A Personal Story: Insurance Doesn’t Help Much – John, Lebanon

John, 41, lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and has two cracked teeth that need crowns. He has dental insurance but it does not cover very much of the work. The estimated out of pocket cost for John is about $1,000 per crown. He has a regular dentist, but has to wait until he has the money to get the work done. “The dentists that I’ve seen, they have a set fee that they charge. There is no write-off the way there is for health insurance.” John explains that with doctors and hospitals, if insurance covers 80% of the charge, they call that good enough, but dentists don’t work that way. Whatever dental charge insurance doesn’t cover, the patient must make up the difference. This is what makes dental work so unaffordable. It’s a frustrating situation. “I’ve got dental insurance, it just isn’t very useful.”

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