Dental Plans For Seniors

A Look at Dental Plans for Senior Citizens

 

Taking care of our teeth and gums is a responsibility that should never be taken lightly. The good news is that there are a number of affordable options for consumers to choose from. This becomes even more important as we begin to age, as oral health is slightly more challenging. This is why there are dental plans specifically intended for senior citizens. What is offered within these packages, mow might they differ from standard plans and what steps should you take in order to find the appropriate provider? Let's take a look at the answers to these three important questions

 

Dental Plans for Senior Citizens at a Glance

 

As you might have already imagined, many of the issues covered within these plans are the same as those associated with standard insurance packages. Examples will include:

 

  • Cavities, fillings and root canals.

  • Basic dental cleanings.

  • Bridges and implants.

  • X-rays.

  • Medication and anasthesia.

 

However, the notable difference is that plans designed for senior citizens will often include other options such as dentures at a lower cost than would normally be possible. The theory behind this coverage is simple. The customer will pay a monthly fee (known as a premium). This can cost as little as $100 dollars although more comprehensive packages will naturally prove to be more expensive. In return for these regular payments, the client will pay little (if anything) towards treatments. From a very general point of view, common procedures such as fillings or root canals are generally covered by up to 80 percent. The individual is then responsible for the remaining 20 percent. More comprehensive plans could offer coverage levels as high as 90 percent.

 

The Role of Medicare

 

Those who turn 65 years old will need to apply for Medicare. However, it is critical to point out that this program will not provide coverage for dental treatments such as those mentioned above. The only time when Medicare can be used is in the event of an emergency (such as a sudden tooth extraction). In this situation, Medicare Part A will most likely pay for the treatment although it is naturally better to possess a standalone insurance plan.

 

What is Not Covered in a Senior Citizen's Dental Insurance Package?

 

This is an interesting question, as coverage levels will differ between providers. It is still safe to assume that cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening will not likely be covered by a policy. There are also times when dentures might not be included within a plan; particularly if they are considered a “cosmetic” option as opposed to a necessity. This is why it is important to speak with any potential provider before committing to a contract. You will therefore be able to avoid any unpleasant surprises such as a lapse in coverage.

 

How to Choose the Best Provider

 

Understanding the signs of a good dental provider is critical if you hope to obtain the coverage required. So, there are several variables that will need to be taken into account. The first is the price of the plan itself. Can it be paid in one lump sum (often associated with slightly reduced rates) or will you be charged monthly premiums? Will you be able to afford these premiums over time? Will the cost of the plan drop if you do not make any claims within a certain period of time? Once you have answered these financial questions, it is time to move on to the provider itself.

 

Some of the most reputable providers include:

  • Delta Dental
  • Guardian
  • Humana
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • United Healthcare

Reputation speaks volumes in terms of dental insurance, so see what others have been saying by performing online searches. Are the majority of clients happy or do you see an outstanding number of complaints? Always look for a provider associated with a good amount of positive feedback. Avoid those which are more known for negative reviews.

 

The next main area involves how many dentists are covered by a specific network (such as an HMO or a PPO). Try to find those programs which are associated with a higher number of dental clinics. After all, the last thing you want is to run into a problem only to find out that no local dentists are covered. A few additional questions to address include:

 

  • What types of services will the insurance firm need to approve before treatment can begin?

  • Are x-rays covered and if so, how often?

  • What types of penalties are associated with late premium payments?

  • Are there any coverage limits in terms of crowns, bridges and similar in-depth dental work?

 

Every senior citizen deserves to find a good and well-rounded dental plan. The questions and topics mentioned above have intended to address this important issue. Please feel free to use this article as a guide when picking a worthwhile provider.

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