Aging is a natural phenomenon for every living being on this planet. As you get older, your teeth become more prone to problems such as decay or any gum disease. The problems are severe in many cases because 47% of adults of age 65-80 skip dental checkups or do not consider dental insurance to be a useful asset. Even though Medicare covers insurance for seniors, it lacks coverage of several dental problems.
Finding and buying affordable dental plans for seniors with the right coverage is a difficult task even if there are numerous options available in the market. A majority of seniors are unable to find suitable and affordable dental insurance for themselves. Here’s a complete guide on the best dental insurance for seniors with the companies that provide the best dental plans for seniors.
Why Dental Insurance For Seniors?
After working for years a savings-integrated retirement is a great joy for everyone, but many leave out dental insurance and do not consider it as important as it should be. People think Medicare is available for most seniors at age 65; however, it doesn’t include dental coverage such as cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, or dentures. These Dental procedures are not induced in Medicare Part A or B.
There are few rare cases of exceptions where other medical needs mix-up with dental care. In such cases, Medicare C ( Medicare Advantage Plan) might cover a few dental care needs for seniors where benefits depend and vary based on the insurer. Buying the best dental insurance for seniors that defines its coverage is much easier and beneficial in terms of worth and advantages.
Dental insurance for seniors include cleanings, regular exams, x-rays, extractions, fillings, and few repairs. The premium high-rated coverage includes periodontics, endodontics, implants, dentures, orthodontia, and dental cosmetic services. If you need major procedures like dentures or implants, we would recommend buying premium plans and stay clear of the basic plans that cover only the general dental well being.
The dental insurance and plans for seniors cover the care expenses needed by older or aged individuals. Many seniors don’t buy dental insurance because they think it is not affordable or beneficial, this results in avoiding general dental care which leads to major problems. It is wise to buy dental policies that cover the basic needs and requirements one might need in the future.
Types Of Coverage Offered In Dental Plans For Seniors
Dental insurance plans have an enforced waiting period for specific dental care features. It is rarely possible that you purchase insurance on Tuesday for having a toothache and then get a filling on Thursday. Certain dental plans have waiting periods of 6 months or even 18 months to cover up for dental care problems or services.
Most of the dental care plans include routine care, such as check-ups and cleaning with a minimal or no cost incurred to the policy owner. The coverage features vary for each plan and a person must go through all the policy coverage benefits before buying the insurance. A few plans exclude certain procedures, like:
- Preventive care
- Tooth Fillings
- Root canals
- Tooth extractions
- Prosthodontics (dentures)
The majority of the dental plans for seniors use a 100-80-50 coverage model, where the plan covers 100% cost of the basic dental care services, 80% cost of the basic procedures, and 50% cost of the major procedures. The left-out-cost for the partially-covered services is to be paid by the policy owner along with any extra amount that exceeds the annual policy limit.
The dental insurance plans list three types of coverages based on the policy plan you purchase. We have drafted a brief overview of each coverage type for better understanding.
1. Preventive Coverage
This type of coverage plan may or may not have a waiting period, and includes cleanings and routine dental care procedures.
2. Basic Coverage
Generally includes procedures like tooth fillings or basic restorative procedures.
3. Major Coverage
Includes services such as root canals, crowns, bridges, tooth extractions, Orthodontics, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics.
*Note: Each company defines its plans coverage differently, always ensure that you go through the descriptions and terms very carefully. Also, the copay for certain procedures is a must for some insurance companies, choose the plans that suit and serve you best.
Average Cost Of Dental Insurance For Seniors
A majority of the senior population doesn’t have dental insurance and rely on Medicare in times of need. According to our analysis, we found that 1 in 5 people with Medicare spends more than $1000 per year for dental care which was not included in its senior care policies.
On average a senior couple spends $160- $1800 per year on care when they have a discounted dental plan, whereas an individual senior spends around $150 per month for dental insurance. The rates are greatly variable in terms of insurance company policy, premium rates, location, and copays.
The monthly cost of dental insurance for seniors depends on the plan type you choose. It can be $10- $60 per month. On average you need to spend $30 per month, however, the cost of the coverage policy also depends on your age, people covered, and the plan type.
While browsing for the best dental insurance for seniors, you might encounter appealing and exciting discounts. However, these plans don’t follow strict terms of dental care rather they offer discounts in the time of needs on dental care procedures and services. Few dental plan discounts also offer free cleaning and check-ups for the plan subscribers which makes them a great alternative to genuine dental insurances.
