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RazzleCat Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:23 PM
Original message
An Insurance "Click"
I work for a small company, we do have health insurance (got it about 9 months ago). But we have no dental insurance. Well of course my tooth shot craps. I knew as soon as it happened I was looking at a root canal. Well in my area thats at least $500.00 for the first visit plus the cost of the cap (average for everything round $2000.00). Well I told my boss (the owner of the company) that I was going to be missing at least one full day of work because my tooth was in very bad pain. We talked for a while, with me telling him over and over, that the only place I could afford to go to was where all the meth heads go to. Its a cash and carry clinic in a not so good area (you walk in take a number, they demand cash up front, and you only get the amount of work you have cash on hand for). In any event to make a long story short, I am very important to my boss, I assist him in many ways. So he made me promise not to go to the meth doctor. So I waited, and on the third day I told him I am leaving, going to get my number and get this tooth pulled and the root killed, can't eat, hurt all the time. With that he went in to hyper drive. Up shot he took me to a dentist he knows, waited while the dentist saved the tooth (full root canel, vs the remove it option). He then negotiated 15% off the total cost and paid for my follow up visit. So I am taken care of,now here is the click. While driving to fill my prescription (it was a full snow storm and he did not want me driving round while medicated or in pain, I told you I was one of his favorites), the light went off in his head. He started in on a long ramble about how he can't afford to have me or any of his core staff missing work for long stretches due to an oral infection. He then talked about how expensive dental care was, he had no idea that it cost so much. With that he looks over at me and goes we need dental. Please go and find some options for dental, I don't want to loose you or any of my staff over something like this, it could happen to any one. So the value of having healthy employees hit him upside the head, and he came to the conclusion that it's less expensive to assist us with insurance than to loose his employees productivity because they are in pain. So here is my question, why don't most employees see this. In my case I am close to the owner of the company. We work together every day, when he faced loosing me over a tooth for a few days, and the possibility of a long term loss of me due the good odds of an infection if I did not get some dental care now, he saw the value of insurance. So is that what its going to take to get insurance for all, a boss who faces loosing their key person?
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. the cost of your dental work came straight out of your bosses' Xmas
he probably won't admit it, but they'll be a few less presents under the tree this year. I'm sure he was glad to do it for you but it's just not right that either/both of you must go without to cover a basic medical need

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. He must not have his MBA
because one of the things those guys are taught is that nobody is essential, that we're all a bunch of interchangeable parts, and that any employee who starts to cost the company too much in salary or health care should simply be terminated and replaced with a young trainee.

Either that, or the boss is a mensch and doesn't want it to show.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. The reason most insurances don't cover dental care is
because it's the one thing that will go wrong with a younger population. I hate to tell you how much money I have spent on my mouth since I was eighteen. I did have dental insurance once, but none of the dentists wanted to accept it. So what I had to pay for the premium and then in co-pays for what wasn't covered didn't save me anything so I dropped it.

I do use an electric brush, toothpicks and dental floss now on a daily basis. Taking care of your oral hygiene will save you many dollars in the future.
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RazzleCat Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Your Right No MBA, wrong, his tree will be full
My boss went to and graduated medical school. He does not practice at all, he went into business instead, to pay his way thru school he was working, and well it took off so he kept the business and never went into an internship. FYI he is very well off. Has a penthouse, several very expensive cars (BMW, Mercedes). No it was an act of kindness on his part, and like I said a "click" of gee if you only earn round $40,000 per year, you don't have this sort of cash on hand. FYI I was making way less, we just had a nice sit down (as I had been with the company for just over a year) and I received a wee bit over a $6000. annual raise, so I truly did not have the cash on hand. I do agree that dental is not covered as it can happen to young people. But if your teeth go bad all of you can get sick. One bad infection can run up into your ears, into your sinuses and well any where, it should be covered. FYI live in Missouri we have no state dental for the poor, or any sliding scale clinics. Our fine leaders decided that it was a waste of money. This is why its so bad now. I had no was of going to a dentist for about 5 years as I was unemployed and or part time employed. (dot goned). So I had no regular checkups or cleaning.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Your comment on the younger populatiomn surprises me.
Having met young people who've never had a cavity in their lives, I'd think it would be older workers who needed more dental care. The deterioration of teeth withage would also contribute to the need. (??)
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I won't argue that with you, but I have known in my lifetime
that dental work was most of what younger people spent in medical costs, other than childbirth and medical expenses involved with their children including dental work. How many DUers remember wearing braces which mom and dad had to pay for out of pocket.

