I was dreading the dentist today especially since I remembered that I cancelled my dental insurance. I seem to remember that the cost was going up and I decided last year that I probably wouldn't be working at this job much longer (this was when I was still planning to pay off the rental mortgage by December) so I opted out of vision and dental. Now it is six months later and I am still working and still have over $6,000 in debt before I can start thinking about my next step.
When I got to the dentist they told me they needed to do xrays because they only did that fancy xray last year, what do you call it? The one where it takes a continuous picture of all of your teeth. Anyway, I asked how much it would cost and they said $62. I asked how much the cleaning would be and they said $100. I thought that was ok although unplanned and then I remembered that my new insurance is a health savings account. Not only that but my company contributes to it. I think I get $250 a quarter or something like that.
I managed to escape without any cavities or other problems although they were concerned about one back tooth. Kind of looked like a crack on the xray. They just told me to watch for any sensitivity and come back if it was hurting. It was time to pay and I had my HSA debit card which they gladly accepted. But then their computers were down and it was 5pm so they took down the number and said they would run it tomorrow. Good thing because I didn't know the PIN. I came home and found the PIN and I know they will be calling for it tomorrow.
So, my trip to the dentist didn't take any money out of my extra cash fund. That means I should still have $500 budgeted for the Home Depot card, $500 from my tax refund to go to the mortgage, and $636 for...hmmm...the HD card or the mortgage or...my fence project! Ok, I should probably just put it towards the credit card instead of spending more money at Home Depot. It is tempting though.
You won't like that...............what's 'paying' for the dentist? Sorry, had to gloat, it's free here. I pay 25% tax but that's normal to me.
I read your blog every day and follow your challenges.
I have left something for you on my blog. You might like to pop over and colect it
Before I retired in late 2008, I made sure I had any expensive dental work (i.e. crown, extractions) done while I still had insurance coverage. Since then, my dental bills are about $500 a year which includes two visits (exams and cleanings), one set of X-rays (not the complex ones you described), and one or two small cavities.
Not having insurance coverage any more doesn't faze me much because I saw that my total premiums, deductibles, and copays when I was on COBRA (I pay the full premiums) were about the same as my total out-of-pocket costs (~$500) now.
Smile Savers dental plan costs $80 per year. When I go to the dentist, I pay about $60 for a cleaning, another $60 once per year for x-rays. Just Google it.
Dental care is not "free" in the U.K. it is paid for through taxation (whether you go to the dentist or not)
Frugal Queen, are things like crowns and root canals included or do you have to pay for those?
Well thanks Sue. I will pop on over there and check it out.
Dave, that was very smart of you to get it all taken care of before you left. I think my plan was to just go to Mexico if I needed more dental work. I am feeling lazy about Mexico at the moment. It usually takes 2 days of vacation time to get the work done. Luckily I don't have any urgent work to get done.
Petunia, I did see that brochure at another dentist. I opted to have the work done in Mexico last time. For just the cleanings I think it would be the same with Smile Savers as it is without. $80+60+60 + xrays. Without is $100 times 2 for cleanings plus $65 for xrays. Hmm....
Lizzie, do you think people go to the dentist more or less than if they had to pay each time instead of tax?
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