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Seniors getting ripped on dental health costs

By   /   December 9, 2010  /   Comments

Did you miss me? I hope so. I didn’t move away or go into hiding! I just have been under the weather and not available to write any articles recently. This time, it was with dental problems and it gave me the perfect opportunity to show you seniors out there how poor the health care system is for us when it comes to dental coverage

I am in the insurance business, so I can tell you that any senior dental insurance that I know of isn’t worth much. The annual maximum that it will pay is low and the coverage is laughable. As a result, I don’t subscribe to any myself and I think that most seniors also don’t have any, either. Thus, when we seniors have dental expenses, the cost is basically all to be borne by us.

The following is what has happened to me the past couple of months and what could happen to you unless someone starts putting together some senior dental health insurance that will address our needs.

I went to my local dentist when I had some tooth pains and he sent me to the endodontist next to his office, since it looked like I needed a root canal. My tooth was examined and found to be cracked so it had to be removed rather that needing a root canal. The cost today for two minutes to look at it was $80 and $97 tomorrow for the extraction. It will cost about $2,400 more for the replacement tooth.

I continued to have pain with an upper left tooth and was sent to the endodontist again who, this time, did do a root canal at a cost of $950. The pain persisted and I returned to endodontist for more root canal work on the tooth next to it. This tooth had several canals I was told and the cost this time was $1,100!

Pain continued and back to the endodonist I went. I am up to $4,627, so far, and none of it covered by any insurance! The endondontist sent me immediately to the emergency room, where I received antibiotics by IV plus a bunch of morphine that did nothing to relieve the excruciating pain that I was having. In addition, I had the worst headache that I have had for a long, long time! When they finished with me, they immediately sent me to an oral surgeon, which happened, thank God, to be close to my home. At this point, I was stumbling around like a drunken sailor! Good thing that my wife, and caretaker, was with me driving and getting me from doctor to doctor. I cannot tell you how much that I love and appreciate my wife and all that she does for me.

I stumble into the oral surgeon’s office and he immediately lances the area where I have the infection and removes $570 from my pocket and gives me a prescription for five antibiotic pills for another $81.09. That makes the total so far $5,278 and some additional expenses by my local dentist yet for fillings to complete the root canals.

My total expense for this adventure, not counting the emergency room visit, will be in the area of $5,500 with probably about $5,000 of it not covered by any insurance. How many seniors can afford an uncovered and unexpected expense like this when most are on a fixed income?

Isn’t it time to get real with what a good many of the seniors are up against these days? Isn’t time that we take care of our seniors so they don’t have to worry every night when they put their heads on their pillow? How can WE put our heads on OUR pillows each night knowing that we are treating our seniors this way?

Last night, I heard that the government will need to be cut Social Security and Medicare. In the near future, I plan to write articles on what England is doing to handle the health care situation in their country from a person that I met that used to live in that country. You might find it interesting how our media has lied to us about what will work and what won’t.

AndersonnewWritten by Ted Anderson. Insurance agent Ted W. Anderson worked in sales for half a century, has lived in Albany since 1993. He is president of Dover Lane Neighborhood Watch. Send email to him at aj@thealbanyjournal.com.

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  • Published: 1330 days ago on December 9, 2010
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  • Last Modified: December 7, 2010 @ 5:57 pm
  • Filed Under: Ted Anderson
 

About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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