Did you know that as a senior, your health benefits change? Signing up for Medicare can be confusing, and knowing what is and isn’t covered is also a tough thing. Dental insurance for seniors is not covered by Medicare. Not only do most people not know that, but they do not know how to get the dental coverage they need. Here we will explain several different ways to get dental insurance for seniors.
Taking care of your teeth is important, and old age is especially a time to get good dental coverage. You will need to care for your teeth, prevent and treat gum disease, deal with broken teeth and possibly get implants or dentures. If you are like most people, you want to know what you need to do to get dental insurance. Here are some ways:
PPO Dental Insurance for Seniors
PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. If you are a retiree, you can likely carry over this coverage from when you were employed at little to no out-of-pocket cost. This is the best option if this is something you can do because you will get to keep the providers you have been working with.
PPO insurance is something that can be purchased individually as an individual or family plan, although these likely have the highest annual premiums out of all the types of dental insurance for seniors. If you are set on working with a large list of providers for your dental care, then this plan is best for you.
A word of caution with PPO plans: You may have to pay your deductible prior to getting services, and you may also need to fill out claim forms to get services paid for. You will have to dispute claims of care they feel is excessive or unnecessary.
If you are the type of senior that is very particular about the care you receive, or you are lucky enough to carry your PPO insurance over from your job, then this type of insurance is what you should have.
HMO Dental Insurance for Seniors
An HMO is a Health Maintenance Organization. They are an exclusive network of providers that have agreed-upon rates with insurance companies. There is no haggling back-and-forth about claims, and you can often receive the same level of care as you would with a PPO, although some patients do claim they are rushed through the process and don’t get the care they would like.
With an HMO, you have a panel of dentists and specialists that are available to you, but expect to pay full price if you want to see someone out of the network.
Many seniors carry over HMO insurance from their employers, but you do have the option of accessing HMO plans without ever being employed.
If you want affordable, quick dental care, and you do not have a preference which dentists you see, then HMO dental insurance for seniors is for you.
Dental Indemnity Insurance for Seniors
It is possible to choose whichever insurance carrier you wish. You can compare rates and find the best plan for you. These plans, commonly referred to as traditional insurance plans, are easily applied for online or through your insurance agent.
For these plans, you pay by services rendered. You choose what deductible you want and what percentage of your services you would like covered. Of course, the lower your monthly payment, the higher your deductible is likely to be. Often, you can get preventative or diagnostic services covered, such as cleanings and x-rays, but other times you will have to pay a percentage of those.
Prepare to pay a percentage of certain services, such as root canals, bridges and crowns. Dental indemnity plans usually cover 50-80%, depending on how high your monthly payment is.
Remember that health insurance does not cover dental care unless there is an emergency, and even then it will only cover things like extractions. Make sure you are covered by acquiring cheap dental insurance for seniors.
Discount Dental Plans for Seniors
Cheap dental insurance for seniors can be hard to find, but a solution is found in the way of discount dental plans. For very low monthly rates, sometimes as low as $6.95, you can be a part of discounted dental services. There is no bartering with an insurance company or the dentist for a lower rate. You are already getting the lowest rate they will agree to. Many seniors already take advantage of these services through club memberships at Costco and Sam’s Club.
Cheap dental insurance for seniors is available if you know where to look. Now that you are armed with the facts about the different types of plans out there, you should be able to make an educated decision in regards to your dental care.
Getting a cheap dental plan is easier than you may think. You do not have to go without insurance, and risk you or your family racking up large medical bills when you can get a cheap dental plan that will cover what you need. Here we will talk about the most common cheap dental plan, a discount dental plan, and cheap dental insurance to meet your needs.
Where to look for a cheap dental plan
There are so many places to find a cheap dental plan that suits you. You can look online, of course, and even use sites like ehealthinsurance.com to get quotes from all sorts of different plans. You can call your insurance agent and see what they have to offer, and you can find a cheap dental plan by calling the insurance company directly. I have found one price online and then a cheaper price when I actually call in. I think most companies assume you will not take this extra step and they can get a higher rate out of you if you just sign up online. Cover all of your bases and get an online quote as well as call in. At the very least, it will look like you have done your research and they will have to be honest in what they quote you.
What is the best cheap dental plan?