The discount plans are not actual insurance and are much economical and cost between $10- $20 per month for individuals and the discount rates range from 10-60% based on the services or procedures undertaken. These discount plans prove to be beneficial if you don’t want to invest a great amount by paying premiums but still having a backup for future needs.
Dental insurance does have certain limitations but still, it is a great money-saving and self-conscious move. The annual maximum limit of the dental plans is amongst the top limitations. These limitations are considered to be your out-of-pocket costs regarding health insurance. The annual maximum cost is the maximum amount the insurer will be paying for your dental procedures each year. In general, the annual maximum is somewhere between $1000- $2000 per year.
The dental insurance plans also offer you to choose a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) so that you have a freedom to choose your dentist, a Health Management Organization (HMO) for you to lower specific dental procedure coverage costs; or an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) that has lesser limitations than HMO and offer much more cost savings than PPO.
Be it a Dental insurance plan or a dental discount plan, both practice annual commitment and annual deductible in certain cases.
The key to finding the best and most affordable dental insurance for seniors is based on several factors. For the best investment for your dental care, you must choose a plan that has
- Negligible or no annual maximum limit
- Less waiting period
- Minimum or no copays
If you are avoiding early treatment of your dental problems, it might incur heavy costs in the future. Buying a basic dental plan can ensure regular dental care which exterminates the chances of major problems hence cutting short the expenses and worries that might happen without proper care.
What Factors Affect the Dental Care Plan For Seniors?
Choosing a dental insurance plan and company solely depends on your needs and priorities, however, you must consider a few factors that affect the dental coverage before purchasing it.
1. Dentists Included In The Plan
There is a great possibility that you have a favorite dentist; look for the plans offered by the companies that are eligible to include your dentist in their policy.
2. Network Size
The size of the network covered under dental insurance plans also affects your well-being to a great extent. The plans that cover large networks are eligible to provide you much more local choices for dental care procedures or services.
3. Network Type
While purchasing the best dental insurance for seniors you are supposed to choose a PPO, HMO, or EPO. The network type you opt for makes a huge difference in the convenience and accessibility of dental care. It also affects the monthly dental care costs of the policy owner.
The HMOs are much more economical than the other network types but they have limited coverage to the local dentists, whereas PPOs have more freedom of choice for choosing the dentists; however, they are comparatively expensive. Ensure that you choose the most suitable network type based on your requirements and priorities.
4. Premium Rates
When buying a dental plan for seniors always ensure that the premium rates are affordable. The market is full of options where the monthly premium rates can range from $10-$100 or more, the choice is yours. Buy the policy that is affordable and fulfills all your needs at the same time.
5. Annual Maximum
The annual maximum is the limit up to which your plan will pay for the dental care coverage in a year. It is always recommended to purchase plans with higher or no annual maximum so that you can be tension free if any major cost-demanding problem pops up.
Procedures Commonly Excluded From The Dental Plans For Seniors
The dental insurance plans for seniors often exclude a few services and procedures from their policies. The basic coverage plans generally exclude coverage for the basic and major procedures. These affordable policies are beneficial only for preventive dental care services such as cleaning and regular checkups.
We have analyzed a few dental plans for seniors and listed the most common exclusions from plan coverage,
- Basic procedures ( such as filling)
- Major procedures ( crowns and bridges)
- Dental cosmetic procedures
- Alternative and natural dental treatments (acupuncture)
- Few insurance providers also exclude coverage for orthodontics even from their premium and top-tier plans
- Companies also limit the usage of anesthesia in certain cases
- Limited or excluded pain management (might be covered after a certain waiting period and has frequency limits)
- Pre-existing conditions (the plan doesn’t cover the problems that have incurred before the purchase of the policy)
- If the policy owner reaches the annual maximum they are barred from any possible coverage for that year (some policies also exclude additional services until next year)
While going through the terms and conditions of the dental plan always consider the exclusions and remember that each plan has its own type of coverage. The exclusions and coverage vary depending on the insurance company. The level of dental insurance you choose decides the coverage and out-of-pocket work payments, so you must determine the most suitable plans and policy level as per your future needs or requirements.
