Why Should Seniors Have Dental Insurance?
Maintaining the health of your teeth is important to the overall health of your body at any age. Rotting, loose, damaged and missing teeth all have potentially deadly impacts if left untreated for extended periods of time. Healthy teeth are especially important to seniors who are more at risk from the serious illnesses and diseases poor oral hygiene is capable of causing.
Regular trips to the dentist help keep the teeth, mouths and gums of senior citizens as healthy as possible throughout their golden years. While some seniors have sizable pensions and savings, others are living fully on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Senior citizens 65+ automatically qualify for government-provided health insurance, but Medicare only covers limited dental treatments under specific conditions. Seniors under the age of 65 do not even have Medicare as a partial option.
Seniors need some form of dental insurance to cover the costs of preventative routine maintenance and more expensive dental procedures alike. Affordable private dental insurance plans for seniors do exist. There are also 3rd-party organizations available to help with discounts and other financial assistance. Read on for crucial information regarding the top reasons seniors should have dental insurance and the best coverage plans available for seniors today.
Top Reasons Seniors Need Dental Insurance
There are many medical and physical concerns exacerbated by age. Seniors are higher risk for serious medical conditions and illnesses, some of which are caused by poor oral hygiene. Seniors need dental insurance to help mitigate the risks created by potentially deadly bacteria left untreated in their gums, missing teeth, cavities and more.
Many people underestimate or are simply unaware of the serious issues potentially caused by damaged or diseased mouths. The human body is designed to prevent bacteria from forming inside it except in the areas where expulsion is possible. Bacteria left untreated in the mouth, however, is able to seep directly into your bloodstream and lead to potentially disastrous results. Seniors need dental insurance as a priority to receive regular checkups and get the treatments needed to help prevent the following dangerous illness, issues and diseases from occurring:
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Respiratory infections.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Kidney disease.
There are also financial reasons seniors need dental insurance. Out of pocket dental expenses for extensive and/or emergency dental treatments are not affordable for many seniors. Regular checkups, cleanings and other preventative treatments are highly recommended. Having to pay for such repeat visits out of pocket also adds up rendering treatments beyond affordable limits.
Why Medicare Is Not Enough
Medicare is not enough pursuant to dental coverage for seniors because it only pays for limited services specific to other medical issues. For example, Medicare pays for tooth extractions, while not paying for tooth replacements. For another example, Medicare pays for certain oral surgeries, but none of the subsequent follow-up visits or treatments.
Medicare is divided up into plans A, B, C and D. Medicare Advantage (also referred to as Medicare Part C) combines Plans A, B and D and also includes some options for dental insurance coverage. While this additional dental coverage is better than Medicare alone, it is often not enough to fully eliminate the high out of pocket expenses for procedures such as root canals and dental implants.
Best Senior Dental Insurance Options
What qualities and features make the best dental insurance options for seniors into 2021?
Low deductibles, higher annual maximums, zero wait periods and large networks all contribute. Taking these factors into consideration, the best 3 dental insurance options for seniors into 2021 are:
1. AARP® Dental by Delta
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) helps seniors find discounted prices on many services including dental insurance. AARP® Dental by Delta is largely considered the best overall dental insurance option for seniors due to its vast network of available dentists and sixty-six years of reliable service. There are three plan options. PPO Plan A and PPO Plan B have $40 and $90 annual deductibles respectively, while allowing seniors to visit any licensed dentist. The DeltaCare USA plan requires seniors to choose in-network dentists only but has no annual deductible or maximum.
2. Guardian Direct
Guardian Direct is another reliable dental insurance option for seniors with more than one and a half centuries of trusted service provided. Guardian Direct is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+-rated provider with 101,000+ dentists in its network. Checkups and cleanings are of minimal expense, which encourages the regular visits required to keep seniors healthy. There are no waiting periods for x-rays and basic oral examinations. Guardian Direct is even offering Teledentistry services where allowed by applicable state regulations. Deductibles are transparent and affordable and some plans are available starting at $20 per month.
Humana is one of the best dental insurance options for seniors due in parts to having one of the largest U.S. provider networks and a flexible selection of coverage plans. While pricing on all plans vary per state, Humana boasts having affordable dental insurance for every budget. The five available plans give seniors the ability to choose the coverage best suiting their dental and financial needs. Showing proof of prior insurance waives waiting periods in certain scenarios and some plans even offer lifetime deductibles. Additional vision coverage is available for only $16 more per month. Finally, the Humana Dental Loyalty Plus PPO sets a sliding annual maximum over time, effectively raising the amount of coverage seniors are able to receive each subsequent year they remain Humana members.