Better dental hygiene among younger people I am sure has reduced this. But part of our medical problem is people who won't fix a problem until they almost lose the tooth because of the expense.

Also, insurance doesn't pay for glasses and the refractions needed to get a prescription and this affects all ages as well.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. Dental AND vision...
I never could understand why vision wasn't included in the insurance policies when we're all stressing our eyes every day working on computers. Eye doctors and glasses/contacts aren't cheap either. Even if they'd chip in a hundred bucks or so, it would sure help.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. if only Murkan businesses and corporations would see the light
universal health care makes economic sense
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. I just had three root canals this year
and they were $900 a tooth at the highest priced endodentist in KC. Why are they more than twice that where you live?

The reason I bring this up is that a big part of this problem is the skyrocketing cost of health care. We need national health care, with standards regulating costs. Your boss sounds wonderful, but we need to take the responsibility of health care away from the employers (especially the small employers) and put it in the hands of a larger federal agency. I know the doctors are probably screaming at me right now but something is very wrong with health care when the costs are so erratic like this.

And I hear you on the dental costs. I have dental insurance and I can barely afford to go to the dentist. I have maxed out my benefits for both of the last two years by JUNE. Two years in a row. I need another root canal but can't get it done till after the first of the year. The tooth has been hurting me since July.

My dentist has a pamphlet they hand out that is titled 'Why Dental Insurance Isn't Really Insurance'. Now if that isn't an indicator of a BIG problem, what is it?
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RazzleCat Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. My Point exactly
I work (as noted) for a small company. Its going to be expensive for dental insurance. The fact that my boss had the "click" that its still a good idea is wonderful. We do need some sort of federal / state insurance. The dental bills are going to kill me this year. FYI where in KC? I am in St. Louis, and I am tell you its round $2000. per tooth here. It might be worth the trip to have it all done in KC. Just drive down one day, get all the work done, stay in an inexpensive motel and drive back the next day.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. The guy I went to is on the Plaza
Valencia Endodontics. My insurance said they would pay a certain percent no matter who I went to and he was the guy my dentist recommended. I found out later his prices were the highest in the city. But he did great work. Saved a tooth for me. A meth clinic like you described would have ended up costing me in the long run probably.

Now watch you will call and they will say $2000. LOL

But seriously, they charged me $895. I had the last one done last spring.

The other option here is UMKC Dental School. It takes forever to get in but their prices are fabulous. I know a lot of folks here who use them for all their dental care. Hubby and I went there years ago when we had no dental insurance. Surely there is a dental school in St. Louis?

Good luck. I feel your pain ;)
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. Most bosses don't have key persons and NO shareholders do.
The key attribute of all employees in the Full-Blown Fascist Age of America is that they are fully and totally expendable. You are in a very unusual, rare, unique, and obviously valuable position.

You described a personal realtionship, the type of which is long gone in most U.S. corporations -- or if not, overruled by corporate policies. There used to be a thing called loyalty that both employee and employer felt, respected and valued. That is long gone.
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RazzleCat Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-12-05 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Personal relationship, yep thats right
Thats whats missing in corporate America. Once again small company, the owner can see the effects of no insurance on his workers. He can see the cost to his bottom line (sick worker = no work done). Yes my boss can be a good guy. Loyalty is what he looks for. I lasted a year at slave wages, volia, got a reasonable salary now. Today all crew workers (construction company) who had been with us for over 6 months (long time for unskilled labor in construction) received nice winter coats with the company logo. My boss will reward loyalty. But don't take this to mean he is a real push over, I have seen him fire people, work them like dogs and always go for the lowest cost possible. It just gets back to common sense, he has that personal relationship with us, so he can see (and economically feel) the effects of lack of health care, or in my case dental.
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frazzledmom Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. If I were you I'd kep my job, bosses like that are hard
to come by.
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