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Dental Insurance for Seniors: Is the Premium Worth It?

Woman sitting with dentist

Core Details About Dental Insurance for Seniors

Does Original Medicare Cover Dental?

Dental insurance for seniors can be a valuable enhancement to coverage under Medicare because Original Medicare does not cover preventative, basic, or major dentistry unless the treatment is considered medically necessary.  This can leave seniors on Medicare saddled with large dental bills should a root canal or crown be necessary. There are several dental insurance plans designed to assist seniors with dental costs and many of these dental plans will also bundle some vision and hearing aid coverage as well.

Dental Policy Coverages

Most dental policies are structured as a 100/80/50 plan design.  This means cleaning or preventive treatment is covered at 100%; any basic dentistry would then be covered at 80%, and major dentistry would be covered at 50%.   They also place an annual maximum on covered services they will pay. This can range from 750 dollars annually to as high as 2500 per year. Also, most dental policies are going to be networked, meaning you’ll need to see dentists in the network or else pay more of a percentage of the cost.

Then there are a select few dental insurance policies with senior citizens in mind that will integrate a little vision and some hearing aid coverage.  This can be important for seniors on Medicare as original Medicare and Medicare supplement plans do not cover these three items. With hearing aid costs rising into the thousands of dollars per device, having this coverage under a dental plan can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of the hearing aids.

How Much You’ll Pay for Dental Coverage

Several of these dental/vision/hearing policies can be purchased on a non-network basis and will pay the provider the “reasonable and customary” charge for basic or major dentistry, allowing you to see any dentist without worrying about in or out of network charges.  This can make all the difference in the amount you pay if you see a dentist that normally does not accept PPO or HMO networks. It is also possible to find policies that will pay as much as 90% toward major dentistry, vision expenses, and hearing aid costs.

How to Decide if You Need Dental Coverage

A good rule of thumb to follow is you should consider owning a dental policy if you find yourself in a dental chair once per year or every other year as the policies will typically assist you in offsetting the high cost of dental work.  If however, you rarely see a dentist accept for annual cleanings, you may consider forgoing the purchase of a dental policy as the cost could out way any benefits you receive under the plan. These policies can be a lot more affordable than you may think depending on how much insurance you feel like you need.  Costs can range from the low 30 dollars per month to as much as 50 dollars monthly.

Looking for a Dental Insurance Quote?

For a quick quote please complete our contact form on our site or call us at 866-341-8542. One of our licensed insurance agents will gladly explain coverage and benefits to you and get a quote out in writing to you promptly.