Dental Insurance

Hi everyone!
I’m retired from the military and the days of free dental are gone. I’ve looked over our site and cannot find an association dental plan. Can anyone offer help with this? Thanks.

I pay my own dental.

According to my dentist, private dental insurance seldom is worth the cost.

Of course YMMV

Good luck and thanks for your service to this country.

Greg…go to the left column and click Inspector Mall then go to the Insurance section and skim down for several dental plans, both insurance and discount plans. Look at Careington for example.

In my opinion, dental insurance is a scam. And this is coming from a guy who sells insurance. In some cases, it might be worth it, but here are some things to think about:

  1. Most dental carriers will cap you at either $1,000 or $1,500 benefit a year
  2. There is typically a 6 month to 1 year waiting period for major services (root canal, extractions, etc., etc.)
  3. Might have a deductible for even a cleaning.
  4. Orthodontia is not included.

Let’s say you pay $28/month to United Concordia or Delta Dental. That will be $336 a year in premium.

An EXPENSIVE dentist will charge you $120 a cleaning. So, if you go to a dentist for the standard cleaning twice a year, you’ll pay $240 out of pocket if you’re self-insured. And $336/year (possibly more if there’s a deductible) to the insurance company.

Food for thought…

Ben, thanks. That’s how my dentist and his assistant explained it to me recently.

Better to put the money aside and use it as needed IMHO

I appreciate all the info. I took my sons to the dentist the other day for their “last” military-insurance exam and the cost without insurance was about $150/each for exam and cleaning. Roughly $600/year for a family of four–and this is without maintenance. We all have pretty god teeth (I have a good bit of metal now, and that shouldn’t go bad); so being "self-insured; may be the way to go. Thanks!

Don’t get me wrong, there are instances where it might “pay” to have dental insurance. But for the most part, self-insuring is the way to go.

Please note - I do NOT feel this way about E&O and GL insurance :wink:

Im retired military as well and I have the VA Delta Dental Plan for my family and it runs me about $60 a month; giving everyone two exams and cleanings annually plus a significant reduced dental fees. One trip for a crown pays for the whole years premiums. You get to pick your own provider as long as they accept the Delta Dental PLan. Worth every penny.

Group (Corporate) and Government dental plans will be much richer in terms of benefit. That’s a situation where it works to your advantage to pay for the insurance.

Is your VA dental the Tri-care dental (old Delta dental)? Did you sign up through Tri-Care or directly through Delta Dental?

Tri-Care Delta Dental plan. We are very happy with the program. Top notch care and a good premium. When it first got off the ground there were some bobbles in the program but those have all been worked out. Do not go for the lower of the two plans; for just a few more dollars monthly that goes out in allotment from your “retainer check” you get a lot more coverage and at lower levels of your out of pocket expenses. Even when I opted for a third cleaning annually, it only costs me $66 for the exam and cleaning. There used to be a one year waiting period for major expense items but I think that may have changed. Either way do not delay too long before getting into the program. I learned the hard way, had a tooth crumble one day, had to pay the full expense for a crown before I got onto the premium plan. If your’s are like mine, the military dentist are known for just hollowing out the whole tooth and filling it. It will generally fail prematurely due to little actual tooth being left. Ive been retired since 95 so most if not all of the old work has been corrected without any falseys. I found a good dentist (the Delta website has them listed by State and town) who got us onto a great schedule and is easy to work with.

Thanks Doug. What do you do for dependent vision?

Fortunately we are both blessed with good eyesight. I was a flyer in the Navy so I started out with good eyes. So far I only use cheaters at very low power for reading, same for the wife. There are several very good service organizations you can join who have all kinds of programs available to active duty and retirees. AMBA is one that I belong to, FRA is another (Navy, Marines, Coast Guard). They almost always have great programs for health, life and other types of insurance, perscription drugs, you name it…) I can shoot you some of the links if you want me to.

Several plans in