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Old 11-19-2020, 09:26 AM   #1
Fish mojo
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Default Dental costs in retirement

I've always had an employer supplemented dental plan at work. Getting ready to retire at 62. We are covered for medical, but have no dental insurance. Looks like premiums for a plan for the wife and myself will run around $1800 per year with the usual copays, exclusions and limits.

We both have great teeth and gums and typical needs are the annual exam, x-ray, and cleanings.

Is it best to buy a plan or pay as you go? We have financial resources incase anything big comes up. What are others in retirement doing for dental care/ insurance?

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Old 11-19-2020, 09:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

I do a pay as you go. Our dentist has a discount prepay plan for cleanings. Even a dental surgeon a couple years ago said the insurance was a waste. With the deductibles and cost, it is pretty much a wash or negative. Unless maybe you needed a couple crowns in one year.
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Our insurance covers cleanings every 6 months and a day so it is one a year. We also have a $1000 benefit(new this year) that helps pay for the bigger things. But Dental work like everything has gone way up.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Without seeing your x-rays or knowing your health hx its hard to say but if you haven't had a lot of prior work done and you take good care of your teeth I recommend paying as you go...as long as you have a good dentist you can trust. Stay away from the corporate chains.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

There are dental offices that have their own insurance. You could check into one those places.

It seems to me that the cost of dental insurance outside of work doesn’t make sense for most people. You typically have to have it for 6 months or a year before it kicks in, and they have a maximum they will pay that is usually pretty close to the cost of the premiums. You would also lose any bargaining power for cost if going through the insurance. YMMV.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:30 AM   #6
Don G Baldi
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

I have add on dental to my Medicare Advantage plan. Think it's in the $20 per month range. It pays enough on cleanings to be a push and will cover upwards of 50% on fillings and such. If premium was a grand a year, I'd pass.
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

I retired this year at 59. Had to start buying my own insurance. I'm paying 31.70 per month for a Delta Dental plan. This is an Idaho rate. Covers a couple of cleanings a year and a set of x-rays. Anything over and above is paid at about 50%. Dental is one of those that is a roll of the dice. Probably not the best value for what it pays.

My wife pays about the same when combined on her medicare advantage. I just have quite a while to go before the whole medicare thing. My wife gets hers because she is blind and disabled.
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Here's an important tip for dental matters in retirement: DON'T BITE SPLIT SHOT!!!

My incisor implant cost just under five grand and insurance only paid $1200 of it.
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Old 11-20-2020, 08:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

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Originally Posted by Old Coot View Post
Here's an important tip for dental matters in retirement: DON'T BITE SPLIT SHOT!!!

My incisor implant cost just under five grand and insurance only paid $1200 of it.

Or try bite down to tighten a knot with 40# test line. Chipped my tooth doing it. As we get older, our teeth begin to deteriorate, get soft, brittle and break easier. Being careful is a good idea.
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Don, $20 a month for add-on dental? Hmmm.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

I'm a pay as you go guy, the numbers don't quite work to support the insurance, IMHO.
Anyone know the name of the town on the Mexican border that specializes in dental care? Just in case my decision to forego dental insurance is a mistake...
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Through the recent years we have found dental Insurance about an even wash at best. Add the insurance here & there has been our approach.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

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Originally Posted by b ruff View Post
I'm a pay as you go guy, the numbers don't quite work to support the insurance, IMHO.
Anyone know the name of the town on the Mexican border that specializes in dental care? Just in case my decision to forego dental insurance is a mistake...

Algadones, Mexico- across from Yuma, AZ
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

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Originally Posted by 24 on/ 48 off View Post
Algadones, Mexico- across from Yuma, AZ
I'll second that. We use Dr. Alma Luna. Nice modern dental clinic, everyone in there speaks English. Cleaning $40. Crown $300. We've been going to her for about 15 years.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Will look into dental care in Palomas once the virus is under control. It is just across the border from Columbus, NM, where Pancho Villa made his famous raid just after my great-great uncle's term as the first mayor of Columbus ended. Even got my passport renewed for this very purpose.
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Dental care in Mexico is risky. You can find good dentists but how will you really know? I am sure there are contractors here who know how easy it is to be lazy, do a poor job, use poor materials, and apply lipstick so it looks good on the outside. There is a difference between what the patient thinks is good (they have no clue) and what a decent, honest dentist knows is good.

