Jan 16 2013

We saved a bundle at the dentist

Last month, Shane, Johnny and I had a trip to the dentist. Johnny had x-rays and an exam and cleaning, Shane had an exam, cleaning and cavity repair, and I had the same (except I had more cavities to repair — some old fillings gave way and my mouth was playing a cruel joke on me).

We don’t have official dental insurance, and we don’t have a Flexible Spending Account. But, we have a dental discount plan and it seriously saved us a bundle. The plan is roughly $12/month for two people, or $15/3+ but there’s a 10% discount for paying annually in full. The plan entitles you to pre-negotiated discounted rates, so long as you use an in-network provider.

The plan we have is called Careington Care 500, but there are others out there.

The bill was adjusted to the Careington prices immediately.

I got an additional 3% discount by paying with a check instead of swiping my credit card, since they are charged that fee for accepting plastic.

Overall, I’m very happy with this plan and if you don’t have dental insurance (or if your monthly coverage is expensive and the plan isn’t all that great) a discount plan could be a great option for your family.

This one also has discounts for vision and prescription, but we haven’t used those.

Do you have dental insurance or a discount plan?



5 Responses to “We saved a bundle at the dentist”

  1. I have dental insurance through work. I also have a flexible spending account that covers the copays on a pretax basis.

  2. I have dental insurance but it is not that great. I have been considering a dental discount program.

  3. When I didn’t have dental insurance, I just self insured. Cleanings were not that expensive and if I needed something major I just sucked it up (hello $800 crown). Now I have insurance though my wife’s employer and it is pretty ok.

  4. My employer pays 50% of my dental and drugs and I have a very small flex account for overages.

    I did not use the flex money last year and it can’t be rolled over from year to year. I will use it this year. I blew it last year but I was new to the employer and didn’t know how to help myself.

    My dentist bills the insurance carrier on line. They pay half and I am left with half to pay. I could then submit the receipts to the flex plan and get some back.

    Or I could use the flex money to have some of my fat frozen off. There is a doctor offering fat freezing in my town and I could waste my flex dollars on my waist.

  5. We pay about $50 a month for dental insurance, or $600 per year. We then pay the first $50 for dental costs each year and nothing else. In a good year, no cavities or other problems (just two cleanings for me and spouse), it saves us approximately $600 and we break even.

    This year we needed 2 cavities filled and a few other problems fixed and saved quite a bit of money! I’d go with a discount plan if they were available in our rural area, but this seemed like our best option for the dentist that we use. Sure wish he offered a cash discount!

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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