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How many of you pay for dental insurance for your infant children?

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  • How many of you pay for dental insurance for your infant children?

    Question for the parents out there:

    1) How many of you pay for dental insurance for your infant children? I have a 10 month old and I'm not sure if it's worth paying an extra $80/mos at this age. Also, my benefits package states it is required that I provide dental insurance for children under 19 y/o but from doing some research, it seems like my employer only has to offer it and that I don't necessarily have to purchase it. Is this true?

    2) Also, when is the absolute latest you would recommend purchasing dental insurance for them?

  • #2
    Dental insurance doesnt seem to be a very good trade off, you pay quite a bit for the possibility of many things which you mostly dont use, and end up way over paying for your basic stuff. I dont carry it, I just pay cash. Maybe if you knew you were going to get ortho or something it may be worth it, but I've found dentists very willing to be reasonable with cash pay prices.

    About the required thing by exchanges I do that, but I think its super cheap, and I think I still pay cash, I forgot about that honestly.

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    • #3
      Under Obamacare Facts, "A child must be offered dental, but you don’t have to take it". It appears that your benefits package material is incorrect.
      Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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      • #4
        That is a ton of money for dental. Is that like $480/yr per tooth at this age?

        If it covers braces, get it in a few years- we just paid $5k for the first stage of braces in our 6 yo. Otherwise, self insure. My dentist gives a cash discount...and I will save those receipts for HSA reimbursement eventually.

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        • #5
          I have it because it's free but unless you need braces (if those are covered) I can't imagine it would be worth that much. I'd probably wait until there was a known upcoming expense.

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          • #6
            It must be nearing open enrollment time - I was just thinking about this scenario for my family as well. My (only) child will be two next year. It will cost us an addition $35/month to add him to our dental insurance. The only reason I'm considering it is because I believe it's relatively common for young children to have to go under general anesthesia if they have cavities that need to be filled. I'd imagine this could get quite expensive. So I was thinking that maybe, when my kid would be too young to tolerate a filling, I'd insure him. But when he hits 4 or so and can tolerate it better (i.e. Can use nitrous rather than GA) maybe I'd remove him from the insurance? Are there any pediatric dentists out there with thoughts on this?

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            • #7




              It must be nearing open enrollment time – I was just thinking about this scenario for my family as well. My (only) child will be two next year. It will cost us an addition $35/month to add him to our dental insurance. The only reason I’m considering it is because I believe it’s relatively common for young children to have to go under general anesthesia if they have cavities that need to be filled. I’d imagine this could get quite expensive. So I was thinking that maybe, when my kid would be too young to tolerate a filling, I’d insure him. But when he hits 4 or so and can tolerate it better (i.e. Can use nitrous rather than GA) maybe I’d remove him from the insurance? Are there any pediatric dentists out there with thoughts on this?
              Click to expand...


              I'm not a pediatric dentist, but I am a general dentist that treats a lot of kids (admittedly don't do general anesthesia though). You say that it's "relatively common" for kids to need GA for fillings, but that's not quite true. A young child is only going to need to undergo GA if they have a mouth that's full of a lot of decay, thus getting everything done in one appointment, or if there's severe behavioral issues where nitrous just isn't going to cut it. Just out of curiosity, does your child have a lot of cavities, or is this just something you're expecting to deal with?

              As far as dental insurance goes, keep in mind that it becomes less and less of a good deal as time goes on. When my boss first started practicing in 1977, the yearly benefit for a dental insurance plan (entire family, mind you) was around $1,000-$1,500. Today, the average yearly benefit (again, for the whole family) is...around $1,000-$1,500. That will cover one crown if you're lucky, and keep in mind you're still going to have to pay your portion regardless. Now if you just need a few fillings and cleanings for you and your family in a year, there may be some circumstances where it's worth it, but $35/month (or $80/month in the OP's case) seems pretty excessive to me, especially for children that young. I'm in a heavy PPO practice, but that's mostly because I work in a blue-collar town where most of the jobs here get dental benefits pretty cheap, if not free. You'll have to determine your own dental needs and costs compared to the cost of the insurance premiums to determine if it's right for you. If you can, I'd say just stick with paying cash; as others have said, most dentists will give you a small discount for doing so.

              EDIT: Forgot to address braces. If your kid's going to need ortho, and the insurance will cover it, get it. Ortho's expensive as ************************.

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              • #8
                Tricare dental insurance is pretty cheap, so I figure what the ************************, why not.

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                • #9




                  I’m not a pediatric dentist, but I am a general dentist that treats a lot of kids (admittedly don’t do general anesthesia though). You say that it’s “relatively common” for kids to need GA for fillings, but that’s not quite true. A young child is only going to need to undergo GA if they have a mouth that’s full of a lot of decay, thus getting everything done in one appointment, or if there’s severe behavioral issues where nitrous just isn’t going to cut it. Just out of curiosity, does your child have a lot of cavities, or is this just something you’re expecting to deal with?
                  Click to expand...


                  Thanks for the perspective!  My kiddo doesn't currently have any cavities and probably isn't more likely than average to get them.  I was just wondering if it did happen if it would cost me a couple thousand out of pocket (if we had to use GA).  Can a typical toddler sit still enough with just nitrous?

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                  • #10


                     and end up way over paying for your basic stuff. I dont carry it, I just pay cash.
                    Click to expand...


                    Speaking generally,  if you're a well-compensated W2 employee, and assuming your family does use it, aren't you benefiting from a substantial percentage of total dental-care dollars coming out as pre-tax deductions (in the form of premium payments)?

                    Also, my experience with having a HDHP has taught me that there is a major advantage to being insured even if you are paying substantial costs yourself in that the insurance co. is often serving as a price negotiator prior to you meeting your deductible, so it seems to me like you're paying a lot less for that healthcare than you would if you paid cash.  (i.e. The $250 lab test that you wind up getting billed $12 for after it gets passed through insurance) Wouldn't that add to the benefit?

                    That being said I can't imagine the cost/benefit works out for an infant child.

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                    • #11







                      I’m not a pediatric dentist, but I am a general dentist that treats a lot of kids (admittedly don’t do general anesthesia though). You say that it’s “relatively common” for kids to need GA for fillings, but that’s not quite true. A young child is only going to need to undergo GA if they have a mouth that’s full of a lot of decay, thus getting everything done in one appointment, or if there’s severe behavioral issues where nitrous just isn’t going to cut it. Just out of curiosity, does your child have a lot of cavities, or is this just something you’re expecting to deal with?
                      Click to expand…


                      Thanks for the perspective!  My kiddo doesn’t currently have any cavities and probably isn’t more likely than average to get them.  I was just wondering if it did happen if it would cost me a couple thousand out of pocket (if we had to use GA).  Can a typical toddler sit still enough with just nitrous?
                      Click to expand...


                      A toddler? No, probably not. Youngest I've ever done fillings on is 3 years old, and that's very hit or miss on whether that works well or not. The thing is is that if you have a toddler that does have a lot of decay, there's either some kind of enamel defect or some very serious home care issues that are going on. As long as you're brushing their teeth twice a day (don't let them do it! or at least do it yourself first) they really should be fine.

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