A Personal Story: Payment Plan Saved Her – Laurie, Washington


When Laurie was married to her first husband, she and her children had private dental insurance which covered their dental needs. When she divorced, she was no longer on that plan, and as a low income mom, she qualified for Vermont’s VHAP. The family dentist she had gone to for years did not accept VHAP, and Laurie needed a crown. Laurie was earning $11 an hour, and she didn’t have the money to pay for the entire procedure outright. She looked for a dentist who would take the VHAP insurance, but all the places who were accepting VHAP were not taking new patients. Luckily her family dentist was willing to work with her, offering her a payment plan for the $1,200 crown. Laurie spent an entire year paying off that dental work, and feels lucky: “Had I not had that relationship, I would have had to defer the crown.”

Laurie is still paying out of pocket for her dental care. Her teeth build tartar quickly, so her dentist recommends cleanings every four months. She has had to put off cleanings because of an inability to pay. “I do try to take good care of my teeth, but it’s hard to afford it.”

Illustration by Dennis Pacheco.

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