Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Insurance Company Wants to Poison Me!

Okay, that might be a tad dramatic. But let's break it down.

Jessica has a filling in one of her teeth. Said filling has a tendency to pop out. This time it lasted a couple of years, but some flossing once again dislodged it. Jessica pushed it back in and called to make a dentist appointment, wanting to switch from the dentist who keeps putting in this wandering filling. Jessica discovers there is a one month waiting period when switching dentists. (Do you even have to wait that long to buy a gun? But I digress.)

Jessica finally makes appointment about a month and a half later. Nice and knowledgeable dentist tells her it needs to be fixed ASAP, as it may end up being a root canal. Jessica is panicked at this and tries to set up appointment ASAP. ASAP turns out to be in three weeks. Blech.

Clerk informs Jessica that the metal fillings are covered completely by her insurance. White filling will cost $110. Jessica is vain, but also cheap. So she is pondering this issue. THEN clerk tells her that the metal fillings contain Mercury. WHAT!?!?!

(I'm breaking out of third person now. Not even sure why I did that.)

So, my insurance is like, "Yeah, we'll pay for your filling if you are cool with a mouthful of mercury. If you don't want to get poisoned, it'll cost you." Does this seem honked up to anyone else? I mean, I know the answer is, "Don't get cavities." And you make a valid point. But that ship has sailed on this tooth. I am so annoyed at my insurance right now.

So, my cheapness still crossing it's penny-pinching fingers, I go online to see if maybe the Mercury isn't that bad. And it's not conclusive, but I can't quite justify sticking mercury in my head to save a hundred bucks, especially when I read this wikipedia article.

But if that little f***er pops out again, there will be hell to pay. And apparently a $110 co-pay to pay. Blerg.


  1. OMG, do not even get me STARTED on this! I had a similar (though non-dental) WTF moment with my insurance company last month. I knew that I hadn't had a tetanus booster in over 10 years, so while I was at the doctor for something else I ask for one. No big deal. Preventative medicine, right?

    Wrong! I go to the doctor a month later and they tell me I have a $75 balance! For what you ask? The freaking tetanus shot! So I call the insurance company to investigate and apparently, insurance doesn't cover immunization boosters in people over 19. So I asked, well what if I stepped on a rusty nail and had to go to the emergency room? She said, well then you'd pay the emergency room co-pay...which is $25.

    So, I have to pay out of pocket for preventative medicine, which is WAY cheaper but not for "reactive" care after something has already happened?!!! This makes no sense!!!

  2. Ha ha, that was a pretty funny post. I wish I could have been in the room when the dentist told you you might need a root canal. The eye drops debacle of the year 2000 flashed through my mind :)

  3. gah, insurance companies are a pain in the ASS!!!
    i have always gotten white fillings, (i get A LOT of cavities) , not because i knew of mercury, but because i am vain and don't want my smile to be full of metal : P
    anyway, my experience was i had like an infected tooth so i made an emergency appointment and the dentist said i had like 10 cavities and it was going to cost something like $800 to get them all filled. and i was like fuck i can't afford this! so i went to my old dentist, who lives in a shadier part of town, and got a second opinion. turns out i had NO cavities. and i even got a THIRD opinion to make sure.and sure enough...nothing. it was crazy.
    maybe your dentist can haggle? i only pay $50 for my white fillings.

  4. I would pay for the white filling. You should have it forever and $100 isn't that much in the long run.