Dental Plans for Seniors Over 65

Evidence Based
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As a senior, it can be challenging to source affordable dental insurance. Around 23 percent of seniors have not visited a dentist in five years. Less than a third of seniors aged 65 or over have dental insurance.

The best senior dental insurance plans help you save money during retirement while receiving quality dental care.

The Best Dental Plans for Seniors 

There are various dental plans for seniors. Many have specific advantages and disadvantages. To browse multiple dental plans for seniors, take a look at eHealthinsurance

Here are some of the best dental insurance plans for seniors, even for those on a budget:

Best for Preventative Care: Cigna

Cigna has been around since 1983. The insurance brand currently services over 15 million dental insurance customers in the United States individually and through employee programs.

The brand is an excellent choice for preventative care for seniors. This is due to the following dental benefits:

  • No deductible and no copay for basic preventive care. This includes cleanings and routine x-rays
  • A nationwide network of over 90,000 dentists
  • No necessity to submit claims in the system. Your dentist does it for you
  • The Brighter Score tool organizes network dentists based on affordability and patient experience
  • Twenty-four-hour customer support every day of the year

Best for Quick Coverage: United Healthcare

United Healthcare has been offering oral health insurance since 1974. United Healthcare provides dental insurance in 40 states with four different plans.

These four plans are specifically designed for seniors. The policies come with senior-friendly additions such as vision and hearing aid advantages.

United Healthcare stands out because of its immediate insurance coverage. There is no waiting period for preventative care across all the Gen Plans. Likewise, essential services are available either with no waiting period or up to a four-month waiting period.

Complex or major services have a six-month waiting period if they’re covered. With accessibility to quick coverage, this is convenient for seniors who require services immediately.

Other dental benefits include:

  • Gen Plans offer annual maximums ranging from $1,000 to $2,000
  • Gen Basic, Saver, and Plus plans provide a $100 deductible per person annually
  • Preventive dental care is covered 100% on the Basic and Deluxe plans. It is covered at 60% on the Saver and Plus plans
  • Complex and major services on these plans are covered at 10% on day one. This rises to 40% in a year and 50% in two

Best Value: Delta Dental

Delta Dental is the prime provider of dental health insurance in the United States. Deltacare provides coverage in every state and serves over 80 million people.

The company offers plans that cater to seniors either through the AARP or directly on their website. Delta Dental provides lots of information, data, and resources for seniors on their website. Deltacare is also one of the few dental insurance brands that offer immediate coverage for oral health procedures, including fillings, denture repair, root canals, and tooth removal.

Best for Flexibility: Aflac

Aflac is a renowned name in health and dental coverage since 1955. The dental insurance brand covers over 50 million patients.

The company directs reimbursements to you rather than the dentist. This makes it an excellent option for flexibility and convenience. The brand offers online insurance policy management with access to other benefits, including vision plans.

The waiting periods of this dental insurance company are defined per service category. There is no waiting time frame for a dental checkup or x-rays.

Pain relief requires a three-month wait, tooth extractions a six-month wait, and root canals a 12-month wait. Dentures have the most prolonged waiting period at 24 months.

Discount Dental Plans for Seniors

If you don’t have dental insurance, a dental discount plan can be an excellent alternative. However, it’s essential to understand that discount dental plans are different from dental insurance.

Dental discount plans are a type of membership. These programs offer reduced prices on dental services with a network dentist.

With discount dental plans, members pay an annual cost upfront. This is instead of monthly installments or premiums like typical dental insurance. Members receive a dental discount card. Present this card at each dentist you visit to receive discounted prices on services.

Dental discount plans don’t reimburse the dentists as traditional insurance does. Instead, you pay directly to the dentist. Remember, you must use a network dentist to be eligible for discounts. Otherwise, you must pay the full price.

Careington is one dental insurance company that offers dental discount plans for seniors. The Careington Dental Vision Plus Telemedicine Plan provides members with 24-hour access to doctors. This access includes coverage for non-emergency illnesses and general care with zero consultation fees. Additionally, the plan offers discounts on routine dental care, vision care, and more.

FAQs for Senior Dental Insurance

Here are some of the top FAQs on senior dental insurance:

What Medicare plans cover dental care for seniors?

Medicare doesn’t cover most routine dental care, major services, or procedures. This includes supplies, cleanings, fillings, dentures, or dental devices.

Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) pays for specific dental services that you receive when you’re in the hospital. This Medicare advantage also pays for inpatient hospital assistance if you require emergency or complicated dental procedures. This is even if dental care isn’t covered.

To find a Medicare plan that’s suitable for you, take a look at easyMedicare

Is dental insurance worth it for seniors?

For most seniors, insurance amounts to pre-paying for dental health care and procedures. That may work ideally for some people. If you think you won’t need much more than primary preventative care, oral health insurance may be an excellent option. 

What is the most affordable dental plan for seniors?

Humana provides dental health insurance plans in all states. Various coverage options are depending on your needs. For example, you can opt for a preventative-only insurance policy or more substantial coverage.

Prices are low, starting at 19 dollars to 59 dollars per month. The final price depends on your plan type and state of residence. 

Resources

Treatment Needs in Seniors (Age 65 and Over), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2018, https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/treatment-needs/seniors

Dental care, Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/dental-services

How can Cigna Dental insurance help you save?, 2018, https://www.cigna.com/individuals-families/plans-services/dental-insurance-plans/ 

Aflac Dental Insurance - standard coverage, https://pmainsur.net/wfdata/frame1300-1263/File4.pdf

Individual and family dental insurance, 2020, Humana, https://www.humana.com/dental-insurance 

Dental insurance, United Healthcare, https://www.uhone.com/insurance/dental

Dental insurance, Delta Dental, https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/dental-insurance.html

Updated on: August 28, 2020
Author
Ellie Swain
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Medically Reviewed: August 25, 2020
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Lara Coseo
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