Option : Standalone Dental Plan For Seniors
Some health insurers offer dental coverage for seniors as standalone dental plans. These add-on plans are a great choice for dental coverage if you only have Original Medicare or if you have a Medicare Supplement plan.
When selecting a plan, compare coverage details and plan specifics because there is a broad range of policies on access and restrictions. Each plan will specify how much it covers for preventative dental care, basic services or major services. Most plans have a network of providers, and checking this list can make sure you have access to your preferred dentist.
The best dental insurance plans for seniors are from DentaQuest, Aetna and Humana.
DentaQuest: best customer satisfaction
Remember to compare plans based on the waiting period, and some policies may not cover major services until youve had the policy for several months. Humana is a great option if you need dental care immediately because most plans have no waiting period for major services like root canals, crowns and dentures.
Many providers may also offer an alternative to dental insurance called a dental discount program. These dental network programs arent the best fit for everyone, but we recommend them as one of the five ways to get a cheap dental cleaning without insurance.
When Should You Get A Standalone Dental Plan
If you’re not signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan that gives you unified coverage across medical and dental, a standalone dental plan is the next best way to get coverage.
You can purchase a plan directly from a private insurance company, and most let you sign up for dental insurance even if you don’t have medical insurance through the company. This plan won’t be connected to your other coverage through the Medicare program, but it can help you get cost-savings benefits so you get the dental services you need.
Benefits of standalone dental plans:
- Choose the level of coverage you want, with plans ranging from basic or preventative coverage to plans that cover more extensive dental treatments.
- Select the insurance company that has your preferred dentists in its network of providers without this choice influencing your medical plan.
Dental plans for seniors include Dental HMOs, which generally have lower monthly costs but only cover care from an in-network dentist. If you’d rather have the flexibility to see any dentist, choose a Dental PPO plan that provides broader coverage but generally costs more each month.
The Cost Of Dental Plans For Seniors
The cost of dental plans for seniors depends on a few factors such as age and where they reside. As with other types of insurance, typically plans with higher monthly premiums often have lower deductibles and copays whereas plans typically with lower monthly premiums have higher deductibles and copays.
With many plans, prices may vary based on pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions can raise your monthly premium. Many plans may also have a waiting period before procedures like cavities or root canals can be done. It is a good idea to enroll for dental insurance as soon as possible so that these pre-existing conditions do not develop, and you do not have to wait to receive treatment.
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How Much Does Dental Insurance Typically Cost For Seniors
What you pay for dental insurance as a senior depends on several factors. Most of the websites will get you a quote after collecting a bit of information about you, like where you live, your date of birth, and your gender.
You can expect to pay more to get more coverage. Preventative plans tend to be less expensive, and from there, the premiums often double when you add in Major services coverage.
It’s important to keep in mind that the numbers change based on the variables we mentioned above. Some plans have discounts for seniors, like Liberty. However, most of the plans premiums are higher for older people than younger ones. Our estimates took place in CA, and the Cigna dental plans were advertised at about $19 to $35 for the rates, but our personalized estimates were around $24 to $49.
The Medicare Advantage plans that included dental care were much more affordable than dental insurance plans for seniors. Some had no additional premiums at all and covered preventative care and diagnoses at 100%.
Aetna Vital Savings Plans
Aetna® Vital Savings offers two discount plans. Each plan provides about 15 percent to 50 percent off dental services, from cleanings and fillings to dentures and root canals. When you purchase Vital Savings lowest costing Aetna plan, Aetna Vital Dental Savings, you pay $7.99 per month for an individual or $10.99 a month for family coverage. Once youre a member, you are eligible for discounts at Aetna Vital Savings 262,000 participating dental providers nationwide. In contrast with insurance, no waiting periods apply, and you qualify for discounts on day one.
The other, slightly more expensive, discount card Aetna offers is Aetna Vital Savings Rx. This plan is $9.99 a month for individuals and $12.99 per month for families. For dental services and procedures, Vital Saving Rx provides the same discounts as Aetna Vital Savings. However, one thing makes the Vital Savings Rx dental plan stand out: discounts at the pharmacy. In addition to all of the other cards deals, the plan cuts your dental prescription costs by up to 60 percent on generic medications and 12 percent on brand name drugs at over 68,000 U.S. pharmacies. Considering the kind of dent prescriptions have previously left in my wallet, Id be all about selecting the plan that includes pharmacy discounts.
The Aetna Vital Savings for dental care is not available in Montana or Vermont. The Rx discount card is not available in Tennessee.
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Our Solutions Help Create A Total
At Cigna, our whole-person health approach helps address the many dimensions of your employees health and well-being, helping them to bring their best to work every day.
