Shopping Around

I don’t know about you, but dealing with everything to do with healthcare freaks me out. I don’t like making appointments, I don’t like talking with doctors, I don’t like feeling sick, I don’t like going in when I am feeling healthy because the only news you will get is that you are not healthy after all. I really don’t like (and don’t understand) health insurance.

I get especially freaked out about doctors and money because sometimes doctors don’t tell you the test they are doing (or sometimes they do, but they don’t mention to you that it costs more than the GDP of some small countries) and then 6 months later you get an outrageous bill. I already feel nervous and intimidated (and often I feel like I am being rushed along) when I am in the office and I never remember/feel awkward asking about the costs of the procedures. I really don’t understand how healthcare costs work and I generally feel like I am getting scammed by the exact people with whom I am trusting my health and well being.

Needless to say, I am not ready to write a post about making good financial healthcare choices because it is an area of adulthood that I definitely don’t excel at.

It is something that I need to work on. But this week I took a baby step towards getting over that by starting with a doctor and a procedure that I am very comfortable with- a cleaning at the dentist.

Here is what I did:

I am overdue for a cleaning, but I don’t have a dentist in the area. I looked on Yelp to find a highly rated dentist in my area. When I called to make an appointment, I asked (big step for me!) how much a standard new patient cleaning costs. $250! Holy cow! I said thank you and hung up without making an appointment. Not too hard or too embarrassing.
I kept calling around and was quoted prices from $190 to $340 (how is this last dentist even sleeping at night?)
Finally I found a dentist who has 5 stars on yelp who charges $150 for a new patient cleaning. Perfect. I have an appointment next week.

Baby steps. Instead of showing up, having my teeth cleaned and then being shocked at the bill, I did a little research and saved myself a bit of anxiety. I also saved myself (up to) $190.

I think I’ll try this again in the future.

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An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure

Within the first six months of going off of my parent’s dental insurance, I had my first TWO cavities. My dentist said I had 17 more pre-cavities (who has even heard of that?!)

I had never had a cavity before. I was horrified and also MAD because why did my teeth start rotting as soon as I started being responsible for my own teeth?*
I had to pay $300 to get my cavities filled.

Since then, no more cavities. That is because I floss my teeth EVERY SINGLE DAY. A year’s worth of floss costs me $18 (I know because I buy it at BJ’s). A cavity a year would cost me $150 plus I get massively rageful every time anyone uses novocain on me (they should list that as a side effect). So I save ca$h money, pain, rage, and I hopefully will have a full set of chompers when I am old.

$18 + 1 minute of flossing every day + longterm teeth ownership > $150 + pain + rage + gumming applesauce in the nursing home

Life lesson in this post: doing responsible adult things (flossing, sunscreen etc.) can be really annoying. But you know what? You will be incredibly thankful that you flossed when you don’t have to spend your hard earned ca$h on crappy things like cavities (or Botox. Wear that sunscreen!).

*Actually, the answer is that I had spent the previous year working on a fishing boat. To prevent seasickness, I ate starlight mints like it was going out of style. Never puked even once, but apparently I didn’t do my teeth any favors, either. Life lesson: buy sugar free starlight mints for seasickness. You’re welcome, fishermen and fisherwomen.

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