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What Is Dental Insurance for seniors?
Seniors are usually prone to suffering dental issues, and dental insurance would come in quite handy for them. Dental procedures can be quite expensive, especially if you are undergoing surgical procedures.
Dental insurance for seniors covers dental expenses commonly needed by older individuals.
Many seniors assume dental insurance is health insurance for your teeth. While dental insurance and health insurance have some similarities, you should be aware of some significant differences between the two.
Like other healthcare insurance, dental insurance covers breaking a tooth, tooth infection, and other emergencies. Preventive care is also covered by most dental plans, similar to medical coverage.
Dental insurance for seniors is similar to dental insurance for other people, except that it focuses on the coverage that seniors may need.
Crowns, root canals, dentures, and tooth replacement are examples of these procedures. Even though these aren't exclusive to seniors, there's a greater chance that they'll need one or more of them.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and practicing good oral hygiene will extend your life and improve your quality of life.
Having dental insurance in retirement will help you stay on track by giving you access to routine dental care and procedures that will keep your smile healthy.
Dental insurance is not for seniors only, although seniors are more likely to need it more than young people.
In the sections below, we are going to explore dental insurance for seniors' works, and some of the procedures that the seniors might need coverage for.
Dental Procedures for Seniors
As mentioned above, people tend to have dental issues are they get older. Some will start wearing dentures, while others will opt to go for dental implants.
Dental implants involve surgical procedures, which can be long and expensive at times. If you have a dental insurance cover, it might cover all or part of the costs of such procedures.
Dentures need to be replaced or realigned periodically. That means periodic dental care costs.
An insurance cover would come in quite handy in cushioning you against some of these costs.
Seniors might require many other types of regular dental care, which might need them to dig deep into their pockets.
Dental procedures are generally divided into three categories.
Type 1 Procedures
- They include;
- Oral evaluations
- Diagnostic casts
- Bitewing X-rays
- Vertical bitewings
Type 2 Procedures
- They include;
- Dental amalgams
- Intraoral films
- Palliative treatment
- Denture sectioning
- Occlusion adjustment
Type 3 Procedures
- Inlays and Onlays
- Endodontic procedures
If you take a closer look, you'll realize that the complexity of the methods increases from type 1 to type 3.
That means that the cost of these procedures increases from class 1 to type 3.
Why consider dental insurance for seniors?
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, dental services account for 27% of all out-of-pocket healthcare costs; some people put off needed dental care because of the cost.
Most big medical insurance policies, such as those provided by your employer, do not include dental coverage.
To cover some of your dental care expenses, you can purchase a stand-alone dental plan.
What Does Dental Insurance for Seniors Typically Include?
Cleanings, examination, x-rays, fillings, extractions, preventive care, fillings, crowns, root canals, and oral surgery, such as tooth extractions, are usually covered in dental insurance.
Orthodontics, periodontics (the structures that support and surround the tooth), and prosthodontics (dentures and bridges) may also be covered.
Two preventive visits are also generally covered per year. It may be best to avoid basic plans if you need an effective procedure such as dentures or implants.
Periodontics and prosthodontics may not be available in the first year of coverage if you buy an individual policy.
For any procedure, orthodontics often requires a rider, for which you must pay an extra fee. The coverage structure of these plans is 100-80-50.
This means that they cover 100% of preventive care, 80% of basic procedures, 50% of main procedures, or a higher copayment. However, specific procedures, such as sealants, may be excluded entirely by a dental plan.
Insurance Terms to Know
The deductible is the amount that patients must pay out of pocket before receiving treatment. After treatment, insurance companies pay a portion or all of the costs, and patients are reimbursed.
A copayment, also known as a “copay,” is the portion of a patient's treatment costs that they share. This sum is typically calculated as a percentage of the dentist's fee.
The term “dual coverage” refers to when a patient's treatment is covered by more than one dental insurance plan.
Depending on your insurance plan, procedures can only be completed a certain amount of times per year.
Most insurance companies, for example, only cover oral exams twice a year (every six months). As a result, if additional tests are required, insurance will not cover them.
What Does Dental Insurance for Seniors Typically Exclude?
Basic dental insurance follows a pattern.
The cheapest, most basic plans may not cover major procedures such as root canals, dentures, and implants. Waiting periods of six to twelve months are also standard, depending on the policy.
If you can't afford a comprehensive plan, charitable options may be an alternative. The American Dental Association runs the Dental Lifeline Network for vulnerable people.
For more affordable services, look into local dental schools or Community Health Centers.
Some of the insurance's exclusions are listed below. No claims are considered in these cases.
- Dental Insurance Doesn’t Cover Implants
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Dental Prosthetics
- Dental Implants
- Jaw Alignments
- Upper or Lower jaw bone surgery
What Are the Expected Costs of Dental Insurance for seniors?
