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Re: Delta Dental

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Message 1 of 8

@GailL1 

 

Ahoy Gail!   :- )

 


@GailL1 wrote:

@formerlyFred 

So do you think that many members of this group think that when AARP offers a plan through an insurer of some type or actually some retailer of a service, that the 1st thing they think of is that it is CHEAPER?

Your guess on this is as good as mine is.

 

I am often surprised at the complaints and expectations I see posted in the forums regarding various services that may relate to AARP "somehow". I am of the "buyer beware" mindset and if it sounds too good to be true I will give it the ol' eyeball.

 

Now, the OP here in this thread wasn't too caustic about AARP in his original remarks. But they did prompt me to do an actual investigation into this to try to get some actual facts (what a concept?  And I know that you do this all the time... posting the actual facts on an issue...lots of research and it is highly appreciated by me and others).

 

But I have seen other threads in other sub-forums just castigating AARP...often for services that aren't even under their control!  ("oh, your Windows is not working? we'll get right on it, sir. AARP will fix it right up.")

For instance, there's another thread "just below" in this subforum also about Delta Delta. It's full of some hot feelings. I wonder if the really angry people have actually investigated what their particular policy provides?

 

So, that's me. Just trying to crunch numbers, list comparative facts (1) Maybe some people will take this to heart and see that they can actually do this themselves.   (note 1:   I have tried to do that a number of times in the Social Security forums... crunch numbers for posters' particular situation and let the results speak for themselves).

 

 


That is not the way AARP Services, Inc. works - they develop a plan with and insurer or other retailer of service that is suppose to be a good value to seniors by its offerings - that does not necessarily mean it is cheaper.


Sounds good. I think you're preaching to the choir here, I basically accepted that principle even before I knew. I think the OP is the one who needs this lesson (and a number of other forum posters). Possibly it's worthwhle describing this a bit more fully and putting up as a new post/thread. I would nominate for that "hall of fame" .. The "Ideas, Tips, and Answers" forum ...where they put up the best informative posts.  Edit to add:  Oh, that would be so convenient! Then when someone complains about AARP and services they could be directed to that "Tip", if applicable.

 

 

p.s.:  stay safe during this crazy time of the virus

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Re: Delta Dental

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Message 2 of 8

@formerlyFred the difference in premiums likely had a legitimate explanation rather than nefarious

 

And we both agree.

 

The plans you illustrate show roughly $180 per year in premium differential. I don't see enough difference to warrant paying the extra premium.

 

As you stated, whether these are the two ACTUAL plans compared by OP or not cannot be determined. While I would not purchase either of the two plans you illustrated, if I was determined to pick between those two plans I would go with the lower premium plan.


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Re: Delta Dental

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Message 3 of 8

@formerlyFred 

So do you think that many members of this group think that when AARP offers a plan through an insurer of some type or actually some retailer of a service, that the 1st thing they think of is that it is CHEAPER?

 

That is not the way AARP Services, Inc. works - they develop a plan with and insurer or other retailer of service that is suppose to be a good value to seniors by its offerings - that does not necessarily mean it is cheaper.

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Re: Delta Dental

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Message 4 of 8

@somarco wrote:

@formerlyFred over 45 years in the insurance business and I have NEVER seen a dental plan I would buy for myself. IMO dental coverage is a complete waste of money.

 

The two plans you put up side x side may or may not be the ones [op] was comparing. .


My intent was to demonstrate what you yourself indicated in your first reply, that the difference in premiums likely had a legitimate explanation rather than nefarious. Given the lack of information in the original post I could not go through comparison of numerous plans, I only wished to present a side-by-side comparison of a representative set of dental plans and draw some conclusion from the investigation. Any interested parties (such as the OP) would then be welcome to perform the same exercise having been shown how to do it.

 

I suppose I was simply calling the OP's bluff. He was complaining about AARP abusing members with the insurance ("I thought AARP was supposed to help seniors not penalize them"). I wanted to show if this was true or not. I doubt that it is true.

 

 

Edit:  I should have added to my first post the term/disclaimer that was invented just for this use... YMMV.  Your mileage may vary.

 

 

 

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Re: Delta Dental

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Message 5 of 8

@formerlyFred over 45 years in the insurance business and I have NEVER seen a dental plan I would buy for myself. IMO dental coverage is a complete waste of money.

