We have a choice when it comes to our dental care: We can pay nothing and go to an in-plan dentist or we can pay 10-20% out of pocket to go to the dentist of our choice.
A routine checkup costs around $25 out of pocket under the second plan. Multiply that by three members of our family getting dental care, going two times per year, and that’s $150.
The natural inclination is to say that paying the $150 is foolish when there’s a free option available that costs $0.
But, it’s not that simple.
Before I married my wife, she was on her own insurance plan and she didn’t have the partial coverage. She either had to go to the in-network provider or she had to pay full out of pocket.
The in-network providers that she was assigned to were, in a word, hacks. She left with gums that were sore for days. They did a filling that later had to be replaced, costing several hundred dollars.
In short, the upfront savings were there, but in the end, she would have rather paid the out-of-pocket money to get better care.
Many people have focused solely on price, not realizing that the price of an item or service usually involves costs down the road.
Sure, you can buy that $50 vacuum cleaner over the $250 model, but have you considered:
- The cheaper vacuum probably isn’t going to last as long as the more expensive, and likely more durable, model. So, in the time before the $250 model needs to be replaced, you’ll probably spend an extra $50 or more in replacement vacuum cleaners.
- Does the cheaper model clean as well? If not, you’ll be getting your carpets cleaned more often, costing more over the life of the unit.
- The cheaper version may require bags, where the more expensive version is bagless. The cost of bags over the life of the unit can be considerable.
That’s just one example but I think it’s one that can be applied to many situations.
We often don’t consider the total cost. If we did, I think that we’d realize that sometimes spending more is actually a way to save.
Thank you for reading.