By Susan Braden
You might be retired now, but that doesn’t mean you’re planning to relax when it comes to your dental health. That’s because you understand that seniors are not immune from tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, older people are often more prone to dental problems.
Poorly fitting dentures, the use of medications that impair your saliva production, and the aging process which leads to receding gums are just a few of the reasons for seniors to remain vigilant about their oral health.
As happened with so many Americans, the recent economic downturn may have taken a huge chunk of your savings. With costs skyrocketing and incomes remaining fixed for many older people, affording the routine and emergency dental care you need is becoming increasingly burdensome. At one time, traditional indemnity insurance often cost patrons hundreds of dollars each month in premiums. In recent years, however, new options for dental discounts for seniors have become available.
If you have a Medicare card, you might believe that this government-sponsored program will be a great help in covering the costs of routine dental care and more complex procedures. In fact, the opposite is true.
By law, Medicare is prohibited from paying for cleanings, fillings, crowns, dentures, and most other dental work. Although there are a few exceptions, you will never be able to look to Medicare as a source of dental insurance for seniors.
Millions of people over 50 have joined the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). If you are a member in good standing, you are eligible to sign up for the AARP dental insurance plan administered by Delta Dental. With this plan, you have a choice between two tiers of coverage.
Offers an extensive array of benefits and maintains a moderate premium.
Features a lower premium cost, but covers fewer services at a slightly lower discount.
Both plans have some things in common as well.
Another option in dental coverage is dental plans. They are an excellent alternative to the AARP program for a number of reasons.
They don't require that you be a member of AARP or any other organization in order to join.
They don't have many of the cumbersome restrictions found with the AARP.
You don’t have to wait a year if you need a crown or dentures, and there is never an annual maximum cap.
For a low monthly fee, your savings can begin right away.
You may want to investigate how a discount dental plan could provide you with inexpensive, superior care for the dental procedures you need.