A Personal Story: Calculated Cost Risk – Ian, Hanover

calculated_cost_risk

Ian is 57, living in Hanover, New Hampshire, and just had his first root canal, half of which was covered by insurance. He figures he is at an age where he will start needing more dental work: “I’m in the age range where there’s the likelihood of some caps once in a while.” His strategy for dealing with the expense of dental care is to take a calculated risk.

Ian has the option to purchase dental insurance renewed every year through his employer. The dental insurance is about $50 a month, or $600 a year. Ian figures he would spend around $200 a year on cleanings without insurance. If it’s a year when it is not likely he will need a lot of work done, he’ll forgo insurance and pay for cleanings out of pocket. If some needed dental work comes up, he’ll defer it until after he has picked up coverage again. Ian explained, “I was surprised to find a lot of my colleagues (at work) didn’t do the dental insurance, they just figured the cost advantage wasn’t there. They were essentially spending as much, or more, for the insurance than they were getting back.”

Illustration by Dennis Pacheco.

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