 61, this a good problem to have, though...

tj
Posts: 2684
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Fed dental plans in 2020: keeping, dropping or switching?

Post by tj » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:56 am

kerplunk wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:36 am
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but most dental insurance plans will only pay out $1,000 to $1,500 max in one year. After deductibles and copays, you’re saving only a few hundred dollars by having dental insurance.
Many of the federal employee plans have significantly higher limits, some unlimited.

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