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.
Discount dental plans can save you money on procedures that insurance can't (including cosmetic procedures). Learn more about dental discount plans here.
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There are various dental plans for seniors. Many have specific advantages and disadvantages.
Here are some of the best dental insurance plans for seniors, even for those on a budget:
(Newmouth is not affiliated with any of the insurance companies below)
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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Here are some of the top FAQs on senior dental insurance:
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.
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.
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.
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