Providing a full benefits offering can help lead to better health outcomes and savings. After all, when your employees are healthier, they are likely to be more productive which helps lead to a better bottom line.
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Do Dental And Vision Plans For Seniors Require Waiting Periods
All carriers are different regarding waiting periods for dental and vision plans. Commonly, carriers do not have waiting periods for preventive and basic services. However, you may need to satisfy a waiting period before receiving coverage for dentures, glasses, hearing aids, and other major services.
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Waiting periods typically last between six and twelve months, depending on the service and the carrier.
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Best For Preventive Care: Cigna
We selected Cigna as the best for preventive care because they are not only affordable, but they have $0 deductible and $0 copay preventive dental plans and make life easy with 24/7 customer service and zero-paperwork claims.
In-network preventive care paid at 100%
No waiting period for preventive/diagnostic care
Online claims handling and an app to manage claims
24/7 service and access to a health information line
Basic plan only covers preventive services
$1,000/$1,500 maximum annual benefit
Cigna has been in business for more than 225 years and currently serves over 17 million U.S. dental insurance customers individually and through employee benefit programs. AM Best gives Cigna an A rating for financial strength. Cigna was our number-one choice for best for preventive care for seniors based on several factors, which include:
- No deductible and no copay for preventive care that includes cleanings and routine x-rays
- A nationwide network of over 92,700+ dentists
- No need to file claims in-networkyour dentist does it for you
- Their Brighter Score tool rates dentists based on affordability and patient experience
- 24/7/365 customer support and more
There is a six-month waiting period for basic coverages and 12 months for major work. If you have 12 months of prior continuous insurance with another provider, you can make the switch to Cigna, and the waiting periods may be waived.
Best Value: Delta Dental
Delta Dental offers plans geared toward seniors either through the AARP and directly on their website. They provide a lot of information and resources for retirees on their site, and they were one of the few insurers we reviewed offering immediate coverage for fillings, denture repair, tooth removal, and root canals in the AARP Plan.
No waiting periods for many services
Guaranteed acceptance for AARP members
12 month waiting period for major work on some plans
PPO plans feature deductibles and maximums
Delta Dental is the leading provider of dental insurance in the U.S., offering coverage in all states and serving over 80 million Americans. Delta Dental is a not-for-profit organization made up of 39 independent Delta Dental companies. They have an AM Best financial strength rating of A .
Delta Dental has contracted with AARP to provide members with special pricing to help seniors fit dental insurance into their budgets, and there are HMO and PPO plans available. The HMO is the cheapest option, followed by the PPO B, and lastly, the PPO A is the most expensive option. The PPO plans allow you to choose any dentist, while the HMO plan utilizes a network of dental facilities.
There is no annual maximum and no deductible on the DeltaCare USA plan. The PPO plans have an annual maximum of $1,000 to $1,500 with deductibles ranging from $40 to $90 depending on service and plan.
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Medicaid Enrollees Need Access To Dental Vision And Hearing Services
Fixing gaps in coverage only in Medicare without making the corresponding changes in Medicaid would exclude many people with significant unmet needs. Providing access to a full range of preventive services and treatment for non-elderly adults with Medicaid coverage could prevent more serious conditions later in life as well as the need for more invasive, costly procedures.
As shown in Figure 4, while a significant share of traditional Medicare enrollees aged 65 and over report having unmet dental needs due to cost, the share is almost two-thirds higher among Medicaid enrollees under age 65, who are low income by definition. While Medicaid enrollees under the age of 21 are eligible for dental care as part of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment benefit, once young adults turn 21, many no longer have access to treatment options. Adult Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 with disabilities many of whom also receive Medicaid face disproportionate challenges in obtaining needed dental care. Low-income seniors enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid also have higher rates of unmet dental needs due to cost than other Medicare enrollees.
Congress would need to make various design decisions in adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicaid. They include: how the federal government and states would share the cost what benefit standards the federal government would set and whether Congress would permit nominal cost sharing.
An Overview Of Our Ranking Methodology
In ranking the top dental insurance companies, its important to use consistent standards when making comparisons. Below you can see the core metrics that we used to evaluate each company.
- Company Reputation and Reliability : Does this company have a stable financial history? Has it been profitable and well-rated by consumers and experts alike?
- Plan Variety : Does this company offer insurance plans structured as HMOs, PPOs, and Indemnity plans? How many plans does the company offer overall? Are loyalty plans and insurance bundling available?
- PPO Coverage Limitations : What are the highest yearly maximum benefit amounts available for this companys regular and loyalty PPO plans? What kind of waiting periods and waiting period waivers do plans have?
- PPO Costs : How expensive are this companys lowest-cost PPO plans? What is the highest percentage of a patients dental costs that PPO plans from this company will cover?
