Seniors Need Dental Insurance Despite Fixed Budgets
As you age, your teeth are prone to issues like decay or disease. Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover most dental work, and many seniors have a difficult time finding affordable dental insurance. Some 47% of adults 65 to 80 complain they can’t find an inexpensive dental plan. Seniors need to spend time reviewing comprehensive and inexpensive dental insurance before deciding on the best plan for them.
While some seniors tend to put dental care on the back burner, oral hygiene is among the most common health concerns for seniors over 65. To make matters worse, dental coverage is not included in Medicare. Some might turn to the Affordable Care Act yet it only offers dental coverage for children.
This is not looking good for seniors. Without employer or government-funded dental insurance, seniors with fixed incomes can only consider dental plans on the open market. The percentage of adults aged 65 and over without dental care due to cost, ranged from 9.0% among adults aged 65–74 to 6.3% among those aged 74–84 to 4.2% among those 85 and over.
Seniors can apply for Care Credit If you’d like more information first, just keep reading. We’ll break down everything you need to know about dental insurance. Other options for finding affordable dental care are through services like WebMD.
Types of Dental Insurance Plans
Dental insurance plans are structured similarly to health insurance plans. Here are a few types of dental plans:
DHMO, or Dental Health Maintenance Organization plans, typically require you to choose one dentist or dental office to coordinate all of your dental services. This office will perform all your basic dental work and will refer you to a specialist if needed.
As long as you stick with your chosen dentist and their referred specialists, your plan will usually provide extensive coverage. Yet, if you visit another dentist without their referral, you’ll likely have to pay the full amount of the visit yourself. A DHMO is the equivalent of an HMO health insurance plan. Obviously, the “D” stands for dental.
A Preferred Provider Organization differs slightly from an HMO in that you may not need to choose just one dentist or dental facility. Your PPO will consist of a network of selected dentists and you are free to visit any dentist within this network (without racking up additional charges).
If you go outside of your PPO network, then you can expect some of your visits is partially covered by your plan.
Similar to a PPO, a fee-for-service plan or an indemnity plan breaks down the percentage covered by the plan based on the type of service. So a routine cleaning might be covered at 90 percent while procedures like getting implants or a root canal might only be covered at 50 percent
Dental Plans Work
Dental insurance plans are similar to health insurance plans. Plans that make sense typically follow the “100-80-50” rule. This means your insurance will cover 100 percent of routine care like checkups and cleanings, 80 percent of the cost of your fillings, root canals, and other procedures, and 50 percent of the cost of advanced procedures like bridges or crowns.
It’s vital to consider each plan and identify the ones that meet your dental needs and are within your budget.
A network is a group of selected dentists that have all agreed to contract with the insurance company. The level of your coverage can depend on whether you use a dentist inside or outside of the plan’s network.
Some dental insurance plans might extend coverage or partial coverage for more advanced procedures like endodontics, dentures, implants, cosmetic procedures, and more. It’s important when shopping for dental insurance to consider each plan’s coverage details for any probable procedures.
Available Dental Discount Plans
You may have heard of dental discount plans. Dental discount plans are a little different from dental insurance. With a discount plan, you pay an annual fee for access to discounted dental services. A discount plan is a little like a membership. The annual fee provides access to a network of dentists that offer a variety of procedures at a reduced rate for cardholders.
Dental Hygiene is Vital for Seniors
Seniors have somewhat of a unique relationship with dental health. They tend to have specific oral hygiene complications due to medications, nutrition, and everyday wear and tear. And some of those dental issues are known to cause health complications in other areas of the body.
For example, many medications seniors take such as those that treat high blood pressure or Parkinson’s disease can cause dry mouth, which in turn can cause cavities.
The Effect of Dental Insurance
With all these premiums, copays, and deductibles, how does dental insurance save you money? Well despite these expenses, a dental insurance plan is still likely to save you money on the overall cost of your dental care. This is especially true for seniors who are more likely to experience oral health complications.
The costs of dental care without insurance coverage are expensive and have created a pool of seniors who don’t schedule regular teeth cleaning as the costs are out of their reach. Those who can afford dental care go to the dentist and have good dental health yet those who cannot afford dental care avoid seeing a dentist and as a result, have poor oral hygiene. But dental hygiene doesn’t have to put you in the poor house, especially if you have coverage.
5 Tips for Purchasing Dental Insurance
There are a number of tips to keep in mind when shopping for dental insurance. Here are 5 tips for seniors looking to keep their smile radiant.
- Anticipate your dental needs how often do you find yourself visiting the dentist? And what services do you typically need? Are you taking any medications that may affect your oral health? Any idea what kind of dental care you’ll need in the future?
- Determine your budget how much can you pay per month? And how much room do you have for out-of-pocket costs? Would a discount plan be better suited for your financial situation?
- Request quotes take just a few minutes to request dental insurance quotes, and doing so can help you find the best dental insurance.
- Read the detailsRead the details of each plan that appeals to you. Examine clauses like waiting periods, deductibles, prescription drug coverage, etc.
- Get coverage now because of waiting periods and plans that may not cover pre-existing dental issues, it’s wise to enroll now and not wait on getting dental coverage.
Contact a dentist today. Ruiz is known for her passion for dentistry, and her ability to offer her patients beautiful smiles. She opened Rightway Dental because she believes in practicing dentistry the “right way.” She also believes in providing preventive and comprehensive healthcare to all of her patients. Not only does Dr. Ruiz practice optimum dental care, but she is also known for her friendly, tender, and caring approach that puts her patients at ease.
From regular teeth cleaning to root canals, fillings, crowns, and more. Dr. Ruiz and her team of professionals are at your service. Rightway Dental offers complete dental care to patients in the Katy and Fulshear area. We offer regular checkups, preventative care, restoration therapy, and orthodontic services including braces. Our goal is to make your dental experience comfortable and easy while maintaining your oral and overall health.
Dr. Ruiz has amazing reviews from her patients that emphasize what an incredible dentist she is, how comfortable she makes her patients, and how friendly and helpful her staff is. Many state Dr. Ruiz is both personable and professional, and they’re pleased with every treatment she recommends.
From the start, Dr. Ruiz recognizes that everyone is not in the same financial situation. Yet she knows having a tighter budget shouldn’t prevent you from having great oral health and a radiant smile. She prides herself on offering affordable prices that fit everyone’s ability to achieve top-quality dental care. Dr. Ruiz is happy to work with all her patients’ budgets and does so with an expertly trained staff and some of the most modern state-of-the-art technology available today.