Senior Dental Insurance
Medicare supplement insurance plans do not cover routine dental care services so there is another directory that covers dental care insurance for seniors. According to an estimate, there are about 50 million medical care beneficiaries that also need help in paying for their oral and dental care. The truth is, coverage for our gums and teeth are not included in most of the policies. This is the reason for the lack of financial assistance from the government in regards to dental care for seniors, even for the ones who cannot afford to pay for these services. Also, there is no option for coverage for these services in Original Medicare or Medicare Supplement Plans purchased for gaps can’t provide dental services either, by law.
The main goal as far as this guide is concerned is to help you understand and choose the best coverage plan for your individual condition and situation.
The best Dental Plans for Seniors:
Most people would love to have a single simple solution for this, but there is no single best option. There are two factors that can help you decide the plan that’s best for you.
What’s best for you depends on two individual and equally important factors:
- Your Budget:
When you retire, your budget becomes fixed for the most part, so before considering any healthcare policy, you need to consider the following things:
- Cost of your plan (every month as well as an annual basis)
- The amount you can pay easily
Many times, you’ll pay less when you visit the dentist, but you have to pay more every month for the policy. As per the calculations, dental insurance shouldn’t be a big deal. There is also an alternative to this insurance and that is the dental discount card. Basically, this not insurance but it is a plan in which prices or rates are pre-negotiated.
- The need to have the dental work:
The other factor is how bad do you need dental work to be performed. If you know that there is a need to visit the dentist, don’t wait, just show your card and get a savings of up to 20-60%.
Let me help you save as much money as possible, read further for some tips.
There are some other options for seniors, you have four choices:
- Paying full price every time you visit the dentist
- Buy a Dental Savings Plan & save up to 20-60% of the total cost
- Buy dental insurance limiting your coverage
- Sign up with a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes limited dental benefits (at an additional monthly cost)
You shouldn’t have to the pay full amount for your dental care. If you think that you cannot afford dental insurance, you can enroll yourself in a Dental Saving Plan (DSP). And if you can afford, then understand the limitations that dental insurances have.
Choosing a Dental Insurance Plan
Dental saving plans are clear and straight forward but dental insurance plans are not the same way. Dental insurance usually contains limits (lifetime or annual), work class limits, and co-insurances. It is not difficult to find the perfect plan for your dental care but it takes some time and research and it starts with understanding the different policies that the companies offer.
Classification of Dental Insurance Work:
Most of the dental plans have divided their coverage plans into various classes, making it a bit easy to understand what is being covered and what is not. The common categories or classes are as follows.
Class 1: This is for preventive dental care including the basic dental checkup, dental cleaning, and x-rays. Mostly these plans cover up to 100% of the costs of these procedures.
Class 2: In this case, basic restoration dentistry is done which includes dental fillings, root canals, and other periodontal services. These plans cover up to 80% of the expenses of these procedures.
Class 3: This is for major restorative dental care that is needed by most seniors, which includes bridges, crowns, fillings, and dentures. Some of the plans cover up to 50% while some of the plans do not cover it at all.
Class 4: This includes orthodontic services which are implants, braces, and pulling out teeth. Some plans cover only a fraction of the total cost of these procedures.
Compare Prices and Coverage
You need to compare the plans in order to get the best plan. If you want to find the best plan, I’m sure you’ll be tempted to focus on the monthly premium or on the coverage, but there must be a focus on the coverage and cost together to complete the coverage you need. If you do this, you’ll find out that one plan offering $2,000 in coverage only covers filings, x-rays, and general cleanings but with other plans that cost more for the same coverage but includes root canals, crowns, and bridges.
Think about how upset you’ll be if you sign up for a dental plan and it doesn’t cover the crown you just broke or cover that root canal you need to eliminate that headache you’ve been having. The very first step you need to focus on is the decision on the plane that you want.
Research Your Local Networks
When you have narrowed down your choices you need to find out if your dentist will accept it or not. Because dental insurance (like health insurance) is not universal so your dentist may not accept the plan. Remember just because you have dental insurance, it doesn’t mean your dentist will take it.
Read the Fine Print
Every insurance plan related to dental health is different because these are not as standardized as Medicare plans are. This is the reason that it’s so important for you to fully read the fine print and understand the coverage that the plans are offering. Most plans have a yearly limit on what the plan will cover, as well as a lifetime limit on certain coverages like oral surgery. If the policy has annual limits, this is good, but policies with lifetime limits are bad, also check on waiting periods as well.
Medicare Advantage Plan Dental Options
There are a few national Medicare Advantage plans and a growing number of regional plans that offer dental coverage. It’s most commonly found in HMO and PPO plans as an option, with a corresponding uplift in your monthly premium.
What Are Other Available Resources?
For the individuals who cannot afford insurance and are not able to pay, but still need dental care services. After some research, I found some additional resources.
- Medicaid: In some States, Medicaid usually covers some dental services. To qualify for Medicaid, your income must be lower than the poverty line with limited assets.
- Cheap or Free Clinics: There are some dental clinics in many states but spotty services in rural areas. Check out NeedMeds, healthcare.gov, freeclinics.com, and hhs.gov
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs): They sometimes offer care to seniors. These are clinics that are located in usually under-served areas. If you qualify for Medicare you’re eligible for services from an FQHC including some services that Medicare doesn’t cover.
- Community Health Centers: These are funded by agencies or the administrations like the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). They provide cheaper or free dental care services. You can find centers near you on the hrsa.gov website.
- Dental Schools: They sometimes provide low-cost dental care services by students that are strictly supervised by licensed dentists
I hope this research and information has helped you. If so, please feel free to share with your family and friends on Facebook and other social media? Thanks I appreciate it!
To your health,