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Why is dental insurance separate from other medical insurance?

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:50 AM
Original message
Why is dental insurance separate from other medical insurance?
It's just another medical specialty, in every way that matters. We've known for a long time that dental health is not separate from general health. It's ridiculous that we have two separate categories of insurance for this.

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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. America is the Land of the Ridiculous
nt.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. Throw in vision, too. I don't know why body systems are split up.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. ah yes, good point
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Might be because this is a way for insurance companies to make more premiums and
copays. Make everything separate, patients pay much more.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. Agreed. I've always thought that eyes and teeth should be covered under the same
health insurance. Then again, I guess it doesn't matter much to people who can't afford any health insurance of any kind. :( (Which seems to be a heck of a lot of people.)
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
5. Because doctors consider themselves better than dentists?
Because insurance companies try to cover as little as possible, as infrequently as possible?

Because if the illogical and dangerous (in the name of profiting the rich) is going to exist somewhere, boy you betcha it sure is going to exist here in the U.S.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
7. Because dentists aren't physicians
dental care is separate from medical care in countries with single-payer health systems as well (in the UK, medical treatment is free of charge; there are different "treatment bands" for dental treatment with associated fees, ranging from less than 20 for cleaning to more than 200 for dentures, crowns, and bridgework).
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Obviously, they're not the same professional discipline, but they're intertwined
in terms of health. The question is more of an insurance one--why aren't there generally umbrella policies with medical, dental and vision all under the same policy, is what we're asking.
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TheDebbieDee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. I consider dentists as doctors, too..........
Dentists can prescribe medication and perform surgery, just as a physician can.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
8. It wasn't separate from my medical insurance
It was part of the same contract that covered our other medical stuff that my union negotiated and we went on strike to get.

That is the way it used to be for pretty much everyone. Even the cashiers at the local grocery store used to have comparable wages and benefits, including Dental coverage, as we had in the union auto industry. But that was before people decided supporting our private union workers just wasn't hip enough for them.

So, here we are.

Don
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
9. Because when the "systems" were set up (insurance-wise)
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 10:00 AM by SoCalDem
dental care pretty much involved fillings & extractions and false teeth.. When I was a kid, a filling cost about $10 and probably an extraction was less than that. Most people just had "bad teeth" removed, until the "front ones" were involved & then they got dentures..end of dentists for them.

"Fancy" dentistry came along after the insurance models were already in place, and insurers probably breathed a sigh of relief that they would not routinely have to pay for bridges, root canals, etc for all their insured people, and do it automatically.. They could build in an extra tiered coverage for extra money, and leave the copay high enough that most people would not even bother to buy the coverage.


Same for vision care.. People used to just go to the optician at Sears (or similar), buy some plain old frames & basic glasses could be had for a cost that most people could afford out of pocket.

With all the diabetics we now have, don't look for vision care to be routine and inexpensive anytime soon..

It;s always about the money,,not the care :(
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
11. Simple. So employers can save money by offering basic health benefits only.
The dental plans are expensive and don't usualy cover very much.
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
12. You fork out more $$$ if there are 2 separate policies required. Healthcare in America
is strictly FOR PROFIT.
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
13. If dental care was connected to my medical plan I would not be able to see a dentist
the deductable and copay are to high for me to see a doctor. The dental portion only costs 1.50 a week and in a normal year I pay a fifty dollar deductable and get 4 cleanings a year. Also am covered for up to 1500 per year so that has helped pay for cavities and even trips to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth.
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PCIntern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
14. It really is a great question...
many reasons, ALL FINANCIAL re: Insurance companies and UTILIZATION PERCENTAGES in covered populations.

It is all about the money all the way...NO ALTRUISM...not for a minute.

If I told 1% of the stories I have re: dental insurance, they'd find a way to cut me off as a participating practitioner. Ruthless.
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JohnnyRingo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
15. Why is flood insurance always separate from hurricane coverage?
Because risk assessors determine that policy payments must exceed payouts by a wide margin.

Considering what dentists charge compared to general practitioners, insurance companies know that a premium payment for general health care would soon be met without restraints on coverage. It seems dental insurance, regardless of the level of coverage, always includes a cap on yearly service.

For an insurance company it's probably like the difference between covering a pizza shop for robbery compared to a bank. Not that dentists are thieves mind you, thieves don't have a diploma on the wall.
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Bonhomme Richard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
16. The fact of the matter is that bad teeth kill an awful lot of people. n/t
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
18. Maybe you have to be "old" to know this, but.....
there was no widespread dental insurance until the last decade. The decade before, there was dental insurance, but not many people had it. Before then...I never even heard of dental insurance.

The reason is.....dental costs were minimal. Most people, unless you were poor, could pay for dental work easily out of pocket. An exam with x-rays and a cleaning was maybe $30-$50 (it's now about $200 here in Dallas TX).

For the things that were REALLY expensive, if you had them done in a hospital, regular medical insurance covered it. For example, when I was a teen, I had impacted wisdom teeth. All four had to be extracted. If I'd had it done at dentist...no coverage. My parent would've paid for it, since I couldn't have afforded it (I was still just 17, though). But because my teeth were impacted, they were able to put me in hospital and have an oral surgeon remove all four at once, so that my dad's med. insurance would cover it.

Why did costs of dental care go up? They went up commensurate with the popularity of dental insurance. The more that people got dental insurance, the higher the dentists' rates went.

20 years ago, most people going to a dentist did not have dental ins. NOW, the dentist office thinks you're weird if you DON'T have insurance. And they file the paperwork for you. A HUGE change in a small amount of time.

The same is true of some kinds of medical care, too. Used to be, pregnancy wasn't covered by medical insurance. It was really cheap, too. My friends and sister...the doctor's charge for pregnancy care for the whole 9 months was a flat figure of about $1,200. That included delivery. Plus patient would have to buy vitamins, and I guess the hospital rate for the delivery. Medical ins. only kicked in on the newborn after birth.

Enter insurance, which everyone was happy about. But of course, that meant that rates for pregnancy care skyrocketed, making is so expensive that everyone HAD to get health insurance just to be able to afford it.

Insurance. Whenever you have the insurance companies enter the picture, their profit comes from somewhere. Which means the health care workers have to increase their fees dramatically to get paid decently. Even now, I hate to hear that new things are going to be covered by insurance, like birth control. Everyone is always so happy about it. But I'm old enough to remember how that works, and what that means. That means the cost of birth control will skyrocket, making it unreachable for those w/o insurance. And making everyone's premiums go up. In the end, only the ins. companies are happy.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. That sounds like either an argument for...
not insuring anything, or for a well regulated insurance industry.
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Safetykitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. Great post.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
19. Not to change the subject, but why isn't there just one insurance for everything?
And I've been asking myself why med and dental are separate. Not only are they totally related to health, but don't ask me how much I just spent on my teeth.

For a long time I've thought about what a scam it is to have auto, home, dental, medical... and all of the other insurances.

It just tells one what kind of a society we're living in. Capitalism sucks. It's great when things are moving upward. For some. But shit when things are down. I don't know. That's probably wrong. It's just my general observation.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
20. I always paid more for the dental insurance than what they picked up..
in payment so I gave it up.
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
22. Dental insurance is pretty much useless to me.
It doesn't cover implants, which I'll be needing more of over the next few years.
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