I felt something hard in my mouth as I chewed a Starburst candy left over from Halloween. At first I wondered if something was in the candy, but as I felt the inside of my mouth with my tongue I realized a filling had come out of one of my teeth.
When I was able to get into my dentist a few days later, I was told they could attempt to put a filling back in, however given the size of the filling the long term recommendation was to put a crown on it. I agreed with the dentist’s recommended course of action. A temporary filling was put in, and I made two additional appointments to have the crown put on. I was given a price estimate of a little over $1000 to complete the work, and unfortunately my dental plan didn’t cover any of it.
Ironically, that same day at work I received an email from my employer saying that the enrollment period for 2016 medical coverage was now open. Taking a look at my dental plan options, I noted that we had the same two options as previous years. I’ve always selected the less expensive option as it covers twice a year cleanings 100%, as well as 80% of fillings. Our family has never needed anything outside these two treatments, thus any additional coverage would have been a waste of money. However, my son is in need of orthodontic treatment which was in the plan for next year, and now I have this little matter of a crown.
- Covers cleaning twice a year 100%
- Covers Fillings 80%
- Crowns and Bridges are not covered
- Orthodontic treatment is not covered
- Monthly Family Cost: $62
- Covers cleanings twice a year 100%
- Covers Fillings 80%
- Crowns and Bridges are covered 65%
- Orthodontic treatment is covered 50% maximum benefit of $2500
- Monthly Family Cost: $140
Cost Difference / Savings
- My monthly dental plan cost would increase $78 a month, or $936 for the year, to enroll in dental plan B.
- The estimated cost of my son’s orthodontic treatment is $3100. With dental plan B I would save 50% of that, or $1550.
- Additionally, if I waited until the new coverage began on January 1st to get my crown, I would also save 65% of the $1000 cost, or $650.
- With the additional coverage of dental plan B, I would save $2200 between the orthodontic care and the cost of the crown.
I would have a net savings of $1264 for enrolling in dental plan B, and deferring the crown until 2016.
Many times medical and dental procedures cannot wait. But if you find yourself in a situation where it can, and the end of the year is near, it may be worth analyzing your plan options. You may find that changing your coverage for the coming year, and delaying treatment could save you some money.
Have you every delayed a procedure to wait for a new medical plan to take effect? How much did you save?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock