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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
discount dental plans. READ MORE

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Dental Solutions for Everyday Problems

Sep 05, 2013

Last month’s Back to School series brought back fuzzy memories of “story problems” from grade school math. You remember the ones, right?

They contained scenarios like, “There was 1/2 of a pizza left from supper last night, and you ate 1/3 of it for breakfast. What fraction of the whole pizza is left for lunch, and how many antacids of the dozen you purchased after breakfast are left if today is Wednesday, you lunch at 1 pm and you have taken 40% of the recommended dosage recommended for people 18 and older that weighs less than 200 pounds?"

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I don’t know about you, but I really didn’t mind the stories themselves; the character development was pretty good, the action was edge-of-your-seat exciting and the music in my head was Oscar-worthy.  It was the numbers that gave me problems. But hey, are we smarter than a fifth grader? Let’s visit three story problems and apply each to separate dental scenarios.

Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, places, and stray cattle are solely products of the author’s addled imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental – unless there are royalties involved in which case I wrote it and expect to be paid accordingly.

Scenario A: Jack and Jill lived on a hill and one day while shoveling snow, Jack fell down and lost his dental crown and Jill said, “You better get up and go get a new crown because my soap operas are on, it’s cold out there and I’m not looking for that nasty old one.” 

Because Jack needs dental coverage in a hurry he won’t want an indemnity or PPO plan because both have waiting periods for major procedures like crowns and root canals. Jack would be better off looking for a dental health maintenance organization (HMO) or a discount dental plan because neither has waiting periods, deductibles or out-of-pocket limits. Which would be better?

Solution: Jack lives in the Midwest. If he prefers traditional dental insurance and doesn’t mind using a dental network if it saves him money on salt and sand for his driveway, and maybe a snow blower, he can purchase a dental HMO plan for less than $15 a month and a one-time processing fee of $35. His copay for a crown with the HMO plan available in his area that he purchases from Dental Insurance Store will be $410.  Considering the cost of a crown can range from $660 to $1,500, Jack will save enough money with the HMO plan that he can pay the guy from Porter Ridge to plow his driveway when it snows.

Scenario B: Barry and Mikki live in Dallas and have twin college-age daughters that are polar opposites. Hope is athletic, rambunctious and an extrovert, while Chauncey is studious, plays multiple brass instruments and is an introvert. Hope is attending the University of California at Berkeley in the fall semester, while Chauncey is enrolled at the Berklee School of Music in Massachusetts.

Barry and Mikki want their daughters to have good dental coverage while away at school, particularly since Hope has had more than one mouth injury playing lacrosse and when jousting. Chauncey once lost a tooth during marching band when she stepped into a pothole and she voluntarily had her wisdom teeth removed because she thought it would help her hit a high E-flat in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #2.

Solution: Flexibility is important with college-age children living in different areas of the country. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and Indemnity plans both offer flexibility in that they don’t require you to seek treatment within a dental network. Both plans have a waiting period ranging from 12-18 months for major procedures, but if neither has immediate major dental needs, Texas has a PPO plan for a family of four for just $94.12 plus a one-time processing fee of $19. Hope and Chauncey can each have dental coverage and all Mom and Dad have to worry about are the annual $100,000 tuition fees.

Scenario C: Martha Hubbard is a widow living in Northern California. One evening Martha bit down on a piece of aged cheese during a wine-tasting and her dentist advised her she would need an implant or a partial denture. Martha has disliked dentures since her late husband used to lose his regularly while eating corn-on-the-cob at family reunions with their 10 adult kids and 40 grandkids. Her dentist has advised her she is a good candidate for a dental implant, but because she reads Agent Straight-Talk she knows that implants on average cost from $2,500 to $4,200 per tooth.

Solution: Most dental plans don’t cover dental implants due to the expense, despite their growing popularity as an alternative to dentures and bridges. However, a few plans do, including one through Dental Insurance Store available to California residents. If Martha was a member of that plan her copay for an implant would be $885 to $1,045, depending upon the implant components. Martha’s cost for that plan would be just $9 a month plus a one-time enrollment fee of $20.

If Martha didn’t live in California, some discount dental plans cover implants for 25% off, including one available at Dental Insurance Store for just $8.95 a month and a one-time enrollment fee of $30. Tip: Always look closely at a discount dental plan's benefits before purchasing to make sure that the plan offers discounts on what you need.

If you want to see how easy it was for Jack and Jill on the hill, Barry and Mikki and Old Mother Hubbard to find the right dental plan at the right price, click here.  Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and be sure to stop by next week for more stories on fictional dental characters with real life problems. 

Copyright 2013 Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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