While it is hard to name a specific company or specific plan because every situation is different, I can at least give you some guidelines to make sure know what to look for when getting a cheap dental plan. After all, you do not want ‘cheap’ to mean low coverage. There are a lot of ways to get the coverage you need at a low rate, especially if you price shop and compare rates. Insurance companies fight for business so they really do stay competitive. If you are looking for a cheap dental plan, make sure you find one that covers preventative care at as close to 100% as possible. This means things like cleanings and fluoride treatments for kids will be covered. Insurance companies have found that covering preventative care saves them a ton of money in the long run. Think about it – if you have an incentive to go in for your routine checkups, you are less likely to have dental emergencies, and small issues like cavities are taken care of before they blow up into huge issues.
What is the difference between a cheap dental plan and insurance?
That depends. Sometimes people refer to them as the same thing, and other times, people refer to a cheap dental plan as a discount dental plan and insurance as something separate. A discount dental plan is a program where you pay a monthly fee and then you get discounted dental services through participating dentists. This is a great plan if you do not really care who your dentist is or you are comfortable working with a limited pool of dentists and specialists. Unlike insurance, you pay in full at the time of services rendered. There is no co-pay and you will not get treated unless you have the money. There are set rates for everything from cleanings to crowns. A cheap dental plan that is actually an insurance plan is simply a plan that does not cost you a bunch of money every month. You can find a cheap dental plan from $18 up to a few hundred dollars a month. It all depends what type of work you need and how many people you plan to insure what your idea of ‘cheap’ is.
The reason people have insurance is of course for emergency situations, but also for preventative and maintenance care in the hopes of avoiding many of these emergencies. If you have ever had tooth pain, you know that is not something you want anyone to go through, and you do not want to face it yourself ever again. If you find a cheap dental plan, it is a win-win situation. You will have coverage for your experiences at a place many people fear – the dentist. But you will be happy instead of scared because you know you have your cheap dental plan to cover your care.
If you are asking yourself the question, “Can I really get cheap dental insurance,” the answer is, “Yes?” Of course, it depends what you need as far as insurance and where that insurance is coming from. Do you need insurance for just yourself or your whole family? Are you looking at an individual plan or are you a part of a group plan? What type of coverage do you need? Only you can answer these questions to find out the answer to your primary question, “Can I really get cheap dental insurance?”
If you work for a large corporation, then you most likely have dental insurance as a part of your benefits package. But if you are a temp or you have a part-time job or you work for a smaller company, you may need to find your own dental insurance. A quick search online will show you a ton of policies that amount to hundreds of dollars a month. Can you afford this, or should you keep looking for cheap insurance? There are plans out there and adjustments you can make so that you get a policy that is cheap.
When you ask the question, “Can I really get cheap dental insurance,” what are you really asking? Are you wondering about a low monthly payment? Or do you want a cheap policy that pays a lot for each service you get? Those are very different questions, but ones that need to be answered based on the type of dental care you want and need. Make a list of your projected dental expenses for a year. For me and my kids, we do not need more than cleanings and exams. If we stay on top of those, we should be fine and not have any other issues. My husband on the other hand, he is still dealing with the repercussions of no one helping him take care of his teeth when he was small so he has a long dental plan we are working through to fix everything. For us, it makes more sense to pay more per month but then get a bigger discount when it comes to the actual services we are getting. You need to decide for yourself which way works better for you.
When you think about, “Can I really get cheap dental insurance,” you have to ask yourself, what does ‘cheap’ mean? You do not want a policy that is so cheap that barely anything is covered. Look for something in the middle and you should find yourself happy with the dental care you are able to get. Some dental care is better than none at all, and regular care is the best. Good oral health is linked to all kinds of things like less risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and an overall better mood and more confidence. You deserve all of these things, so find cheap dental insurance today.
There are several ways to buy dental insurance and many factors you need to take into account before you do so. Do you have a lot of dental issues that need work immediately or are you looking for dental care that will prevent issues from happening? Are you insuring yourself or a whole family? Do you have a particular dentist you work with or are you open to whoever is the cheapest? There are many more questions you need to ask yourself before you buy dental insurance. Here we will give you some tips on the ins and outs of the dental insurance industry so you will have more information before you purchase a plan.
If your employer does not offer dental insurance, you need to supplement a plan you have, or you simply need to buy dental insurance then follow our tips. You need to look at whether you want a PPO, EPO, or an HMO. You can compare annual maximums and pre-existing condition clauses when you buy dental insurance. You also need to know about the three different categories for dental care: preventative, basic and restorative.
