All you need to know about dental insurance for seniors
Majority of us are already aware of the importance of a health insurance and have taken some policy or the other, but how many of us are actually even aware that dental insurance exists? Very few. Dental insurance usually covers a part of the cost meant for minor and major dental care along with preventive dental care and hygiene. It is a good way to save money on dental treatments. It becomes all the more important for seniors as the number of ailments and medical issues tend to increase with age.
Read on to know more about senior dental insurance.
How does senior dental insurance work?
- Like all insurance policies, you need to pay an annual fee or premium.
- You pay a specified sum of money called out-of-pocket for the services under the plan before the insurance company starts paying its part, which is called deductible.
- Once you fulfill the deductible then you are responsible for a part of the covered expenditure called co-insurance. Usually, dental insurance companies offer 20% to 30% in co-insurance.
- Some of the plans have a fixed cost for covered services that are called a co-pay.
- Your out-of-pocket expenses for any dental treatment or even routine check-up are determined based on your deductible, co-pay, and co-insurance.
What all does a senior dental insurance cover?
- Dental insurance policies usually cover preventive, major, and basic care.
- Most often the dental insurance plans cover 100% of the preventive care like dental clinic visits for basic cleaning, sealants, and X-rays.
- It partly covers the cost of basic procedures like fillings, extractions, gum disease, and root canals.
- Usually, the insurance policies cover 70% to 80% of the procedures while the rest the patient pays for.
- Major procedures include dentures, inlays, crowns, and bridges. They are covered only at a high co-payment in which the patient pays more from his pocket than in other procedures.
- Dental plans for seniors do not cover cosmetic procedures like tooth shaping, veneers, teeth whitening, and gum contouring.
How do you find the right dental insurance plan for seniors?
- First, estimate the correct deductible, which is the amount one has to pay before the insurance starts. The amount of deductible will depend on the work to that needs to be done. If one needs to get a lot of work done then a lower deductible would be better as he/she would pay lesser out-of-pocket.
- Choose between dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) and preferred provider organization (PPO). The DHMO tries to keep costs low and offers some services without a deductible but the choice of dentists is limited. While a PPO allows the patient to choose the dentist, but the deductible is higher, and needs to be paid for before starting any service.
- Check out the annual cap, which is the amount the insurance company will pay for covering the patient in a year. A higher cap is suggested if one needs to get more work done, which is also recommended for seniors.
- Choose as per coverage. Some plans cover more maintenance while others cover extensive work. Seniors should go in for a plan that covers more of the extensive work as they are expected to have major dental problems commonly associated with old age.
- Check the waiting period. Most dental insurance plans have a waiting period. For seniors, who might need dental care immediately, a plan with a shorter waiting period is better.
What are the top choices for affordable dental insurances for seniors?
When one is nearing 65 years of age, he/she needs to sign up for Medicare; however, it does not include preventive dental care and some dental procedures. Below are some ideal options for choosing a affordable dental insurance for seniors:
- The DentalPlans website has the best network covering about 50 states with over 100,000 dentists as a part of their network.
- Spirits Dental and Vision have the best loyalty benefits and approximately $100-lifetime deductible along with greater service coverage for 3 years.
- The 1Dental provides the best discounts and no deductibles.