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  1. #1

    Dental insurance after retirement

    I'm a regular on the Kitchen Forum but haven't posted here till now. I recently resigned from my job (since I'm age 60, I'm not sure whether to call it retirement or not). I plan to take a long rest and catch up on some projects, and then I will probably freelance from home. DH is 62 and plans to continue working "forever." We have had dental insurance through my employer, but that will no longer be available, except that I could continue it for 18 months through COBRA. I'd like to find some other dental insurance as an individual + spouse. We have our medical coverage through DH's employer, and they do offer a dental plan, but our dentist doesn't participate in that particular plan, and we want to stay with our current dentist, if we can manage to.

  2. #2
    I asked our dentist's staff for a list of insurance plans he participates in. I've been calling them and checking web sites, and it appears that most of the PPOs are available only as group plans through employers. Several companies offer discount cards for fixed fees or a straight percentage (generally 25--35%) off of the customary fee. That might be our best (or only) bet, but I am still hoping to find a real insurance plan.
    We generally need routine care, like cleanings, x-rays, and the occasional filling, but over the years, there have been more expensive needs like crowns, too, so I can't expect that we'll always need only the minimal services.
    Is it better to have a deductible to keep the cost low for the expensive stuff that might arise, or to pay at a discount across the board?
    Do any of you have experience with the discount programs? Do they really suit your needs? Have you encountered problems with them? Or do you know of any dental PPOs available to individuals? Is using COBRA a good or bad idea? I'd appreciate any advice you can give me.

  3. #3
    Do you have a dental school in the area?
    I've attended the local one, for fillings, root canals, etc then a good deal of extractions and making of full upper and partial lower plates.
    There was substantial cost, of course, but much lower than through regular dentists, and the supervisors check every step of the procedures.
    Actually, they'd planned to give me a partial plate on top, but then the supervisor recommended taking them all out, including one that they'd done a root canal on a couple of months previously, so they gave me a substantial credit toward the remainder of the work.
    I think that you'd be pleased with the service of a dental school, if one is available.
    My student, an east Indian, was a very gentle person - I mentioned this one to a supervisor, and she heartily concurred.
    Hope you get all of the teeth fixing that you need - at a reasonable price.
    ole joyful

  4. #4
    Hi Joyful Guy (what a great outlook on life! Your name says it all! It makes me think that maybe I was "accentuating the negative" when I chose that "MT" screen name--but my life is very full, even tho' my nest is empty!)
    Thanks so much for your advice. Actually, I'm trying NOT to change dentists, because I love the guy I've been going to for the past 19 years. (Funny you should mention the dental school idea, though, because when I first found my current dentist, he was recommended to me by a friend who had first visited him at the local dental school! He later opened his own practice, and that's where he was when I started going there. He's been saying for years that he's going to retire "next year," so maybe I'll be looking for someone new soon, but for now, I'd like to continue with him.
    Sorry for rambling so much!

  5. #5
    I've been researching this question for the past couple of weeks now, and I see that, with few exceptions, the options for retirees are pretty limited. I guess I was kinda spoiled by the full coverage I had while I was working, and I just assumed it would continue that way. Not!! I'm trying to dig up the numbers for various plans (COBRA, discount cards, fixed fees, etc) so I can "crunch" them and see which option makes the best sense for us.



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