In- and Out-of-Network Dentists
If you have a favorite dentist that you have had for years and do not want to leave them, then you should not get a plan where they are not part of the network. You will be forced to pay out-of-network prices which can be pretty close to full price for whatever services you receive. You have to weigh the cost of the monthly premium against what you would pay for dental care and then make your decision. It is always best financially to use in-network dentists and dental specialists. Usually, insurance companies work with a wide variety of providers so you are sure to find someone you like to work with.
Annual maximums are something you need to look for when you buy dental insurance. The annual maximum is what the dental insurance company will pay out for you each year. Unused benefits are lost and cannot be rolled over. If you find insurance that is really cheap but find it also has a very low annual maximum, then you may find yourself paying a lot more out of pocket than you bargained for. Figure out how much work you will need in a year, barring any emergencies, and see how much of the annual maximum you would use. If you are over the annual maximum after just one or two visits, it is probably not high enough for your needs.
Pre-Existing Condition Clauses
You will be hard-pressed to find an insurance plan that does not have pre-existing condition clauses. Most insurance plans do not want you to sign up for insurance, get a bunch of dental work done, and then cancel your policy. This is why it is a good idea to always carry insurance. You do not want to find yourself with a dental emergency and no insurance. Tooth pain is not something that can be put to the side. It must be dealt with. If you do not have dental insurance at any time you could find yourself paying top dollar due to pre-existing conditions. You can often find coverage immediately through a discount dental plan if you cannot buy dental insurance that works for you.
Preventative, Basic, and Major
When you are looking to buy dental insurance, there are three main categories of dental care you want to pay attention to. You want as much coverage as possible for preventative dental care. Most policies will give you 100% coverage or at least close. This includes cleanings, sealants and fluoride treatments. Basic care will cover things like fillings, extractions and even root canals. Major dental work includes crowns, bridges, implants, surgical extractions and more. If you are looking to buy dental insurance, try to get as much coverage as you can in these areas. If you find less than 50%, then you should probably shop around more.
When you are ready to buy dental insurance, make sure you have the facts in hand. There are a lot of policies that are unclear or misleading, but armed with the appropriate facts you can make a great decision.
Did you know that more and more employers are not offering dental care as a part of their benefits package? Or if they are, their employees are still responsible for 100% of the premium? If this is the case for you, then you can opt out of your group insurance plan and find your own plan that is cheaper and more comprehensive. If you are a member of certain organizations, you can often find cheap dental insurance through them, such as schools, credit unions or rotary clubs.
What is Cheap Dental Insurance?
Different than discount programs or payment plans, cheap dental insurance is real insurance coverage at a lower rate. You should pay a lower premium and still have a high percentage of your services covered. There are many plans out there that are competitive and will fight for your business. Dental insurance covers diagnostic and preventative services, repairs, oral surgery, restorative work and root canals, either 100% or a large percentage.
When Do I Need Cheap Dental Insurance?
Since most dental diseases are preventable with regular care, it is safe to say that you always need cheap dental insurance. Who wants to pay high premiums and still have to pay high co-pays when you go in the office? There are plans out there for the average consumer where you can have your dental bills cut in half or more while still paying a low premium.
Where Can I Find Cheap Dental Insurance?
If you are a member of certain organizations like a credit union, a rotary club, AAA or AARP, you can find access to cheap dental insurance plans that others do not have. For example, the AARP partners with Delta Dental to give you two options for cheap dental insurance plans. Yes, you have to pay a fee to be a member of the organization, but the perks and opportunities offered usually make it worth it. Our site has information on cheap dental insurance plans available in your state. Another great site for dental insurance information is eHealthInsurance.com. There you can find comparison tools in the dental section to aid you in your search.
Why Should I Get Cheap Dental Insurance?
Dental care involves a lot more than just the occasional checkup and cleaning at the dentist. There are biannual cleanings, diagnostic services like x-rays, repairs to teeth and existing dental work, dentures, braces, crowns, extractions, root canals and more. Most dental diseases are preventable with regular dental care, so you should definitely get cheap dental insurance to keep your expenses low. If you are looking for dental insurance for yourself, just your children, or for your entire family, you are sure to find you are sure to find something that meets your needs.
Whatever you do, do not go without insurance. It may just be Murphy’s Law, but something is bound to happen when you are uninsured to leave you with bills you cannot afford to pay. Pay a little each month toward your dental insurance premium, and you will save yourself the agony of expensive dental bills if you need something done without insurance.