Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Exploring my dental options

Image: https://www.aetna.com/common/images/dam/people-nw/42-30452107_rf.jpg/_jcr_content/renditions/600.384.jpg

Due to the cost of $900, I have opted not to go with a dental insurance plan rider through my new insurance, to start Sept. 1. I am in the doing my homework phase as I explore my options.

I first reached out to my long time dentist, to see if they offer any cash discount. The response was no, but the receptionist did tell me about the existence of multiple dental discount plans, not insurance, but rather discount programs that one can join, for an annual fee. I normally only get 2 cleanings a year and xrays once a year with a full series done every 3 years (just had my full series done this Summer).

After exploring several options, it looks like I will go with the plan offered through Aetna insurance:  Aetna access. I need to call my dentist back to confirm whether or not they accept this card (it didn't appear so based on the Aetna screener) and I've asked for recommendations on several social media sites. I have no qualms about switching dentists and do feel strongly about maintaining my dental health-something instilled in me as a young child. There were several caveats growing up:
-always appear neat and clean (your clothes may be carefully mended)
-take care of your teeth
-wear leather shoes

I specifically recall my grandmother often telling us this.

Once I have a reply from my current dentist, and after consulting the offices of several new dentists referred to me, I will determine which dentist would end up costing me the least out of pocket.

Without any cash discount, my current dentist charges $158 twice a year for just cleaning, so $316.
The Aetna plan costs $139.99. I need some hard numbers. This plan isn't just for cleaning, all charges are at discounted rates. Should I require dental work, this plan would definitely pay out for me.

Worth looking into. Does anyone have experience with this or a similar plan? I already looked at Cigna's, which was much higher in cost.

13 comments:

Meg B. said...

Yes. We paid $2,500/year for a card for the family that gave us free cleanings, and paid 30% of most work. When a crown failed on me after less than two years, and the company refused to cover anything, we decided not to renew, but they offered us an extra yearly cleaning. It was hell trying to schedule that many cleanings with this brood, and I don't accept the x-rays unless a problem is indicated,so we finally decided to cancel, and just take the 5% cash discount offered by our dentist. (Orthodontist offered 20%, but there's no insurance offered for us on that.) I tended to be the only one who needed the work, so we decided the annual fee wasn't really worth it, in spite of the extra cleaning. We did opt in again, though, as it appears DH needs some work. That's the nice thing about these plans, there is no "Open Enrollment."

Sue said...

We have had United Concordia for a long time here in CT--you might want to check them out. I can't speak to the cost of an individual plan, but I know they are widely accepted.

Linda said...

I have Physician's Mutual. It works for me.

JoAnn said...

I joined a plan some 15 years ago. I needed a lot of work done. I saved a ton of money using the plan. I don't remember the hard numbers but it was a great investment. I financed the rest of the cost at 0% through the dentist. It was what I needed to get a handle on my dental health.

CTMOM said...

Linda, I never heard of physicians mutual, so I looked them up. $23 and change a month. The 2 plans I am comparing are $8 less so a savings of $96/year.

Patti said...

Check to see if MySmile is an option for you in CT. I paid 120/yr for 2 of us and they paid for 2 cleanings and 1 Xray plus the discounted services. I finally went on my work plan knowing I will need some extensive dental work done in a year or so.

CTMOM said...

Sue, I looked up Unitd Concordia, it appears to be for military

CTMOM said...

Meg-that seems high. I am looking at 2 famous insurance companies plans, both are about $140/year. A cleaning at my current dentist would be $108 instead of $158 so about 30% savings.

CTMOM said...

Patti, none i CT. Thanks though

Linda said...

You say $23 each month?! There is one of me and I pay $39.50.

CTMOM said...

Linda, yes, that is the price from the website. Look it up.

9bbfa164-7784-11e7-939d-c38a75b12559 said...

Hi Carol
I'm also in CT and use careington.com for approx $169 annually for a family plan. The details on the discounts for procedures are on their site. My dentist is in Danbury -Dr. Gish and Associates takes the plan. They have a big staff so it's pretty easy to get a timely appointment.

Miccosukee said...

New follower but can relate to having to find dental coverage. For years I suffered from acid reflux problems which resulted in scarring of my esophagus. Dr. called my stomach "a human toxic waste tank" which was responsible for my teeth becoming weak and breaking off. After retiring of SSS disability, it was obvious I was going to need dentures. I was able to call and talk to the local dental association who referred me to several dentists who used insurance plans. Got my teeth pulled and dentures in. However they never felt right. I then found Aspen Dental which was part of a chain which offered everything from fillings to dentures. They did new dentures for me in a week for a third of the first dentist. I have been in 3 times to have them adjusted at no cost. Best so far.