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health insurance

Discussion in 'Dental' started by chappy, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. chappy

    chappy New Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Do dentists in private practice have to by individual health inusurance? How does this work if you work as an associate?
  2. Lesley

    Lesley Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Hi chappy,

    As an associate, the company you work for more than likely will offer medical benefits. You may have an option as to what type of plan and how much coverage you can pick up. Some employers will cover all your premium costs and some will contribute a percentage or set amount. You usually will have the option to pick up coverage for your spouse and children, sometimes at your own cost.

    As an dentist in private practice, if your spouse is a teacher or other professional where they can get low cost large group insurance, you may go with his/hers and not offer medical insurance as a benefit to your employees. However, I find most employees care if you have a health plan and a retirement plan. Employees are looking for these benefits, especially the former.

    If you are a private practitioner without the availablity of large group insurance through your spouse, you can get small group (2-50 employee) plans. These do not come cheap. A family for even an HMO with 20/40 doctors copays and 10/15/25 Rx can run about $14,000/yr. Even though my husband and I are married, we get our coverage seperately. My husband as a single, and me as a single with children. That way should our employees elect not to get coverage, we would still qualify for a small group plan. As expensive as small group coverage is, it still offers you more and less expensive options than individual coverage.

    Years ago, health insurance was not a full deductible expense. Then a few years ago the government, as a concession to small business, allowed a 50% deduction and has increased it over the years to a full 100% deduction. This is good because you spend pre tax dollars on your medical insurance, but it's still a significant amount of money you have to produce to afford insurance. If you have employees, many plans, require you to offer the plan to your employees. Depending on the plan they may allow you to contribute a percentage or their entire premium. For a single our plan runs close to 6,000/yr. Most of you are getting health insurance as a single in dental school, and I'm sure our single premium is significantly more expensive than yours. That is because you are part of a large group, your university. As a large group they have clout with the insurance companies and get cheaper rates for the same, if not better coverage

    When you are stepping out into private practice this will be another consideration. To lessen our expenses, I am willing to take the time to review a lot of plans on an annual basis. For the last few years, I have switched our health insurance from Guardian to AmeriHealth to Aetna now to BC/BS. No matter how I approach it our premiums have been seeing double digit increases and our benefits go down. It seems to be a losing proposition, but I try my best. I do work with someone in the small business insurance area who presents me with different options every year at renewal time. This helps greatly.

    If I can clear up any questions or add anything more to this, please let me know.

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