I went to the dentist today, and (as always!) they found more issues with my teeth that really need to be fixed (and before people start saying that my dentist is just trying to rip me off, I’d like to say that the dentist I had a few months ago had pointed out the same issues, so I think it’s legit. Also, I can see it, and it hurts. So I’m not concerned that my dentist is making stuff up).
But also (of course!) the work that needs to be done is more preventative than anything else, so insurance doesn’t cover it. (Personally, I think that if it’s needed in order to avoid a future root canal, that should be covered!) I’d had to budget for the work I was there for today, and therefore didn’t have the money to get the additional work done right away. Instead, I asked them to give me a printout of the price quote so I could start saving and then know when to call back and make an appointment. (They acted like I’d made a strange request, does nobody else have this issue? Are we the only couple that doesn’t have a separate dental savings account?)
So here is my beef with dental insurance – when you sign up and look at what the insurance will cover, the numbers look pretty good. But when it comes time to actually see how much something will cost, it’s always way more! Either the materials the insurance will cover aren’t the best (though trust me, spring for the better resin/composite fillings and avoid all the hundreds of dollars of work I’m currently having done to replace my old alloy ones after they’ve cracked my teeth) or you have to pay for extra work in order to get the covered work done, or they find a way to claim that the work isn’t necessary and therefore won’t be covered.
Now, I have no idea how dental pricing works – is it like going to the grocery store, where (for the most part) prices for similar items will be relatively comparable, or like getting work done on your car or house, where you’d better get a bunch of quotes because they’ll probably vary by a lot? I don’t have time to visit multiple dentists for price quotes, so I’m stuck with what this one dentist tells me is the price to save my teeth from ultimate destruction 😉
So, Progressive? You know how you do those car insurance commercials where you compare how much other insurance providers cost? Would you mind doing that for dental work so that I know if I’m being ripped off? I’d probably even be willing to pay a small fee in exchange for knowing who offers the best rates for the work I need done.
I think it’s a brilliant idea. So someone out there, start compiling a list of common dental services and how much different dentists charge for the work. In the meantime, I’m off to find things to take to the recycling center so that I can start saving up for my next visit!