According to a 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation report, two-thirds of patients on Medicare do not have dental insurance.
A Medicare Advantage plan, Medicaid, private plans, or employer coverage may cover the remaining third. This makes determining the average cost of dental insurance premiums for seniors difficult.
However, nearly one in every five Medicare beneficiaries spends more than $1,000 on out-of-pocket dental costs each year, according to the same report.
According to one source, senior dental plans range from $20 to $80 per month. However, we came across some premiums that were well over $100. Monthly premiums can vary depending on the policy, location, and circumstances.
While applying for dental insurance, the more methods that your cover includes, the more expensive the insurance cover is going to be.
So, does dental insurance cater to all dental care costs?
As mentioned above, the procedures covered depends on the specifics of your cover.
You can have a comprehensive cover that would cater to all your dental costs regardless of which procedure you have to undergo.
Keep in mind that insurance is meant to cover you against unforeseen risks. Most covers will not cater to your dental costs if you are experiencing a particular procedure for cosmetic reasons.
Most seniors will opt for these procedures because of dental healthcare challenges that they might have. Some people will undergo the procedure in a bid to improve the appearance of their dental structure.
Dental insurance takes care of costs that arise as a result of a dental health challenge.
Take time to consult with your insurance service provider to find out which procedure the cover can cater to, and which ones it cannot most.
So long as you can afford the premiums, dental insurance can cover you for almost all procedures that you might require.
Is Paying for Dental Insurance for Seniors Worth It?
Before purchasing dental insurance, there are many factors to consider. Consider your current dental health as well as the dental history of your family. You may be able to find a plan that meets your specific requirements.
Compare the cost of premiums to the amount of coverage you expect to need. Depending on your financial situation, a discount dental plan or paying out-of-pocket may be the best option.
Should Seniors Buy Dental Insurance?
Yes, every senior must buy dental insurance. Your teeth may become more susceptible to decay or disease as you get older.
The problem is that Medicare does not cover most dental work, and many seniors have trouble finding inexpensive dental insurance.
According to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, 47 percent of adults aged 65 to 80 avoid purchasing insurance because they think that buying dental insurance is not worth it.
Regular preventive care and treatment will help you live a healthier, more fulfilling life. Cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, and most dental devices are not covered by Medicare and can be very costly.
If you don't want to pay these fees out of pocket, you'll need to find an inexpensive dental insurance company.
What Does Dental Insurance for Seniors Over 65 Cover?
Senior dental insurance plans are tailored to meet the specific needs of seniors' oral health and fill the coverage gaps left by Original Medicare.
Dental plans for seniors that best meet their needs cover a wide range of services. The amount of coverage you receive (100 percent, 80 percent, 60 percent, or 50 percent) is determined by the type of service you receive and the benefit level you choose (basic or premium). Below is the type of service.
Here's a brief breakdown of what each type of coverage usually entails.
Preventive Coverage: There may or may not be a waiting time or deductible for preventive coverage. A copay is required in some plans. Cleanings and most routine care are covered under preventive coverage.
Basic Coverage: Simple fillings and restorative work are usually covered under basic coverage. This coverage will be defined differently by each company.
Major Coverage: Services such as root canals, crowns, dentures, and bridges may be included.
What to Look for in a Company
Choosing the best dental insurance company and plan for you is a personal decision, but here are some common factors that most people consider when purchasing dental coverage:
Network size or dentists included in the plan:- Consider plans that include your favorite dentist if you have one. The network size is also a factor to consider because a bigger network also means more local dental care options.
Affordable premiums: – Dental insurance can cost as much as $80 per month or even more. Before you buy, find out what the policy covers. It's possible that a different plan with lower overall costs offers similar benefits.
Annual maximum:- The annual maximum is the amount your insurance company will pay for your coverage in a given year. In general, higher maximums are preferable.
The Best Dental Insurance for seniors
Many of the dental insurance options offered to seniors are similar to those available to other adults. If you have a fixed income or are concerned about making your retirement savings last, then overall costs and out-of-pocket costs may be more critical.
1. Best Overall: Smart Health Dental
Smart Health Dental (SHD) offers a variety of dental insurance and non-insurance plans. It has a nationwide network of over 200,000 licensed dental professionals. There are no deductibles or waiting periods. Preventive coverage is limited to $750 per year.
Dentalinsurance.com allows you to compare dental insurance and discount dental plans and apply for them online.
Careington Dental Insurance is a dental savings plan rather than insurance. The cheapest savings plan is $8.95 per month, while the most expensive is $12.95 per month. The 500 Dental Savings Plan is the most popular Careington plan.
4. MetLife Dental
MetLife Dental has an extensive network of over 146,000 dentists, so finding the right one is easy. Its proposals also cater to a wide range of patients while also improving access to routine care and emergency services. The majority of cleanings and examinations are entirely covered.