I have seen some good work and a lot of bad work from Mexico. That being said, I see bad work here, especially from Cali and the East coast. However, the good dentists here are the best dentists in the world. They are also subject to state dental boards who enforce standard of care and they usually follow evidence based dentistry supported by peer reviewed research. You can look up dentists online at many state dental board websites and see if they have a history of malpractice.

Be cautious of same day crowns. If you get them made be sure to have a radiograph taken BEFORE they cement it! If there are gaps at the interface of the crown and tooth then the margins are open, its not acceptable, and risks recurrent decay and a redo, root canal, or extraction in the future. I see a bunch of junky same day crowns.The corporate chains especially are big on them because it saves them money by cutting out the lab guy. The lab guy makes crowns all day long and a good one will be much better than a dentist chair side. I personally use a lab tech who makes everything here in Oregon (yes, crowns can be made in China) with great materials and he sits on the board of OADL. We hit home runs together, its great.

There is A LOT I could say about this industry but nobody likes talking about dentistry, so I wont! My advice for anyone willing to listen is to take good care of your teeth, aim for a more conservative treatment approach (preventative dentistry), and find a dentist willing to watch (not treat) small lesions that will never change in size with proper home care. If you can avoid dental work in the first place that really is the best strategy....hence, if you take care of your teeth, find a dentist you can trust and pay as you go. Sometimes insurance plans are an incentive for dentists to find treatment and max you out each year. Yes....very sad indeed.

https://www.abc15.com/news/local-new...or-dental-care


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Old 11-21-2020, 11:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Rogue V. View Post
Don, $20 a month for add-on dental? Hmmm.
I just checked. For next year it will be $24 per month.


In-network: You pay a $0 copay for covered services
Out-of-network:You pay 50% of the allowed amount for covered services

Coverage of these benefits are limited to 2 every calendar year and specific dental codesOut-of-network dental providers may bill you for any charges remaining over the allowed amount.
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Last edited by Don G Baldi; 11-21-2020 at 12:29 PM. Reason: add covered cost
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

generally the only insurance a person needs to buy is one that covers big catastrophes you cant recover from.
unless you have underlying conditons that are going to need help that are now covered so that you get back more than you pay in.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

As a retired federal employee I have Kaiser Senior Advantage health insurance. This does not include dental insurance but I could add it now during open season. Anyone here have experience with the Kaiser dental system?
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:25 AM   #20
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

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As a retired federal employee I have Kaiser Senior Advantage health insurance. This does not include dental insurance but I could add it now during open season. Anyone here have experience with the Kaiser dental system?
Had my daughter on Kaiser medical a couple years ago. When looking for a pediatric dentist in the Salem area there was only one. We bought dental insurance for her from a different insurance company. I'd suggest looking at their provider network before deciding.
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:30 AM   #21
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by 24 on/ 48 off View Post
Algadones, Mexico- across from Yuma, AZ
Quote:
Originally Posted by bllelk View Post
I'll second that. We use Dr. Alma Luna. Nice modern dental clinic, everyone in there speaks English. Cleaning $40. Crown $300. We've been going to her for about 15 years.
Thanks, I need a crown. My dentist quoted $1500 for a "deep cleaning" and $1500 for a crown.
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:44 AM   #22
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Be aware that many (most?) dental policies pay limited benefits in the first year. Be sure to read the coverage, limitations and exclusions when shopping.
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:33 AM   #23
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