- Dental Insurance Alternatives : Does the company offer dental discount plans for those who want an alternative to traditional dental insurance? What are the terms of the dental discount plans that are offered?
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Do You Need Supplementary Health Or Dental Insurance
If you are young and healthy, you might not need to buy supplementary health or dental coverage. It depends to an extent on what you are covered for under OHIP, a group plan or a parents group plan. For example, starting in January 2018, OHIP provides prescription drug coverage to youth 24 and under who are not covered by private benefits. Those children and youth are able to get more than 4,400 prescription medicines for free by showing their health card and prescription. Coverage is automatic, with no up-front costs. Read the news release to find out more. Check what you are covered for, take a look at your individual situation, and make a decision on whether what you have now is sufficient.
Medicaid Coverage Of Dental Insurance
While Medicaids Childrens Health Insurance Program is required to offer dental care to kids, Medicaid is not required to offer any dental coverage to adults. Less than half the states in the US provide comprehensive dental coverage to adults on Medicaid. In these states, the coverage tends to be reserved for those with the greatest financial need.
According to the Center for Healthcare Strategies, Medicaid covers adult dental services on four different levels: no coverage, emergency coverage, limited coverage, and extensive coverage. Each state offers different services and different levels of cost. Below is a table detailing each states Medicaid dental coverage:
Homeless veterans also have financial options for dental care. The Homeless Veterans Dental Program is a separate dental program that specifically assists those dealing with homelessness or who are in the VA homelessness rehabilitation program.
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Cigna Dental Discount & Savings Plan
CignaPlus Savings Plans are for anyone who doesnt have dental insurance or doesnt want dental insurance. The Cigna dental plan gives you a big discount on almost all routine dental procedures, so you can save on everything from dental checkups to smile makeovers
- Average of 37% savings on dental care
- All patients accepted no pre-existing limitations
- No waiting periods, deductibles or copays
- No annual maximum on services you can use each year
- 110,000 participating provider listings nationwide
The CignaPlus Dental Savings Plan is an affordable dental option for seniors.
The CignaPlus Dental Savings Plan is a great option for seniors. Not only can you save on dental care, with the CignaPlus plan, but it also includes additional discounts on Vision, LASIK, and Hearing.
The iDental Discount Plan is another dental savings plan, not dental insurance. It offers major savings on popular dental services like regular exams, X-rays, cleanings, root canals, and more.
- Save up to 68% on dental care
- No referrals needed to access specialists
- 140,000 participating dentists nationwide
- No hearing or vision benefits
- Individual Plan – $134.95/year
- Family Plan – $189.95/year
The iDental Discount Plan is not only for seniors but an affordable dental care option for the whole family as well.
Who Has The Best Dental Plan For Seniors
Dental savings plans and dental discount plans for seniors are great options when you retire and need to re-assess your dental benefits.
These plans differ from in-house membership plans, which are private discount options offered through your personal dentists office
With a dental savings plan, you sign up through the discount dental program through a third-party carrier. But unlike dental insurance, the discount plan doesnt have deductibles to pay, waiting periods to endure, or tiers of coverage. It simply offers a fixed, flat discount on services in addition to two fully covered checkups and healthy mouth cleanings a year. Plus some dental plans include vision and hearing benefits too! You might even say its better than having dental insurance!
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Best For Seniors On Medicare: Aetna
Not all plans are available in every state
Some plans require a primary care physician for the coverage to apply
Aetna is an established healthcare insurance provider based in Hartford, CT. It has a stellar rating from AM Best. As of June 2020, there are over 2.8 million enrollees in Aetnas Medicare Advantage programs, the majority of which are the HMO, PPO, Provider Sponsored Organizations . They are available through an employer or direct, although direct plans are not available in all states.
We chose Aetna as the best dental insurance for seniors on Medicare because its Medicare Advantage plans have dental coverage benefits. These benefits could include oral exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings, root canal treatments, tooth extractions, crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures.
Also, Aetnas Medicare Plus Plan covers up to roughly $2,000 of preventative and comprehensive dental care in addition to other services with no monthly premium. Aetnas Medicare Advantage plans are available in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Whats Preventing Many Individuals From Receiving Oral Care
When understanding the importance of oral health, its also essential to consider the factors prohibiting many individuals receiving preventive and treatment services.
One of the most significant factors keeping Americans from care is the cost of dental services. Having a tooth pulled or receiving jaw surgery is incredibly expensive.
If you dont have insurance or dental benefits on your insurance plan, you either go without care or pay out-of-pocket. Paying out-of-pocket often includes taking out a loan or borrowing money from a friend or family member.
Other factors keeping many Americans from receiving proper dental care may include lack of education regarding oral health, dental anxiety, and racial inequality.
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