Best Dental Plans For Seniors
1. AARP® Dental
AARP® Dental is the best dental care plan for seniors which is only available for the members of the Delta Dental. The plans offered by them are generally of three types,
- Delta Dental PPO Plan A
- Delta Dental PPO Plan B
- DeltaCare® USA Plan
The cost and coverage for dental care procedures vary for each PPO plan along with the policy you purchased. Delta Dental has availed 2 special PPO dental plans for AARP® members nationwide, whereas the dental discount plans are available only in a few states. Delta Dental PPO Plan A is the premium plan that offers exclusive benefits and includes free cleaning and checkups to the policy owners.
The dental discount plan, also known as DeltaCare® USA allows you to choose a primary network dentist for yourself. An annual deductible of $40 – $90 is applied to all PPO plans based on the insurance policy. The annual maximum coverage applied to the dental care plans ranges from $100- $1500 depending on the plan type. The Plan A offered by Delta Dental has a lower annual deductible accompanied by almost $1500 annual maximum.
2. Guardian Direct®
The Guardian Life Insurance company is one of the largest life insurance providers in the US. It offers Guardian Direct® dental insurance plans which have been rated A+ by AM Best and Better Business Bureau. Catering insurance services to 27 million people nationwide, Guardian has been amongst the top insurance companies that provide the best dental plans for seniors for more than 150 years.
Guardian Direct® PPO dental insurance plans are categorized as,
- Advantage Bronze
- The plan price ranges between $50- $72 per month for two people
- Doesn’t cover major dental care procedures
- Advantage Silver
- This plan can serve you best in case you are looking for an affordable yet high-coverage plan
- Advantage Gold
- Extremely high coverage for all dental care procedures
- Highest priced insurance plan that offers premium benefits to the policy owners
- The plans offered by Guardian Direct® are generously beneficial because;
- Service cost coverage for any dentist of your choice
- Not waiting period for preventive care procedures
- 6-month waiting time for fillings
- 12-month waiting period for major procedures (bronze plans excluded)
- $500- $1000 annual maximum for first 3years (varies according to the plans and policies)
- Lifetime cap implant coverage ( $700 for silver caps and $1000 for gold caps)
- Up to 35% extra savings for in-network dentist services
Ameritas, a product of Ameritas Life Insurance Group in another trusted name in the market that offers the best dental insurance for seniors. It has been serving more than 8.1 million people nationwide since 1887 and offers 20-50% discounts on in-network dental care services. Also, you can claim Ameritas Dental Rewards®, a bonus that is accrued and offered to the customers every year for future procedures.
Ameritas offers a wide range of plans that are priced between $75- $150 per month, few of them are;
- PrimeStar® Protect 1000
- PrimeStar® Protect Network 1000
- PrimeStar® Protect 2000
- PrimeStar® Protect Network 2000
All the premium plans allow 100% cost coverage for preventive dental care procedures and 50-80% cost coverage for any other procedures apart from cleaning and check-ups. Ameritas dental insurance has no waiting periods; however, the annual maximum is posed on the plans that range from $1000- $2000 per calendar year. Also, few plans are eligible to benefit the customers with no caps for child orthodontics.
The low-level plans offer 100-80-50 structure coverage for preventive, basic, and major dental care procedures whereas the annual maximum is as high as $2000 for in-network dental services.
Humana is amongst the top providers for Medicare Advantage plans. It offers a wide range of dental insurance plans with a large network of dentists from all across the US. The plans start from low prices such as $7 per month for individual discount plans and go up to $45 per month for its Complete Dental PPO plans. It offers a wide range of PPO plans that allows its customers to choose in-network or out-of-network dentists freely; however, the plan rates might increase in case you choose out-of-network dental care services.
Humana dental insurance has been rated excellent and the best dental plan for seniors because of its coverage types where you can choose from five plans that fit best to your needs and future requirements.
- Dental Loyalty+ Plan
- Dental Value Plan
- Dental Preventative+ Plan
- Dental Savings+ Plan
- Complete Dental Plan
The Dental Value and Dental Preventative+ Plan are priced between $37- $47 per month and offers coverage for fillings, extractions, oral surgeries, root canals, dentures, and crowns. Almost every plan offered by Humana facilitates free cleanings and dental exams.