I have to agree that choosing a dentist in Mexico would be a challenge. Especially considering there are supposed to be 300 in Algadones alone. Add to that there are street hustlers trying to get you to their employers. I was VERY cautious when my wife and I first talked about it. However, there are wall to wall RVers and other retired folks you will run into in AZ. Just ask a couple of them who they use and their experience.
Algadones is a town full of street vendors and hustlers. You drive into a big parking lot, pay the Indians for parking and walk across the border. Getting in is easy, getting out just takes time if there is a line going back into the U.S. The U.S. dentist that wanted $1,000 for a crown offered same day service. The dentist in Algadones took three days, no problem. He was referred by Dr. Luna.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrophilic View Post
Dental care in Mexico is risky. You can find good dentists but how will you really know? I am sure there are contractors here who know how easy it is to be lazy, do a poor job, use poor materials, and apply lipstick so it looks good on the outside. There is a difference between what the patient thinks is good (they have no clue) and what a decent, honest dentist knows is good.

I have seen some good work and a lot of bad work from Mexico. That being said, I see bad work here, especially from Cali and the East coast. However, the good dentists here are the best dentists in the world. They are also subject to state dental boards who enforce standard of care and they usually follow evidence based dentistry supported by peer reviewed research. You can look up dentists online at many state dental board websites and see if they have a history of malpractice.

Be cautious of same day crowns. If you get them made be sure to have a radiograph taken BEFORE they cement it! If there are gaps at the interface of the crown and tooth then the margins are open, its not acceptable, and risks recurrent decay and a redo, root canal, or extraction in the future. I see a bunch of junky same day crowns.The corporate chains especially are big on them because it saves them money by cutting out the lab guy. The lab guy makes crowns all day long and a good one will be much better than a dentist chair side. I personally use a lab tech who makes everything here in Oregon (yes, crowns can be made in China) with great materials and he sits on the board of OADL. We hit home runs together, its great.

There is A LOT I could say about this industry but nobody likes talking about dentistry, so I wont! My advice for anyone willing to listen is to take good care of your teeth, aim for a more conservative treatment approach (preventative dentistry), and find a dentist willing to watch (not treat) small lesions that will never change in size with proper home care. If you can avoid dental work in the first place that really is the best strategy....hence, if you take care of your teeth, find a dentist you can trust and pay as you go. Sometimes insurance plans are an incentive for dentists to find treatment and max you out each year. Yes....very sad indeed.

https://www.abc15.com/news/local-new...or-dental-care


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
As a retired dental lab technician worked with very good and very bad dentists, Hydrophilic is spot on...
Matter of fact if you need a dentist I'd go to this guy.
Never met him but he speaks truthfully.
Thanks doc for your perspective.

Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you!
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:01 PM   #25
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As a retired federal employee I have Kaiser Senior Advantage health insurance. This does not include dental insurance but I could add it now during open season. Anyone here have experience with the Kaiser dental system?
I had Kaiser dental for a couple years. Having to have a crown cured me of them. I have Willamette dental now and hope to figure out a way to keep them when I retire. They are really good about preventive dentistry and are conservative if you want them to be. My dentist always listens to me and involves me in all aspects of her dental care.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:11 PM   #26
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

insurance is nothing more than you betting someone you get sick and spend more than you paid in. and them betting you dont get sick and collect more than you pay in.


they are right more than wrong and build skyscraper offices and drive around in limos to their private jets.
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:04 PM   #27
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I had Kaiser dental for a couple years. Having to have a crown cured me of them.
Yeah I have kaiser through work, they'll find every reason to not do something in my experience.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:21 PM   #28
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Yeah I have kaiser through work, they'll find every reason to not do something in my experience.
I am going through this now, I cracked a tooth at gum-line painful and throbbing, dentist says I need an oral surgeon for extraction, any surgeon on Kaiser dental plan is a 2 month wait, I may have to pay on my own to get it done, I can only imagine what medicare for all would be.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:38 PM   #29
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I am going through this now, I cracked a tooth at gum-line painful and throbbing, dentist says I need an oral surgeon for extraction, any surgeon on Kaiser dental plan is a 2 month wait, I may have to pay on my own to get it done, I can only imagine what medicare for all would be.
Wait until you sign up for a plan with a dentist that can't prescribe pain meds and you have a root canal blow out.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:50 PM   #30
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Wait until you sign up for a plan with a dentist that can't prescribe pain meds and you have a root canal blow out.
Sorry Don, I cant fathom the thought of that, I am on pain pills for my lower back, and yet my cracked tooth is loudly talking to me.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:59 AM   #31
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Dental ....Mexico

