Dental insurance seems like a luxury item, but it’s necessary to stay on track with your routine and preventive care. Poor oral health will quickly translate to other parts of your body and has a significant impact on your overall health. Unfortunately, paying for dental care isn’t always affordable for everyone.
The good news is that there are ways to get help with your dental needs. There are several options for dental insurance in Arizona that are sure to fit any budget. How do you choose the right dental insurance?
When people first transition into Medicare, they are often surprised to find out that Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover dental services. To be fair, they do cover some treatment in very rare instances, like if you need all your teeth removed prior to jaw radiation. People who ask about dental coverage probably aren’t thinking about that kind of treatment. They’re looking for coverage for cleanings, exams, x-rays, and restorative treatments like fillings, crowns, and dentures. None of those things are covered by Medicare.
Even if you add a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, you still won’t have dental insurance. Medigap plans only cover things that have been approved by Parts A and B. If you have a Medigap plan, you’ll need to choose a separate dental insurance policy. We’ll discuss how to do that in the next section.
One way to have dental insurance included in your Medicare plan is by choosing to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental benefits (which most do). You cannot have both a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan, so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each before you choose which option is best for you. The “advantage” of a Medicare Advantage plan is that they do include so many extra benefits you won’t find in Traditional Medicare alone. In addition to offering dental benefits, you’ll likely have vision and hearing coverage, gym memberships, transportation, over-the-counter stipends, and more.
Whether you’re looking for an individual dental policy or need to assess the one built into your Medicare Advantage plan, there are a few key things you should look at to determine which plan is right for you. All dental insurance plans work the same way, so these pointers will work in any situation.
Determine Your Needs. What kind of coverage are you looking for? Are you someone who typically just sees their dentist a couple of times a year for cleanings, or are you a more frequent flyer? Do you know of dental treatment that needs to be done? Those are questions you should ask yourself to determine how much coverage you need. A small policy (one with an annual maximum of around $1000) is probably enough for someone who has little to no dental problems. However, if you regularly receive treatment, you should look for a policy with a larger annual maximum. You should also make sure that the policy covers “major” treatment, which consists of things like crowns, bridges, root canals, and dentures.
Check the Network. Just like other insurance plans, dental plans have networks. If you have treatment done outside the network, you will most likely not have as much coverage. In some cases, there is no coverage outside of the network. Check with your dentist to see which plans they are contracted with. If you don’t mind switching providers, this isn’t an issue. After you enroll, you can choose from a list of contracted providers in your area.
Consider Extra Benefits. If you have a Medigap plan, you might also know that in addition to not covering dental services, Medicare also does not cover routine vision or hearing care. In many cases, these individuals benefit from a dental plan that also includes vision and hearing coverage. These plans are referred to as Dental, Vision, Hearing insurance, or DVH for short. Or, if you are looking at a Medicare Advantage plan, consider the other benefits included in the plan. Never enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan solely for the dental aspect.
Want to learn more about dental insurance in Arizona? Call your Local Medicare Specialists! We will review your current dental coverage and look for ways to increase your benefits and lower your monthly premium.
Schedule a FREE Medicare consultation with an agent in your neighborhood.