Humana also offers specially tailored dental plans for seniors,
- Preventive Value PPO
- For individuals $19 per month
- Individual lifetime deductible is $50 ($150 Maximum per family)
- No waiting period on basic and preventive dental care procedures including emergency pain relief care, tooth removal, extractions and fillings
- Dental Preventive+ PPO
- For individuals $24 per month
- $50 deductible per person ( Maximum $150 per family)
- A waiting period of 6-months for basic procedures
- Dental Loyalty+ PPO
- For individual $51 per month
- Individual lifetime deductible is %150 whereas it is $450 for a family
- No waiting period on any service
- Complete Dental PPO
- $59 per month for individuals
- Individual deductible $50 per month and $150 for a family
- No deductibles for in-network preventive care services
- No waiting period for preventive dental care services, a 6-month waiting period for basic procedures, and a 12-month waiting period for major dental care procedures
5. Aetna® Vital Savings
Aetna® Vital Savings has been providing top-notch insurance services to the people since 1970. The plans offered by Aetna allows high coverage and discounts up to 15-50% for approximately $120 per year.
It offers the best coverage for major dental care procedures. The plan options are:
- Aetna Dental® Direct Preferred PPO
- Allows annual maximum up to $1300
- Aetna Dental® Direct Core PPO
- Annual maximum of up to $1000
- Aetna® Vital Savings Dental Discount Card
- No waiting period
- No annual maximum
- Offers discounts for orthodontia
The plan premium prices range from $11- $39 per month depending on the plan type, where it offers coverage for major services such as oral surgeries, crowns, dentures, and root canal therapies. The PPO plans waiting period varies from 0-12 months regarding the procedures done or need to be done; however, none of the PPO plans offer coverage for orthodontics.
DentalPlan.com is the online marketplace that offers the best alternative dental discount plans nationwide since 1999. It is a platform that resells dental plans from more than 30 trusted insurance companies which include Aetna, Cigna, and Careington. The dental plans offered by DentalPlans.com are a great alternative to dental insurance which allows 10-60% discounts on dental care costs than those available directly in the market.
The online dental plans for seniors have no waiting periods and exclude any annual maximums making them a much better option for those who need heavy dental care or services done. The preventive care coverage under these plans are free of cost up to $20 per visit and vary according to the plan you chose. However, if you don’t need heavy dental procedures performed then these plans might seem costlier than the actual dental insurance plans.
UnitedHealthcare provides Medicare Advantage plans along with its dental insurance plans. You can also add vision and hearing care coverage in your Medicare plans with UnitedHealthcare that aren’t covered under Medicare A or B.
The monthly premium rates for UnitedHealthcare plans are higher than the others, and they allow preventive care with an almost null deductible and almost $2000 as an annual maximum. The coverage offered by UnitedHealthcare is the highest in the market.
The plans offered by UnitedHealthcare have no waiting period for procedures such as cleaning, check-ups, including major procedures like crowns or root canals. The coverage percentage is less for a few services at the beginning of the insurance plans, although it increases gradually over time.
Best Dental Insurance Companies for Seniors
At present Cigna serves dental insurance to more than 15 million US residents including the customers individually and employees through the employee benefit programs. Cigna is the best choice in terms of preventive dental care plans for seniors. Cigna has been rated A2 by Moody’s rating and a BBB rating of A+.
- It provides several benefits to its policy owners, such as:
- No deductibles on routine x-rays and cleanings
- No copays on the preventive care plans
- You would not need to file claims in-network, the designated dentist does it for you
- Dentists are rated based on affordability and experience of the patients
- 24*7 customer support
- Worldwide coverage
Aflac is a trusted name for dental coverage, supplemental health, and a flexible network for customer dental care since 1955. It pays the insurance claims directly to its customers rather than the dentist leading to a flexible, convenient, and open national network. The customers can also access their policy and other supplemental insurance coverage (such as vision plans) through online portals. Aflac has a Moody’s rating of A3 along with a great record of low complaints with the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) and is amongst the top companies that provide the best dental insurance plans for seniors. The dental care plans offered by Aflac don’t induce per year deductibles but at the same time, it doesn’t provide insurance coverage for procedures done outside the US.
3. Renaissance Dental
Renaissance has been serving people since 1957 for dental care, vision, disability, and life insurance. At present, it serves more than 13 million people. It is considered to be the best dental insurance provider for seniors with the highest annual maximum along with an A (excellent) grade AM Best Financial Rating.
The dental care plans for seniors are available nationwide and have two types: MAX and Basic. The basic plans are rated between $32 – $53 per month and the MAX plans are for seniors which are priced between $41- $92 per month. The MAX plan’s coverage also depends on the residing state of the policy buyer.
