You're Self-Employed, Single & have Dental Insurance that you Don't Hate
February 9, 2015 12:52 PM   Subscribe

And maybe you also live in Michigan. I'm self-employed, single, & also turning 50 this year, and I think it might be a good time to buy Dental Insurance. Can you help me out with some suggestions for Dental Insurance Companies (DICs for short)?

For the past 6 years I've paid out of pocket, but it seems like costs are down. Last year I paid slightly more for two regular cleanings, and no dental work, than a whole year of insurance costs this year.

My teeth are healthy with the exception of one that bothers me from time to time. Whichever DIC I go with, they'll have to have decent policies for dealing with out of network dentists. My dentist has already told me that he's out of network for all DICs.

So help me out

Do you have a DIC that you're mostly happy with? Who are they? Who should I stay away from? I'm in Michigan, and I think that matters.

Thank you!

Once I started I couldn't stop.
posted by bricksNmortar to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in a similar demographic to you, and I have Delta Dental. I also have a great recommendation for a dentist in the area who takes it, depending on how far you're willing to drive.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 1:16 PM on February 9, 2015

I had Delta Dental HMO. If you are switching dentists anyway, look in to whether it is significantly less to use the HMO. I had almost perfect teeth until I hit 50, which coincidentally was when I had a job that covered dental inexpensively if I used the HMO. Within months of getting the coverage I had two major procedures, both were at almost no cost to me. I was impressed with the dentist I was assigned but I am in Illinois, so YMMV.
posted by readery at 1:34 PM on February 9, 2015

You might consider finding a dentist you really like first, then finding out what insurance they take that in their experience pays out well. In my experience, my dental insurance was not as widely accepted as my health insurance. And even when they took my insurance, it covered cover so little as to make it nearly worthless. The office manager at my dentist told me that most aren't worth it.
posted by cecic at 2:04 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Most individual dental plans are of questionable value. You will pay premiums of about $600 per year and the maximum that the insurance will pay per year is around $1000, which saves you only $400 in the best case. They also often have a waiting period of 12 months from when you first sign up for expense procedures like root canal and crowns. However, the insurance company may have negotiated discounts with dentists so check prices with and without insurance at your dentist.

As an alternative, you might first find a good dentist and then see what self-insurance programs they offer in-office. If you pay in advance, some will give you a package deal of 6-month cleanings and a percentage discount on all other procedures. This might be a better deal than you get from outside dental insurance.
posted by JackFlash at 3:17 PM on February 9, 2015

I'm self-employed and a Michigander. I'm covered with [checking card] MyBlue or as it says on the bottom of the card, Blue Dental. It costs Mr. Terrier and I about $74 and change per month (that's with the subsidy.) Very happy with it: I got a filling re-done (they removed the old silver and replaced it with nice new composite) cost after insurance: $45. I consider that quite do-able.
posted by BostonTerrier at 6:00 PM on February 9, 2015

Yes, it's almost all Delta Dental around these parts, although my BCBSMi covers two free cleanings a year. I'm not sure of the cost, my employer pays for it though.
posted by mibo at 6:25 PM on February 9, 2015

I have bcbsm thru the marketplace. I have a multistate progrAm which means it covers health and dental. Have been happy
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:04 PM on February 9, 2015

You can get Delta Dental Insurance through AARP. You can join AARP at 50:
posted by ljshapiro at 10:46 AM on February 10, 2015

You should check the costs and benefits of dental insurance carefully before purchasing it. More often than not, dental insurance is essentially a way of pre-paying for dental care. The dollar amounts of benefits are strictly limited. This makes sense when an employer is paying for it and offering it as a benefit for employees, but the value becomes questionable when someone is paying for it themselves.
posted by alms at 2:37 PM on February 10, 2015

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