Are Dental Insurance Plans Worth the Money?
I went to the dentist this morning. Before I went, I made sure to check our current dental insurance information on our company’s human resources website. It’s a good thing I did because it had changed from last year. While I was logged onto the site, I printed out the dental insurance information. The cost printed out along with the explanation of benefits. For a whole year of dental insurance that covers myself and husband, we pay $402.24. It’s only $15 a paycheck, but I really started to wonder if it’s worth having dental insurance any more. Neither myself or my husband have been to the dentist at all this year (bad, I know!). So we’re pretty much not using the insurance at all.
Our open enrollment period is coming up soon, and I’m wondering if I should just go ahead and drop the dental insurance. I do think it’s very important to have your teeth cleaned every six months (and our insurance pays for that 100%) but if we don’t do it, then we’re wasting $402.24. I don’t think that an exam and cleaning cost $200 (which is what our insurance is worth if we each went to the dentist once a year for a cleaning.) If an exam and cleaning is, say, $80, it may be worth it to just drop our dental insurance and self insure. I can save $160 a year to pay for dental expenses.
Of course, if we have cavities that need to be filled, or a crown replaced then it is worth it to have dental insurance, even though we have to pay for half of those procedures out of pocket. I know that over the course of time that we’ve been going to this dentist, I’ve had a few cavities filled and a crown put on. Eventually, I’ll have to have that crown replaced (which I just found out today that they only last 10-15 years). It would be nice to have dental insurance then to cover those items.
Dental insurance is one of those things that I think that we could live without. I’d be willing to take a chance that we’d need to have a cavity filled and have to pay out of pocket. Teeth don’t generally have the potential to cost you thousands of dollars each year versus, say cancer, so I’d be more likely to pay for health insurance versus dental insurance.
I don’t know if dental insurance is a normal benefit offered to employees, but I am grateful that I have the option to take advantage of it. Chances are, I’ll get on Mr. Money to make sure that he makes an appointment to get his teeth cleaned and examined so that at least he’ll take advantage of one of the two cleanings covered by our insurance this year. I hate wasting money, and I feel like I should have gotten a cleaning 6 months ago to make our dental insurance worth it.
I have a love-hate relationship with insurance. It’s a necessity for some things (car insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance) but sometimes I wish there were easier options.
Do you have dental insurance? Do you think I should get dental insurance for next year, or skip it and self insure?