Need to find insurance
July 25, 2006 9:45 AM   Subscribe

I currently work full time for a company in southern Tennessee that does not offer health insurance, and probably won't in the near term future...

I need to get into see a dentist (I haven't been for a few years) which is my primary concern, but I also have not been to a doctor since I was a teenanger because I've never had insurance.

I'm currently 27, non-smoking female and I desperately need to find a reasonable option for insurance (at least dental) that will cover much of my costs because unfortunately, I'm also getting TN-level wages.

What are my options?
posted by finitejest to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
First, that SUCKS. Is finding a new job an option?

As far as dental, investigate MetLife. I never had to get individual insurance with them, though I thought I would, so I investigated them and a couple other companies, and they had the best rates/coverage ratio.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:58 AM on July 25, 2006

Check to see if any organizations you belong to may have a policy or discount rate. AAA might have some kind of discount set up as well.

Also, do not neglect to look into a Flexible Spending Account to avoid taxes on your medical bills.
posted by slavlin at 10:03 AM on July 25, 2006

For health insurance, I would look at They compare a number of plans. Most of them are of the high-deductible variety. You may want to consider an HSA to save yourself taxes on the deductible you will pay. You should be able to get health insurance with about a $2500 deductible for perhaps $75 a month. As for dental, your options are a bit more limited. There really isn't good dental insurance out there. If you expect to need a lot of work since you haven't been to the dentist for a while, you may want to get some crappy dental insurance. I had some from Unicare which was $20 a month. For that basically you got access to their network of dentists, which means you pay about 40% off the usual fee, but you may not find a dentist you like. Additionally, they pay a relatively small percentage (about 30%, depending) of the final fee. So overall, the insurance might save you something like 65%. There is a waiting period for coverage, so you may have to wait to have major work done. However, if you're facing a multi-thousand dollar bill, it may be worth it. There is a site,, which mostly specializes in discount dental plans, meaning that they only give you the network discount, not any actual insurance. These types of dental plans are usually about $10 a month. I believe also has some limited insurance like the Unicare but I'm not sure.
posted by cameldrv at 10:03 AM on July 25, 2006

Is there a university with a dental school near you? At the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, for example, you can get quality dental care done for about 1/2 the cost of a regular dentist.
posted by mogget at 11:00 AM on July 25, 2006

Not having health or dental insurance does not preclude you from seeing a healthcare professional. You may have to prioritize your budget for a while to save the cash to see someone. Don't you think your body and your health is worth it?
I second the UT dental school.
There are some physicians who have gone to cash-only practices because they don't want to fool around with negotiated visit fees from insurance companies, waiting for months for reimbursement and other such things. There are bound to be some in your area. Visits typically run around $100 and lab work (for a complete blood count, lipids, fasting blood glucose, Pap test) costs extra.
You can be seen by the county or municipal health department for routine sexually transmitted infection screenings, including HIV, for little or no cost. They can also do routine vaccinations (you should get a tetanus booster every ten years, for instance).
Good luck!
posted by FergieBelle at 11:18 AM on July 25, 2006

Depending on where you live, you should check out your local farm bureau - - they will more likely than not be able to help you get insurance as part of the Tennessee Rural Health system at a much much lower price than you could as an individual.
posted by ilikecookies at 11:55 AM on July 25, 2006

How far are you from Nashville? The Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry serves low-income folks. They only charge $50 for a dental check-up/evaluation.

But please don't let a lack of insurance stop you from going to the dentist. A lot of people don't have dental insurance - even those with good jobs.
posted by peppermint22 at 1:19 PM on July 25, 2006

If you are female, you can look into a feminist health clinic, which are usually free or on a sliding scale. You can contact your local National Orginizaton for Women chapter to find information on these places. They may be able to direct you to a low cost doctor or dentist as well.
posted by rubyeyo at 2:35 PM on July 25, 2006

« Older Help an American find a soccer Web site   |   Teamspeak on Ubuntu: Is there a repository which... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.