Ways To Score Cheap Or Free Dental Work For Seniors On Medicare
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
Affording dental work can be tough if youre an older American on Medicare.
Thats because Original Medicare which covers a majority of beneficiaries doesnt include coverage of routine dental care.
Congress is considering whether to add dental coverage to Medicare as part of a $3.5 trillion social spending package but progress has been slow.
For now, older adults are mostly on the hook when it comes to paying for their own oral health care.
Here are seven ways to get free or reduced dental care. Well also explain what limited dental benefits Medicare coverage provides, along with other options like private insurers and Medicaid.
Love In The Name Of Christ
Love INC is an organization made up of local church volunteers to help people in need. Volunteers provide communication, companionship, financial counseling, after school
child care, clothing, food, transportation and visitation to the home bound. Volunteers offer home services such as house cleaning, snow shoveling, yard work, moving heavy items, appliance repair, general home maintenance, home weatherization, plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and auto repair for the elderly or disabled.
- Service Area: All 50 states
- Transportation Services Provided: All types.
- Eligibility Criteria: Contact your local Love INC to find out the eligibility criteria.
Commercial Options For Older Adultstransportation:
According to the 2021 National Aging and Disability Transportation Center survey, more than 40% of adults and disabled people count on their families and friends for rides. More than three-quarters of the caregivers are employed to offer transportation services for such individuals. Some commercial options for elderly transportation can also fulfill these needs:
- Uber Health: Uber Health is a platform that offers transportation services to the elderly to their doctors appointments.
- GoGoGrandparent: This service demands a monthly subscription fee and helps senior citizens to book a ride for any task.
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United States Department Of Veteran Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs runs programs benefiting veterans and members of their families. It offers education opportunities and rehabilitation services and provides compensation
payments for disabilities or death related to military service, home loan guaranties, pensions, burials, and health care that includes the services of nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers.
VA recognizes Veterans who are visually impaired, elderly, or immobilized due to disease or disability, and particularly those living in remote and rural areas face challenges traveling to their VA health care appointments. Veterans Transportation Service is working to establish Mobility Managers at each local VA facility to help Veterans meet their transportation needs.
Rural Resources Community Action
Through education, resources and support, we offer real hope to children, seniors and families, by working to create a stronger and more stable community for us all.
Each year, 14,000 people in Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Whitman and Stevens Counties turn to Rural Resources for short-term assistance and long-term solutions to help them take control of their lives and their futures. Rural Resources is not a government agency. Were a private nonprofit corporation whose goal is to meet the basic social and economic needs of our rural community. Just like any business, we are accountable for how we use our resources. More than 95 cents of every dollar goes directly to put those in need on the road to self sufficiency. And we consistently monitor and evaluate the success of our programs and our clients to ensure that our funds are spent wisely and efficiently. Rural Resources Community Action was founded in 1965 by a group of local citizens concerned about their neighbors in need. We are part of a nationwide network of more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies who are a primary source of direct support for the more than 37 million people who live in poverty in the United States. Rural Resources Community Action has spent the last 54 years helping residents of Northeastern Washington help themselves and each other.
- Persons of special needs in Stevens, Pend Oreille, Ferry counties.
- Application Details: All Routes
Is It Time To Stop Driving
For some seniors the answer is obvious. They may be too visually impaired to continue driving.Just consider these vision and driving facts:
- Vision provides about 85% of information we need to make safe decisions when driving.
- A 60-year-old requires 10 times as much light to drive as a 19-year-old.
- A 55-year-old takes eight times longer to recover from glare than a 16-year-old.
- Older drivers can take twice as long to distinguish the flash of brake lights as younger drivers.
A study of the problems seniors face with transportation was conducted by the Beverly Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Seniordrivers.org summarized their findings with the following themes:
- Seniors continue driving as long as possible because they are unaware of, or do not believe they have, alternative means of transportation.
- Seniors limit their driving or stop driving altogether because of functional difficulties.
- By the time they stop driving, many older adults are so disabled that they are unable to use most public and para-transit systems.
- Next to health, transportation is the most important issue for seniors.
Medicaid May Cover Your Ride To A Doctor Appointment If:
- You donât have a working vehicle or a driverâs license.
- Itâs not safe for you to drive or wait for a ride to a doctor appointment because of a health condition, physical disability, or mental disability.
- You have no other reasonable means of getting to the doctor.
If your ride to a doctor appointment qualifies, Medicaid-covered transportation could include:
Itâs up to each Medicaid program to decide the most appropriate means of transportation for your ride to a doctor appointment. Keep in mind that Medicaid programs are state-run, and each state has its own criteria for medical transportation coverage.
