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Federal dental plan
December 16, 2023
6:08 am
savemoresaveoften
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RetirEd said
savemoresaveoften: As Alexandre noted, the proposed federal $90K cutoff is per family, not per person. And for elderly patients, even with all the subsidies/payouts they MAY qualify for, dental expenses can easily dwarf them and the $500 benefit. A single bridge cost me a sudden $4,000 this year, a cleaning $250, an extraction $212.

I have never had or spoken to a dentist that charges half-price for uninsured patients. They use the fee guides, though SOME will knock 10% off for the elderly. (Two told me they dropped that discount because of COVID-19 patients not coming in.) I don't know for sure what they charge the insured, though. It was back in 1991 that I was briefly covered by an employer dental plan, and at the time the charge was strictly at the fee guide level.

Had to tell you the bad news, but sounds like you have been hosed all these years. If all your dentist do is a routing cleaning, no xray taken etc, $200-$250 is the "covered by insurance" rate. And if you were asked to do xray every year, that is just totally unneccessary. Thats how much i pay when 80% is covered by insurance. My inlaw pays our of pocket and she pays about $100 'senior no insurance rate'. Mind you its a different dentist. I also did went to the same dentist as my inlaw before, and the rate is indeed about 2X (insurance vs no insurance.)
Dont know where you live but the rates are quoted are GTA rate in ON.
Know at least a few more who all goes to different dentists etc, there is a clearly a insurance paid vs out of pocket rate. You do have to 'TELL' the dentist or they just default charge you the 'high' rate, who wouldn't...

Fee guideline is what the insurance company is willing to pay if I am not mistaken. Same as the DIN list whether a drug will be covered by private insurance or not...

December 16, 2023
6:40 am
Alexandre
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savemoresaveoften said

My inlaw pays our of pocket and she pays about $100 'senior no insurance rate'. Mind you its a different dentist. I also did went to the same dentist as my inlaw before, and the rate is indeed about 2X (insurance vs no insurance.)

That's not my experience either. My dentist charges same for insurance vs. no insurance. They offer 10% senior discount. Receptionist asks if I have dental insurance, after she tells me total charge. Then, it is paid either from insurance or out of pocket, or combined if insurance doesn't cover everything.

The only difference is while on insurance dentist recommended checkup visits every 6 months, when I was without insurance she said 8 months interval is OK.

My last visit to my dental office was two months ago.

December 16, 2023
9:42 am
serendipity
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Alexandre said

savemoresaveoften said

My inlaw pays our of pocket and she pays about $100 'senior no insurance rate'. Mind you its a different dentist. I also did went to the same dentist as my inlaw before, and the rate is indeed about 2X (insurance vs no insurance.)

That's not my experience either. My dentist charges same for insurance vs. no insurance. They offer 10% senior discount. Receptionist asks if I have dental insurance, after she tells me total charge. Then, it is paid either from insurance or out of pocket, or combined if insurance doesn't cover everything.

The only difference is while on insurance dentist recommended checkup visits every 6 months, when I was without insurance she said 8 months interval is OK.

My last visit to my dental office was two months ago.  

I am on about every 8 months but am pushing to 9. Also keep in mind that in BC a hygienist can only work on you if you have seen a dentist at least once in a 2 year period.

December 17, 2023
5:28 am
Alexandre
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mordko said

Semolina porridge every day. Lots. Bread was available. Milk too. With lineups but available. Grew own veg, including people in the cities. Professors stored sacks of potatoes for winter. Feeding a family was tough. Used to take trips to Moscow for vacation especially to buy food. Moscow had more than the province. It was tough ...

You seem to be familiar with the subject, but your presentation is overdramatic.

To understand what fruits/vegetables were available to Soviet citizens in 1970s, visit produce section of large grocery store in Ontario in the Summer and mentally exclude everything that is not or could not be grown locally. You'll end with potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, apples, etc. These are going to be seasonal: you'll have cucumbers in the summer and pickles in the winter, same goes for tomatoes, cabbages and so on.
The shelves of Ontario grocery store with that mental exercise will look empty, indeed, but not "totally empty all the time." Same were in the Soviet Union.

I didn’t see a banana until I was an adult.

Perhaps, U.S.S.R. was not in friendly terms with pro-American banana republics. Do you really want to blame socialism for inability to grow bananas in European part of the Soviet Union and in Siberia? The country had to rely on itself very much.

From the other hand, Soviet Union in 1975 did not have some of the things developed capitalist countries have today.
Homeless encampments, like ones we have in Toronto now, were unheard of.
Human excrements on streets of major US city: if that would have happened in the Soviet Union, I don't even know what could have happened to local party leader. Perhaps, he'll be sent to Siberia to run small village or work as a teacher in one of schools there.
People dumpster diving looking for food: not in Soviet Russia of 1975.
People camping overnight to stomp over each other when store opens in the morning to get big screen TV at 30% off - yes, it is Black Friday.

