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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Dental insurance for individuals

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I know that you generally do not recommend buying dental insurance but for individuals, but the business tax deduction for insurance for self-employed people plus the tax-free payment of dental benefits to my family justifies the cost of dental insurance. How can I get more information?

A: It would seem so until you take a closer look at the numbers. Assume that the most that a dental insurance will pay in benefits is 35% of the premium paid. Even after adding in the benefits of a business tax deduction, the cost of dental insurance is still more than the value of benefits received. A more cost-effective approach is to combine a dental discount plan (lowering the cost of dental services) with an HRA or HSA plan to give the same tax benefits. Both are easy for a small business to operate and cost less combined than a family dental insurance plan. This way you can be assured that the amount of benefit you receive is more than the amount you pay. Of course, this is never the case with an insurance policy. If you are still not convinced, there are some individual dental insurance policies listed at


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