If you use an ambulance company based in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or South Carolina, you may be affected by prior authorization rules if you need non-emergency, scheduled, medically necessary ambulance services 1) three or more times over a 10-day period or 2) at least once a week for three or more weeks. To find out if these rules affect you, contact Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 , 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Ride On Montgomery County Transit
Current Ride On status
All Ride On-branded bus routes and Ride On extRa routes are in service. The on-demand Flex service and Flash service are operating normally.
- Bus interiors are cleaned with hospital grade disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems are treated each night with a disinfectant. Masks are encouraged and available for riders.
- For the most up-to-date service information, visit @RideOnMCT on Twitter, visit Ride On MCT on Facebook, go to www.rideonbus.com, or .
Seniors and Persons with Disabilities ride free on Ride On and select Metro buses in Montgomery County at all times
- Metrobus Routes included are:
- C2, C4, C8, F4, J1, J2, K6, K9, L8, Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6, T2, Y2, Y7, Y8, Z2, Z6, Z7, Z8
Learn more about:
Rides To Medical Appointments Will Continue
We are continuing to provide rides to medical appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please schedule rides with Veyo as usual. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you have a fever or other symptoms, please call your doctor to make sure you can be seen before you call Veyo to schedule a ride. When you call Veyo to schedule a ride, be sure to tell them if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are feeling ill.
In most cases, rides are being limited to one member and one driver during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Same-day rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments
Do you need a ride to a confirmed appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine? You can schedule a ride with Veyo as soon as you confirm you have an appointment, even if it is the same day. Call Veyo at 866-907-1493 . Please have the following information ready:
- Your ForwardHealth ID
- The address of where you will get your vaccine
Please note: If you have a medical emergency, call 911 right away.
You may be able to get a ride to your medical appointment if you have no other way to get there. Depending on your situation, you can get:
Wisconsin’s non-emergency medical transportation manager, Veyo, is required by federal law to use the least costly type of ride to get you to your appointment based on your needs. This could include bus tickets or gas for your car.
You can get free rides if you are enrolled in one of the following programs:
For more information, view the Who Can Get Free Rides fact sheet.
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Assessing A Transportation Provider
As you begin to research transportation providers, consider these questions:
- Are there any requirements to qualify for the service?
- Are the rides for wheelchair users and the disabled?
- Are family members able to serve as an escort? Is there an additional charge?
- Is the service door-to-door or curb-to-curb?
- What is the service area?
- Will the driver assist with bags, wheelchairs, etc.?
- Are rides provided on the weekends, evenings and holidays?
- If others are riding at the same time, what is the maximum time for pick up and drop off?
- What is the cost?
- Are there any discounts? E.g., Is my income a factor?
- Is there a membership fee?
- Is a reservation needed? How far in advance?
- Will my insurance pay for rides?
Current Metro Access Status
MetroAccess is offering its regular weekday schedule to Metro Access certified customers.
- Applications for new customers are being reviewed. Some customers may be presumed eligible while others may be given temporary eligibility until it is possible to resume functional assessments.
Complementing the transit system in the County, MetroAccess is a shared-ride, door-to-door, paratransit service for people whose disability prevents them from using bus or rail.
For more information
To apply for Metro Access service
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Finding And Paying For Senior Transportation Services
When helping a senior select alternative modes of transportation, you must consider a variety of factors. Does the elder live in a rural or urban community? Do they have medical needs that require special accommodation? How will they pay for these services? Transportation does not have to be expensive, and health insurance will sometimes cover the cost, especially if the trip is for medical purposes. Nonetheless, like many things in America, the best and most convenient alternatives to driving are likely to be the costliest.
As required by law, Medicaid covers emergency transportation and non-emergency medical transportation, such as trips to the doctor for a scheduled appointment. Medicare, however, will only cover emergency medical trips, like those that require ambulance service. In certain chronic and debilitating cases, Medicare may pay for non-emergency trips, but these must be arranged on a case by case basis. Other health insurance companies have only recently begun to consider transportation as an insurable cost. The options are so varied among insurance carriers that its best to consult with a seniors individual company to see what their policy covers.
