USAA recommends CIGNA dental, but it is a ripoff - why does USAA not look out for the welfare of its members?

USAA recommended the CIGNA dental plan.  You would expect when USAA recommends a product that it would be in the best interests of their membership.  Not so.  We signed my wife up for the cleaning and exam at a monthly cost of $17, annually $204.  She recently had her teeth cleaned and an exam and we were billed $159; CIGNA paid only $61.  Great deal pay $204 and receive a benefit of $61.  When we signed up a few dentists were listed in the plan; a call to them resulted in being informed they no lomger participated in the plan.  Dentists who participate in the 'plan' are usually just starting out or practice in the poorest areas of town.  We do not live there.


When I questioned this, I was informed that they only paid the "usual and customary."  This is an arbitrary number insurers pull out of the air or an oriface.  There is no such thing.


Those responsible for negotiating plans such as this are only interested in the revenue returned back to the company and not a good deal for the members.


How about ome internal oversight!


Major Jim XXXXXXX, USMC Retired



















The $17 a month plan is the bare bones twice annual preventive treatment only plan.  Your not charged anything for covered services at a participating dentist. 


Just like many other dental insurance plans if you go outside the network you have to pay the difference between what the plan pays an in network dentist vs what the out of network dentist charges.  In almost any situation, this is never going to be a cheap option.


The problem with these really cheap plans is they rely on the dentist accepting bare minimum payment (to bring in new patients and to generate additional income from other work that is not covered).  They are cheap for a reason!  These are just barely better than nothing!


Have you checked out TRICARE Dental Delta Plan?  It cost more, but has a somewhat better network of available dentist.


Good Luck Major.



Thank you for sharing your comment in the community. We have sent this over to our partners who handle the CIGNA dental plans for review. Thank you.

There are four different CIGNA plans listed - you chose the least expensive. The plan states: "This plan only covers exams and cleanings." The $30 per month plan appears to be more what you are interested in - assuming the dentist is in network.

Jim, I concur. When I began with USAA, back in 1971, we were totally a non-profit, we insured "our on". It has been taken over by senior retired staff members who no longer have our interest in mind. We CAN IN FACT take back our USAA. We can implement any type of superb plans we choose to have for our members. We need to write our President or we need to have a vote and change the membership/representatives on our Board of Directors.


I am willing to begin an initiative for us to remove our current Board Directors and come up with a new group who will properly represent "us", the USAA membership. I will begin contacting all of my ex-crewmembers and we can certainly use the internet to fix this broken wheel.


I have NEVER understood "why" we  have forgot our basic purpose for existence: to insure ourselves and provide the best insurance programs we can possibly develop for our fellow members - who use to be soldiers, sailors and such. If you wish to go back to our basics and once again develop insurance benefits  "second to none" just let me know and let's begin the process.


I assure you it will NOT take long for us to put our train back on the tracks once again. Our boardmembers should have already taken steps to solve these types of insurance needs and issues. Dental, hearing and health...very basic needs if you ask me. Let's rebuild our broken organization and return it to its proper owners - the members! Contact "our" President/CEO and tell him to get his act together or move on down the road and find a different retirement income.


JOHN XXXXX, Major, USAF (ret)



Thank you for your post and feedback, Sir John. I am engaging a team of specialists to review your comments and follow-up accordingly. We appreciate your membership and the opportunity to review this. -Meredith

We reside in De. now and there are no dentist, Cigna or otherwise that honor dental insurance.  All is billed as out of network.  I understood this when I signed up for it. However, the precentage they are paying is beyond insanity.  On a $105 cleaning they are paying $47. I even had to pay full price for full mouth xrays and they had not been done if over 5 years.  They pay nothing.  I can't get an answer on what they are basing reasonable and customary on either. I have payed out over $1300 and they paid $160.  The $ spent on the premium is better spent on the service.  I am going to cancel my policy.

dude, I see your frustrations with CIGNA and appreciate you sharing your concerns with us. We'd be happy to have a member of our team review your concerns and follow up with you. Thank you for taking the time to post today. - Rhonda

Thank you.  I would wlecome the opportunity to discuss this with you.

Stop whining. It is exactly what it is. Ask questions before you purchase. The plan has no waiting period! No pre-existing conditions clause (if you have dental Ins in place and are adding or replacing coverage. Their $30/ month plan pays with no coordination of benefits. Bridges are metal, not white. I ask all the "what if" questions before signing up and got exactly what I paid for. First year, paid $360 in and got $1500 back. Good Luck.