Prescriptions.....online India or Britain

Any big surgery......Lithuania (wife’s from there) Private best care 1/10 of USA.
Quadruple bi-pass 150k USA vs 12k Lithuania)

Obama care sucks....my insurance at retirement pre ACA...423$ 5k deductible, for us. Now bronze 10 k deductible and 1900$ a month........

Now we can wait for Bidencare plus ......the other side didn’t have anything....I hate them all.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:28 PM   #32
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Dental care at Medicare age is a heavy lift. Even the best plan you can find will not cover full extraction costs, zero implant costs, and usually only 50% of one full crown a year. So between extraction, implant and crown, assume 4-5K a tooth. And now at the age where decade(s) old root canals are failing, I have already spent 8K in the past year with another 4K to go to fill a current extraction hole. At the current time I'm under the care of an excellent periodontist who is doing everything she can to preserve teeth that were never exposed to flouride as a youngester.
Conversely, I have three kids in their 40's and not one of them has ever had a cavity, having received flouride treatments at an early age.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:45 AM   #33
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It is very expensive to 'save' a tooth much less a mouth full. At some point dentures can be an option to stop paying for your dentist's toys.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:35 AM   #34
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I've always had an employer supplemented dental plan at work. Getting ready to retire at 62. We are covered for medical, but have no dental insurance. Looks like premiums for a plan for the wife and myself will run around $1800 per year with the usual copays, exclusions and limits.

We both have great teeth and gums and typical needs are the annual exam, x-ray, and cleanings.

Is it best to buy a plan or pay as you go? We have financial resources incase anything big comes up. What are others in retirement doing for dental care/ insurance?
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:54 PM   #35
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It is very expensive to 'save' a tooth much less a mouth full. At some point dentures can be an option to stop paying for your dentist's toys.
Amen, my Perio flys a Beachcraft Bonanza, he moved far away and flew to work, 2 on 2 off days..........
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:22 AM   #36
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I am going through this now, I cracked a tooth at gum-line painful and throbbing, dentist says I need an oral surgeon for extraction, any surgeon on Kaiser dental plan is a 2 month wait, I may have to pay on my own to get it done, I can only imagine what medicare for all would be.
Yeah I have a mesiodens and coincidentally have discomfort in the same exact spot since my 20s and trigeminal neuralgia since my 20's. Had surgery to tone the nerve pain down, used to see a neurologist and a pain specialist and the pain specialist said I should just get rid of the extra tooth to rule it out. Kaiser said nope, its just a coincidence it hurts where you have an extra tooth, not taking it out.

But the worst was when I switched to kaiser, I took medication for ptsd insomnia, adrenaline out of whack, they "didn't feel comfortable" refilling the prescriptions I'd taken for years, deferring to a psychiatrist I was on a wait list to see..

When I put up a stink they finally scheduled me 3 months out. Meanwhile they cut me off the meds while I waited for 3 months. I slept 2-3 hours a night for 3 months and lost my mind, caused a cascade of other mental health problems from sleep deprivation, full on disassociation, and they said only way to see a psychiatrist to get the meds before the 3 months was to go check into an inpatient mental hospital. All because they wouldn't just give me refills while I waited. I regret not suing them.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:56 AM   #37
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Default Re: Dental costs in retirement

Delta Dental has treated my wife and I pretty well. Its a group plan and my employer paid part of the premium when I was still working but after I retired I pay the whole amount. Every year for 10-12 years the benefits paid by Delta have exceeded the premium by a lot. We have both had dental issues and Delta has been good for us. We are still in the same group we were in when I was still working and the average age for group members is a lot younger than us. So the premiums are prob lower than they would be if we weren't in the group.
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