 

The two plans you put up side x side may or may not be the ones @KennethB935316 was comparing. 

 

The waiting period is one thing that creates a lower premium for the Delta plan. Also the copay on tooth removal. May or may not be an issue with teeth that are 65 yrs old.

 

Also the AARP/Delta plan has a shorter waiting period for root canals.

 

Ortho covered by Delta (direct) but not AARP. Probably not something folks 65+ are interested in, so I would rate this a "non-issue".

 

Some folks who call me about dental are often looking at extraction and implants. Both plans have a 12 month wait for implants but AARP has immediate coverage for extraction, Delta direct a 6 month wait

 

Are you going to have a tooth pulled then wait 6 to 12 months for the implant? You do need SOME time between extraction and implant. Is 6 months enough or is 12 preferred?

 

Can't say. I am not a dentist and haven't seen your mouth.

 

FWIW one extraction and implant will probably deplete your annual max.

 

I have a lady who needed half a dozen (or more?) teeth pulled and replaced with implants. She called around and found a dentist who gave her a "good" price and she didn't have to do the work over 6 years.

 

I can tell you from experience when a tooth goes bad you want it done sooner vs later. Otherwise it can abcess and then you have a REAL problem.

 

Don't waste your money on dental coverage. Pay out of pocket. That's what I do.


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Re: Delta Dental

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Message 6 of 8

@KennethB935316 wrote:

Why is purchasing dental insurance directly from Delta Dental cheaper than buying it through AARP?  I thought AARP was supposed to help seniors not penalize them.


 

I'm not certain if AARP is penalizing seniors and charging usurious rates for insurance. Some investigative reporter might be able to dig up the dirt on that. Or maybe some hard questions presented directly to the AARP.

 

In any case, your question piqued my interest and I did some research on this insurance. I wanted to compare "apples to apples", or at least as much as I could...so that any differences would stand out.

 

I went to the sites for the AARP plan from Delta and to the regular Delta Dental site. There were multiple plans available so I picked one from each site that seemed to be mostly comparable, and these were the "premium" plans. I entered data for my own zip code (others may vary) and age.

 

Basically, these were:

 

     (1)   AARP Delta Insurance Plan PPO Plan A ... $63.93 per month

 

     (2)   Delta Dental PPO Individual - Premium Plan ... $48.79 per month

 

Thus the AARP plan is around Fifteen Bucks more per month ... around 30 % higher!

 

But let's look at the details and compare the two plans. This table shows the major details of the plans from the websites. Mostly the two plans have comparable specific benefits but not always (for example, AARP plan does not provide orthodontics, the Delta plan doesn't provide veneers). Note that I only transcribed the main features of the plans as shown on their websites, the "fine print" may cover more detail.

AARP dental insurance comparison (2020).PNG

 

From the table it's apparent that the AARP plan more services "immediately" (noted as "immed." in my table). On the other hand some such services, such as tooth removal is covered earlier with the AARP plan (immediately versus 6 month wait) but you must pay more money: 50% of fee versus 20%.

 

It seems to me that the AARP plan is comparable overall to the Delta plan. A number of benefits are offered sooner with the AARP plan, so this would be expected to cost more. And the AARP plan picks up more for some services. On the whole I think the added benefits/features of the AARP plan are probably justified when compared to the Delta plan. Thus I don't feel that AARP is "ripping us off".

 

Someone probably could save some dough by going with the Delta plan and living within its longer waiting periods (I imagine that these don't matter after the first year on the plan).

 

 

On the other hand, to pay around $600 to $730 a year just to be able to get a maximum return of the $1500 maximum benefit does not seem like a bargain to me. I myself use a plan recommended by my dentist which provides for lower professional fees but I am always paying "something". Should the annual charges exceed $1500 I would be ahead (a place I am not currently at). But in any case the cost is much less than that for "insurance".

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Re: Delta Dental

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Message 7 of 8

@KennethB935316 compare benefits. Delta has a number of plans. You are probably looking at different level of benefits.


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Delta Dental

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Message 8 of 8

Why is purchasing dental insurance directly from Delta Dental cheaper than buying it through AARP?  I thought AARP was supposed to help seniors not penalize them.

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