Calling all Budget Nerds! (and/or math/insurance nerds!)

I'm seeking some financial advice as I consider if I should switch my dental insurance plan or not. I just went to the dentist today for my free cleaning and exam. I was told about 3 years ago that I had some fillings that have to be done, so I was not surprised when my dentist today made me aware of the same ones and a couple more. 

With my current insurance plan, I'd have to pay about $452.00 out of pocket to cover all of my fillings. 

Where I am currently, I pay $14.10/ month (= $169.20/year) and with adding the $452 they estimated, that's $621 total.

If I were to switch plans I'd be paying $513.60 for the entire year, in addition to my deductible ($50) plus the cost of my fillings.

It's a $50 deductible, $1500 maximum benefit, 80% for basic fillings.  == $42.80/month

42.80 x 12 months = $513.60

513.60+$50 deductible +(??) =  *at least* $563.00

Choice A: $621 total for 2018. Includes my monthly premium and all of my fillings.

Choice B: At least $563, plus whatever my fillings would cost with my 80% discount after my deductible. 


I have CareCredit, which will enable me to pay off the $452 over the course of 12 months with no interest. I'm very good about regular payments and have a great stable job, so this does not worry me at all. 

I just e-mailed my dentist office to see if they could estimate what it would be if I had the other plan.. I just know it can be difficult to get accurate information with this "what if..." situation. 


I would SO appreciate any information from insurance nerds out there who might have some insight. Obviously, the less money I pay overall, the better. My hunch is that it will be cheaper to stay in my current plan and pay the $621 for the year. 




Thanks YNAB-ers. This community has saved me! 

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  • Hey there! 

    It looks like this question got buried somewhere (or insurance is a scarier subject to go over than I first thought 😣 ).

    At first thought, I'd think Choice A would have the least out of pocket expenses, since you know the full amount it would cost. Also, if you don't need any dental work next year, you can go back to the $169.20 a year instead of the $563 minimum of Choice B. The deductible of Choice B is also a risk factor depending on how many times you'd need to be seen to get the work completed.

    I'd love to know which plan you decided works best for you! :)

  • The 20% coinsurance on plan B (the ?? in your equation) would have to be $58 or less to break even/come out ahead.

    We know the fillings, before insurance are going to cost at LEAST $452, right? (That's your OOP on the current plan which may or may not have a coinsurance applied, so it might be higher). 

    452 -50 (choice B deductible) = 402 x 0.2 (your OOP on the new plan) = $80.xx. 

    Plan A is the better deal for this amount of work.

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