17 Nov The Truth About Individual Dental Plans
“I’m retired (or self-employed). Should I purchase an individual dental plan?”
We are asked this question all the time. Everyone’s situation is different, and you have to do the math to determine if it works for you. However, we have yet to see an individual dental “insurance” plan that is worth the money.
A typical scenario:
John has purchased a dental plan from his broker and is paying a premium of $50 per month, or $600 per year.
If, this year, John needs:
|Two cleanings x $151 each||$ 302|
|One examination x $73||73|
|One set of four checkup x-rays X $84||84|
The individual dental plan might pay: $60 for each cleaning, $35 for the exam, $40 for the x-rays, and $400 for the crown (if John has met the waiting period for major services, which is usually 6-18 months for individual plans). The best case scenario for total dental plan reimbursement would be $595.
This means…John will still owe the dental office $1704 after insurance. Added to the premium payments made to his insurance carrier for one year, John’s total out-of-pocket would be $2304, or $5 more than he would have paid with no “insurance” at all.
Instead of buying dental insurance, a better idea would be to put some money aside each month in your own dental “slush fund”. That way, if you don’t have a large expenditure for the year, the money belongs to you, not the insurance company.