If the thought of going to the dentist doesn’t excite you, get in line. Millions of Americans feel the same way—and some people absolutely dread visiting the dentist.
But, fortunately, far more people seem to dread what might happen if they don’t go to the dentist.
Importance of Not Avoiding the Dentist
Simply put, maintaining good oral and dental health requires visiting your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist can be every bit as important as visiting your physician, and can result in the same all-important opportunities for early detection of problems and even lifesaving treatment in some cases.
As far as the Medicare population is concerned …
People over 65 are at advanced risk for various oral health problems, including root decay, dry mouth, tooth loss, gum disease, and stomatitis, which sometimes results from ill-fitting dentures. There are many more oral health problems that can strike seniors, and some are linked to extremely serious disorders such as heart disease and strokes. People of Medicare age are also at elevated risk for oral cancer—which too often goes undetected until it’s too late.
Early detection is a key to minimizing serious health problems, and your dentist is an expert at spotting potential problems you may not be aware of. Whether you have a big problem, a small problem, or no problem at all, there is no possible advantage to avoiding the dentist when you have oral concerns or it’s time for a checkup.
Medicare and Your Mouth
Original Medicare Part A and Part B will not cover the cost of dental checkups or routine dental procedures such as cleaning and filling teeth. Original Medicare will not help cover the cost of dentures. Original Medicare will cover only certain dental services that may be necessary in relation to your overall health, and not simply your dental health.
Some people are surprised to learn that Medicare supplement plans, while providing excellent coverage to help fill the gaps in Medicare, will not pay for routine dentist visits or dental services. Medigap insurance is not designed to meet dental needs.
There are three main options for Medicare recipients to consider when it comes to dental needs.
- Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans, which replace Medicare Part A and Part B coverage while eliminating many of the out-of-pocket expenses associated with Original Medicare, also provide the option of coverage in areas of health Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover. Any additional coverage varies from plan to plan, but there are Medicare Advantage plans that provide dental coverage.
- Senior Dental Plans
While dental plan premiums often run in the range of $30-$50 per month for an individual, some plans cost a great deal more. For this reason, it is important to shop the market for the best values in dental insurance before committing to a plan.
Part of comparison shopping ought to involve looking at deductibles and coverage maximums associated with each plan. Each dental plan has a maximum annual coverage amount, and you will be required to pay any amount exceeding that maximum out of pocket.
- Senior dental plans do not normally cover preexisting conditions. If you need a root canal or other procedure, enrolling in a dental insurance plan will not likely help eliminate your out-of-pocket costs.
- Even after you have been enrolled in a dental plan for a year or more, your plan is unlikely to pay the full cost of the procedure. Most likely, you will get only a discount on the procedure.
- There are usually strict limits on what dental insurance covers. Before enrolling in any dental plan, you need to be aware of exactly what your plan will or will not cover.
- Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans have become a popular option for people looking for paperwork-free, hassle-free help in covering dental costs. Good senior dental discount plans often offer discounts from 60-80 percent on most examinations and procedures, and all you normally need to do when seeing your dentist is show your discount plan’s card.
Dental discount plans have no health or age restrictions. There are no exclusions for preexisting conditions, and no limits on savings.
A leading provider of dental discount plans such as HealthPerx Plus can offer low-cost dental discount packages guaranteeing discounts of 60 percent or more among a nationwide network of thousands of dental providers. HealthPerx Plus plans, which also provide savings options for vision, dental, and counseling care, cost as little as $14 per month for an individual or $18 for a couple while providing priceless security and confidence.
Regardless of your current health coverage, a HealthPerx Plus dental discount plan can be a valuable asset and complement to your Medicare coverage—and even if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan with dental coverage or a traditional dental insurance plan, a HealthPerx Plus dental discount plan will bring great savings and eliminate many of the costs your current insurance policy requires you to pay.
Your oral and dental health shouldn’t be left to chance. Regular dental care is vital to your overall health—as is having the coverage to ensure you get the care you need.
Which of these options do you prefer for your dental coverage? Leave a comment below!
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