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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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International dental insurance

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posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date.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 am looking for non-US resident insurance. "Reside" looks good for medical insurance, but I also need dental, can you help?

A: Dental insurance that can be purchased by an individual (as opposed to a business with a larger number of employees) is never a good deal. The restrictions that the insurer must place on benefits during the first year of the policy are necessary to make sure that the premiums are much larger than the benefits also make the coverage undesirable to buyers. In fact, less than 1 in 1000 people who shop for individual dental insurance actually enrolls in an insurance plan. This is why almost all dentists say that they can arrange a better deal through time payments without insurance. recommends only inexpensive dental discount plans like those at for those living in the U.S. regions with participating dentists. When traveling outside the U.S., it is even less likely that dental insurance would be worthwhile. In fact, we do not know of any reliable providers for this type of insurance. Even if you did find it available, the cost of transcribing your dental records and financial statements into English (so that they could be processed by a U.S. insurer) and making the appropriate foreign currency translations would almost certainly be more than the covered benefit of a dental insurance policy. Most people conclude that this is not an insurable risk.


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