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proudtobabritgirl

Medical insurance!

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Hi, 

So I have a few questions regarding medical insurance. Because I don't really understand it! I'm from England so I've never experienced all of it before! I will be working from home so I need to purchase a policy for myself. 

Here are my questions-

 

1. I need to have my wisdom teeth out badly (NHS is two year waiting list so can't have it done before I leave) how quickly after purchasing a policy in the USA would I be able to seek treatment? Immediately or have to wait a few months to have made a few payments? 

2. How much roughly a month is a medical/dental policy? 

3. Is it like car insurance, whereby you use the insurance company to pay the fee and then your payments go up? 

 

I am debating paying to have them out here privately before I leave. But I can't be sedated and I feel I need to be as it's going to be hell of a job having them out! 

Plus, I need to purchase the plan before I enter the country incase of any emergencies and travel insurance doesn't cover it I'm guessing 

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Thread is moved from Off Topic to the "Moving to the US" forum, to be among similar-themed threads.


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Medical insurance and dental insurance seldom go together, unless one is getting both through their job. The standard ACA policies do not cover dentistry. Most private dental policies have waiting periods for extractions (like you need) of 6 months, and may only pay 50% or less. Not automatic premium increases with use, but policies have yearly maximums. Figure about $30-$50 a month in premiums.

 

Read it and weep: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/122315/6-dental-insurance-plans-no-waiting-periods.asp

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Most dental insurance is not worth getting.  Here's why:

 

The monthly premium payments won't be very high (compared to medical), but when you read the fine print, there will most likely be a annual cap/limit on the coverage.  And it won't cover 100% of the major work (wisdom teeth, root canal, crown, etc), but more like 40-60%.  So you'll still have to pay something out of pocket.

 

For example, the monthly payment may be $100/mo, but they will cap your benefits at $1500 or 2000/year.  Meaning that once they pay your dentist(s) $1500, no more benefits for the rest of that year.  So you are paying $1200 total for the year but can only get $1500 or 2000 worth of services.  Plus, if you don't use the whole limit, you lose any unused benefits.  So you may end up paying $1200 but don't have much work done and end up NOT getting your money's worth. 

 

Unless you can get dental insurance through work, where your employer pays most of the premium, it's best to pay cash for dental work whenever you need it.  Most dentists give discounts to cash patients.

 

I have dental through work for $28/month and my employer pay another $100 or so.  But it's capped at $2000/year.  For example, my dentist charges the insurance company $860 for a crown, and my coverage is 50%, so I still pay about $430 out of pocket.  I have enough dental work done each year to justify it.  But if I didn't have a lot of work done, I'd end up losing money.  And if I came in without insurance, he's charge me about $700 for a crown, so not that much more than with insurance.  If I didn't get it cheap through work, I would not pay for dental insurance.

 

Medical is a different story.  You almost have to have medical insurance.  Those bills can add up quickly.  I spent 3 days in the hospital in July with pneumonia, total bill was $12,000.

Edited by Eric-Pris

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