Oh, yes, Soviets also did not have an inflation. Mom could send first grader to the store to buy bottle of milk and loaf of bread, and can give child exact change. Ten years later, when this child is grown and graduates from school, price of bread and milk is still the same.
Web site like this one would have been absolutely unnecessary in the Soviet Russia.

It was tough.

Agreed. I am not trying to whitewash socialism. Still, depicting it as a total failure in every aspect and capitalism as a shining beacon of ideal society is a bit one-sided. It is almost like Soviet propaganda of 1975 depicting USA as a failed state, mirrored.

December 17, 2023
7:00 am
mordko
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Yes, you are trying to whitewash socialism.

The comment about lack of inflation in USSR is beyond ignorant. Price controls resulted in imbalance between supply and demand leading to shortages. Money became devalued because there was nothing to spend it on. I consider that inflation. Yes, you could buy bread but little else. Like I couldn’t buy a decent pair of shoes to go to school. We had coupons for meat to try and ration supplies (which were worth more than rubles) but meat was still next to impossible to find even with coupons. While we were not permitted to change rubles for hard currencies at the risk of going to prison, black market still functioned and more and more rubles were needed to buy a dollar. With dollars you could go to specialized shops just for foreigners called Berezka which actually had things to buy.

Lack of dumpster diving claim is a particularly callous lie. People without jobs were sent to prison in huge numbers. One specific problem was “samovars” - invalids, people without legs, etc. The law against “parasites” applied to hundreds of thousands people annually. In early 1950s 70% of arrested “parasites” were young men invalided as a result of WW2. People were placed in what was effectively prisons in remote areas, away from families and escape meant actual prison. In 1970s I still saw an occasional beggar but they would invariably be arrested so not for long. Then again, wasn’t just the beggars that fell foul of the “parasite” law. Future Noble Prize laureate poet Joseph Brodsky did too; bureaucrats got to choose what they considered productive labour under the Socialist system of effective slavery.

The reason for me not seeing a banana had nothing to do with your theory but with the pleasures of central planning. USSR imported bananas from countries like Vietnam. But they went to Moscow and a few other cities. In general central planning meant that Moscow, Kiev, Leningrad and Riga were supplied better than Chelyabinsk. But Chelyabinsk, with its empty shelves was still supplied way better than villages in Chelyabinsk region. Ironically, food-growing areas had even less food than industrialized centres. And vegetables were unavailable in shops any time of the year. Your “mental exercise” claim about grocery shops in Ontario being as empty as Soviet one is nonsense. That said, communist bureaucrats who lived behind tall green fences had everything in the Soviet Union.

Promises of centrally planned free and infinite stuff like healthcare or dental care inevitably hit some of the same problems. Firstly, supply isn’t infinite, nor are resources to increase supply. As demand grows, central authority starts rationing, leading to shortages. Secondly, its impossible to organize logistics efficiently from a centrally controlled apparatus, be it in Moscow or Ottawa. Mr Market spots underserved locations and products through higher profitability, generating more supply. A bureaucrat in Ottawa does not care because his pension is good anyway. One way it could play out… As tax money runs short, bureaucrats will impose tighter and tighter price controls on dentists, leading to fewer dentists, less equitable regional availability and bad teeth.

For that matter, inflation in Canadian healthcare is playing out in a very Soviet way, even though Canada is massively wealthier thanks to capitalist production elsewhere. Canadian healthcare inflation isn’t reflected in CPI. As population gets older needing more healthcare normal economic response would involve higher prices followed by more resources becoming available. Even if some private healthcare was permitted we would see this happening . Instead we are seeing escalating shortages. Dental care won’t be destroyed if government supply is limited to part of the market but they are talking about expanding “free”.

Website like this didn’t exist because it was 1970s. But there was something called Samizdad with people exchanging clandestinely typed economic material at variance with socialist orthodoxy and risking prison for that. Socialism can’t survive without dictatorship and fear because its such a bad system.

FYI, I am not depicting capitalism as a “shining beacon”, that’s just a straw man. That said, there is difference between socialist and capitalist systems and I got to experience both from inside.

December 17, 2023
7:44 am
Peter
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It's time to close this thread.

December 17, 2023
7:46 am
Bill
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My observation of human migration patterns last century, people voting with their feet, who had to put up walls to keep their people in, what countries people were fleeing to, etc, tells me all I need to know about free market vs government controlled economies. But I appreciate your sharing, mordko, personal experience is always very enlightening.

Given the wealth of our society I have no problem with a limited government program to ensure basic dental care for all kids and those adults who for circumstances outside their control cannot afford dental care, though I would have set it up differently than the way it was.

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