Question:

Canít afford the relatively high costs of dental insurance?

Dental Insurance May Not Be Cost-Effective

By Susan B

Most dental insurance plans are only designed to cover basic care such as twice yearly cleaning and exams and routine x-rays. Many people make the mistake of thinking that just because they have dental insurance, the insurance will cover things like root canals, crowns or other extensive reconstructive work. Even though this type of work isn't considered cosmetic, most dental insurance plans will only cover a portion of this sort of treatment, if anything is covered at all.

Deductibles and Co-payments

People who purchase dental insurance must also pay a deductible before the insurance kicks in on things for which they make full or partial payment. It's important to sit down and think about how much you will have to pay each month in order to get dental insurance, how much that insurance is actually paying for, and whether or not you're getting back more than what you're paying out in actual services.

To determine whether or not dental insurance is cost effective for you, find out what your monthly premium is, and then multiply that by twelve. Figure in the amount of your deductible, and then calculate how much you'd spend on your routine dental appointments each year. Since most policies cover basic cleanings and exams, once you've paid your yearly deductible, you've got to subtract that from what is covered. Also realize that the deductible applies for every member of your family.

Create Your Own Dental Savings Account

For many people, a wiser way to go would be to put the money they would have spent on a dental insurance plan into a saving account that is reserved for dental expenses. For extensive work that isn't covered, there is a special type of credit card that can only be used for things like medical, dental and vision care, and as long as you can pay off whatever is owed in the time frame you specify, there is no interest to pay on the bill. In the end, make sure that if you are paying for dental insurance, that you're not paying more than what you'd pay for the service if you didn't have the insurance.

If you are someone who has a history of ongoing dental problems, or you've got a dentist who writes off a portion of the cost of services, there may be an advantage to having coverage. If you generally only see the dentist twice a year, the amount you'd pay on monthly premiums, plus the deductible may mean that you wind up paying more for your insurance than what the insurance is actually covering for you.

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