- Renaissance offers premium benefits to the members on the dental plans, few of them are
- Cleanings are done with no waiting period on any plan
- MAX Choice and MAX Choice Plus plans offer zero waiting period for fillings and crowns
- The annual maximum for the basic plans ranges above $750
- The top-tier plans offer up to $3000 annual maximum
- Individual plans have $50 and approx. $150 deductible per annum for family plans
- Increase annual maximum with loyalty programs
Humana is one of the top-most affordable dental plan providers in the country. Operating since 1961, Humana has an excellent financial reputation and has earned a Moody’s rating of Baa3 (outstanding stability). The feedback with NAIC for Humana is highly favorable with extremely low-levels of complaints. It offers numerous types of dental care plans in all the states designed according to the needs of the members. The plans range from preventive care only to exclusive premium care coverage. These dental care plans are priced from $19 to $59 per month on the basis of the policy and residence state of the customer. Few insurance plans for dental care offer lifetime deductibles.
5. United Healthcare
A stable A1 Moody’s rating and in business since 1974, UnitedHealthcare has been providing the fastest dental plan coverage in the USA. Even though dental insurance is available in 0nly 40 states, the offered plans are extremely affordable and beneficial for seniors. It offers 4Dental Gen plans that can be customized and designed especially for the needs and requirements for the seniors.
UnitedHealthcare offers numerous benefits and exclusive features to its customers, few of them are:
- $1000- $2000 Annual maximum
- The Gen Basic, Gen Saver, and Gen Plus plans have $100 per person deductible per year
- The Deluxe plan has $50 per person deductible per year
- 100% preventive care coverage on the Basic and Deluxe plans
- 60% preventive care coverage for the Saver and Plus plans
- The major dental care procedures are covered by 10% for the day and gradually increase to 40% in a year to 50% in two years
Aetna is amongst the largest network providers for the best dental plans for seniors. It has been providing dental insurance for the past 50 years to more than 13 million members. It has a large network of more than 372000 medical practitioners that allows easy access to the near-by dentists for the seniors without the need to travel far for minor or major dental care procedures.
The dental plans for seniors by Aetna are widely accessible (almost all the states of the US) along with online cost estimation, in-network dentist search, claims, and statements query. You can choose from the two tiers of coverage for seniors. The Aetna dental plans are priced from $76 per month for PPOs recommended by them, whereas the low-tier PPO plans are rated $64 per month. The per-person dental plans have $50 per annum deductible; whereas, the family plans are benefited with approximately $150 deductible per year.
7. Delta Dental
Delta Dental is amongst the top dental insurance providers in the US that offer best-valued coverage plans in all the states, providing services to more than 80 million Americans. It is a non-profit organization of 39 independent Delta Dental companies.
Delta Dental has collaborated with AARP to offer its senior members special pricing which yields affordable and low-budget policies and dental insurance plans for seniors. The members can choose between the HMO and PPO plans available under DeltaCare USA. The DeltaCare plan rates start from approximately $28 for AARP members and can go up to $50- $72 for the PPO plans A and B. The PPO plans covered by Delta Dental offer you a wide range of choices for dentists, whereas the HMO plans offer network facilitates dental care services for seniors.
1. What is the Best Dental Insurance For Seniors?
The best dental insurance for seniors varies greatly based on your budget and requirements. Each insurance offers different types of coverage for dental care procedures. The dental insurance offered by each dental insurance company is perfect in some way or another for the seniors. Aflac, Cigna, Humana, Aetna, and Delta Dental are some of the best dental plans for seniors.
2. How Much Is Dental Insurance For Seniors?
The dental insurance cost depends on the plan you chose for. Each plan differs from another in terms of coverage and services offered. You can find an insurance premium starting from $10 to $100 per month, the choice is yours. Most people go for mid-ranged premiums that offer great coverage and benefits for the customers. However, the high-price insurance plans serve in the long run if you are likely to have severe tooth or gum problems.
3. Is Dental Insurance Worth It For Seniors?
A majority of the population relies on Medicare for all medical coverages, but little do they know that it doesn’t cover major dental care procedures. Purchasing dental insurance can assure a safe future for your tooth problems. The best dental insurance for seniors always offers exquisite procedure coverage so that you needn’t worry about dental care costs.
Getting the best dental insurance plan for seniors is a very tiresome task if you aren’t aware of the insurance providing companies and dental plans for seniors. Sometimes it might be possible that you are looking for a dental care plan and end up purchasing something else, it would be much better if you know the basic knowledge required to buy what’s best for you or the seniors.
We hope that this guide helps you to choose the best dental insurance plans for seniors and leads you on the correct path to get the best insurance providing company that will secure a great future for any tooth or gum problems.