I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Friday, May 10, 2013

There ain't no gold in them there dental plans!

Another funny thing which happened to me when I was making my bi-annual dental visit was my dentists suggested I replace several aging fillings with crowns.  Now I will be the first to admit my teeth are old, and it's true some of the fillings my even be considered relics of some dental dinosaur period, but I'm and not about to fork over a boat load of cash to replace them.  You see, he first brought up the subject of crowns about two years ago when one of my molars cracked under the weight of a vintage filling.  Not being one to be easily snookered in, I said, "hhmm let's wait."  What I did do was check out my dental plan to see what was actually covered.  Notice I said 'dental plan' and not insurance.  Too many confuse the two.  What you purchase through payroll deductions is a plan and it is quite specific on what it covers.  The plan I purchase from Met Life has 3 levels that you could label 'good, better and best.'  I have the good plan.  It does not cover crowns.

Nor does it cover root-canals. It does cover fillings completely, as long as they're only on one side of the tooth, after that it only covers a percentage.  This means that if you have a little cavity that's mostly on the top of the tooth with just a teeny bit on the side, you're going to have some out of the pocket expenses.  I know this to be true since I had one.  

In my plan, crowns are covered at the top level, or 'best plan.'  Of course, you are limited to one crown. Also, at that level, you are required to pay a  hefty deductible, just like in real insurance.  Add the deductible ($1000) to the total of my yearly payments ($820) and subtract that from the total cost of the crown and Met Life's expense is between $50 and $100 dollars.  Now I know there are some who will argue something is better then nothing.  Horseshit.  According to my dentist I have 5 teeth that will need crowns, sooner or later.  Of course I didn't buy insurance, I bought a plan that is minutely specific on what is and what isn't covered.  My plan does cover extractions, which indicates to me Met Life would rather the tooth be pulled then fixed.  Now isn't that a sorry thing?

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