The Independent Transportation Network America
The Independent Transportation Network America is a non-profit organization that provides rides for seniors 60 years of age and older , as well as persons who are visually impaired. Via ITN, which charges an annual membership fee of approximately $50-$60 for a single rider and $60 to $80 for a family, riders are matched with paid and volunteer drivers. Rides are available, with no limitations as to the need for the ride, around the clock in private vehicles. Drivers provide door to door service, assistance with bags, and limited assistance with getting in and out of the vehicle. Riders do not have to worry about making cash transactions, as the cost of rides is automatically deducted from the riders personal transportation account. The cost per ride is approximately half the cost of a taxi, and riders can save money by booking rides in advance, as well as sharing rides. At the time of this writing, ITN has 13 affiliate non-profit organizations providing transportation in 12 states. To find out if there is an ITN affiliate in your area, click here.
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Free Lyft Rides For Seniors
Lyft, the nationwide rideshare service has teamed up with a number of providers to offer both free and low-cost rides to senior citizens.
Seniors who have are receiving in-home care from agencies partnered with Care At Home are also eligible for free and reduced-price Lyft rides.
While the rides arent free, seniors without smartphones who use Jitterbug, the special cell phones designed just for seniors, can also simply dial 0 to schedule a lift ride through Great Call.
This service includes:
- Drivers who have been subject to extensive background checks
Mustard Seed Project Of Key Peninsula
The Mustard Seed Project promotes independent living and quality of life for seniors residing on the Key Peninsula in western Washington by providing services and programs in five focus areas:
transportation, information & referral, health and wellness, senior housing options, and community education.
The mission of The Mustard Seed Project is to ensure choices for healthy aging on the Key Peninsula by connecting elders with innovative programs and resources.The vision of The Mustard Seed Project is to create an elder-friendly Key Peninsula, where our neighbors may choose to safely age in place with dignity and respect.
- Service Area: Key Peninsula.
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Swift Resources Of Arizona
SWIft® Resources of Arizona is an online system that connects users to community and statewide resource information for children, youth and adult, their families, professionals and community members. It is a project of Building Community Health in Arizona: Statewide Implementation of Integrated Services, supported by a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau awarded to the Southwest Institute for Families.
Private Transportation For Seniors
If the above options are not available or do not work for your aging loved one, you might need to explore the costlier option of private transportation. The most basic form of private transportation is a taxi service. This option is most appropriate for seniors who require occasional travel and a minimal amount of extra assistance but cannot access public transportation. Its also a good option for those who live in rural areas without extensive public transportation and those who need to travel late at night or during rush hours.
Ride-hailing services are another private transportation option for seniors. There are some barriers to using these services, such as the need for a smartphone and some technological savvy, but companies like Uber and Lyft are making efforts to provide more accessible vehicles and service options tailored to meet the needs of seniors and people with disabilities. GoGoGrandparent is one service that allows seniors to hail rides via Uber and Lyft without needing a smartphone.
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Older Driver Family Assistance Project
The Older Driver Family Assistance Project handbook “Are You Concerned” is available for families and caregivers concerned about an older family member who may no longer drive safely. The handbook provides information on where families can turn for assistance and provides strategies to help them with an aging driver.
Private Health Insurance Plans:
Reliable private health insurance companies like Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc., cover free elderly transportation to and from medical appointments under their health plans. Furthermore, private insurance agencies provide free rides to pharmacies, healthcare facilities, test laboratories, or doctors clinics.
Through such plans, transportation is provided through the following vehicles:
Moreover, private health plans provide free senior transportation with no deductibles and out-of-pocket payments. You can contact your provider to learn more about transportation benefits and coverage.
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Us Local And State Transit Links
Links to thousands of transit agencies for cities, towns and counties across the United States. Find your route. Some routes are free for the seniors, some have subsidized fares, while other routes are donation based as they may be covered by agencies like the Area Agency on Aging.
Check your route to find out more details.
- Service Area: All 50 states
- Transportation Services Provided: All types.
- Eligibility Criteria: Almost all routes require you to show some proof, be it a medicaid card, disability proof, prescription form the doctor, or some other requirement. Contact your local route to find out more details.
Community Information & Referral
Community Information & Referral is the key source of integrated information that brings people and services together every day to meet vital needs throughout Arizona.Their vision is for all people to have easy access to information about the full range of health, human, and emergency services provided in Arizona communities.
24-Hour Help Hotline: Community Information & Referral receives thousands of calls every year on their 24-Hour Help Hotline from Arizona residents in need of help.They can also find help outside of someones service area.Their trained, bilingual Information & Referral Specialists refer people to available resources 24 hours a day, every day of the year.This service is anonymous and free to the public.When you call, please have a pen and paper handy so they may give you all the information you’ll need.
Phone: 263-8856 from anywhere 352-3792 within area codes 520 & 928
TDD: Please use Arizona Relay at 367-8939 or 7-1-1
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