There is a lot of focus on healthcare these days. In particular access to so called Primary Care physicians, and of course health services in general around the ramifications of the recent reforms. However it seems to me that dental care which for some reason is broken up separately as a heath care service gets short thrift. Most plans, even good ones only have limited coverage with low caps per year. Yet costs seem excessive when you consider the limitations on life time and yearly caps. For example my yearly maximum on dental is $2500 with the plan covering 65% to that amount. For Endodontics work (such as removing teeth, implants etc) the situation is much worse with a LIFETIME CAP of $2500. What this means is, if you have a bad tooth (or like me.. two bad teeth), then you’re really screwed.
This was bought home to me when I went to an Endodontist the other week. I was given this potential bill should I proceed. (see right). You could remove a few of the items like IV etc (but I am The Dentist Coward), to save costs, but nonetheless it is clearly a very very expensive procedure to have teeth removed. Bottom line for two teeth to be removed and implants…. $12k… before insurance. But remember most plans only cover $2-3k.
So how do people afford it? What do you do if you don’t have dental insurance? End up in pain and agony like the ancient Egyptians? (More on that in another post). Here is something else also. What kind of care, dental or otherwise do members of Congress get? I will be covering that one later also.