I try not to react emotionally when I get quotes for any type of health-related insurance for my family–but it is hard not to.
With four small children, my husband and I decided recently that it would be a good idea to look into dental insurance, so I called a broker to ask about it.
I could feel my blood pressure rising as I listened to the details of the plan that was available in my state (NJ). It was $176 a month–but the plan would only cover 50% of major services, such as root canal–and that benefit would not kick in for 12 months. There was a six month wait to get 80% coverage for cavities and extractions. And the plan only provided $1,000 worth of coverage to each person for the calendar year. Essentially, all it covered for the first six months was a checkup and cleaning for each person.
I know dental insurance tends to cover a lot less than health insurance does. Still, this was one of those moments that reminded me of the biggest downside of being a freelancer: We’re often treated like second-class citizens by the healthcare establishment. Our taxes pay, in part, for other citizens’ medical and dental coverage–but we can’t even buy a halfway decent plan for ourselves.
Fortunately, no one in my family has serious dental problems, so I think we’re going to go without dental insurance for now. I have a discount dental plan that I bought through a professional association. It’s not true insurance and doesn’t save me much, but it’s better than nothing. Meanwhile, I’m preparing for the body blow that comes in October, when we get our annual health insurance premium increase.
What do you do about dental care? We’d love to see your suggestions for finding coverage in the comment area.