How Can Seniors Find Insurance That Covers Dental Implants?
As you get older, your health becomes increasingly important. And fortunately, programs like Medicare exist solely to help with the costs of staying and getting healthy. But Medicare and basic health insurance often don’t cover one of the most important aspects of seniors’ healthcare: dental health.
As many as one in five adults have tooth decay, and one in five adults over age 65 have tooth loss. One way seniors can preserve their teeth is with dental implants. But without Medicare coverage, how can you find insurance that helps reduce the cost of this kind of care?
Don’t let a lack of coverage for dental implants stop you from seeking care for your oral health. There are ways to get insurance coverage or assistance. You just need to know where to look.
Look for a New Insurance Plan
If you’re a Medicare subscriber, dental implants won’t be covered under any part of your Medicare plan. But even if you have a different health or dental insurance policy, you might experience the same lack of coverage.
Most insurance policies won’t cover implants because they’re technically considered a cosmetic procedure. Even though implants are often necessary to protect your oral health, insurance companies don’t look at them this way.
So, if you need dental implants, your first step should be to look for a new insurance plan. Every insurance plan is different, and you may be able to find an affordable policy that does include coverage for some of the cost of dental implants.
There are a few different types of insurance you can look for to potentially get dental implants coverage.
Supplemental Medical Insurance
Under some medical insurance policies and plans, dental implants are considered “essential” because they restore the jaw and help patients perform basic needs like eating. If you’re a Medicare subscriber, you can look for supplemental medical plans that add to your current coverage. Or, if you’re subscribed to a private or group insurance plan, you can look into adding to your policy or switching plans completely.
Individual Insurance Policies
Although individual health insurance policies can be costly, they can include the coverage you need for the dental implant procedure. You can search online for private insurance plans that offer the kind of coverage you’re looking for. Just keep in mind that there can be a waiting period for major procedures like implants – you may need to plan well in advance.
Group Insurance Policies
Group coverage is often more affordable than individual insurance, and it can include more benefits. Even if you aren’t able to join an employer-sponsored group plan, seniors still have options. You can find group coverage via programs like AARP, the Affordable Care Act marketplace, Medicaid, and more. Check out these plans, and see if they offer coverage for dental implants.
Check the Specifics of Your Insurance Coverage
Even if you already know that your insurance won’t cover dental implants, you should still check the fine print of your plan. This is especially true if you’re a senior who’s subscribed to a private health insurance plan via options like Medicare Advantage or Medicare supplements.
When you check the details and specifics of your insurance coverage, you may find there are ways to get some portion of the dental implants procedure covered. For example, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry recommends asking your insurance company if they’d provide an allowance for dental implants that would match the cost of dentures or a bridge.
Talk With Your Dentist About the Reason for Implants
Another important step every senior should take is speaking with a dentist or cosmetic oral surgeon. If you need dental implants, you should discuss the reason for these implants and the accompanying procedure.
This is crucial because it could make the difference between insurance coverage and paying thousands of dollars out of pocket. Talking with your dentist or surgeon can help you understand what aspects of the procedure are medically necessary, which could result in insurance coverage. You may be able to find a workaround to get your implants covered.
For example, if you’re experiencing tooth loss and it’s causing other complications, your health insurance may cover some parts of the dental implant process. Additionally, if you have dental insurance, that may cover aspects like crowns or caps for the implants.
The Right Insurance Could Help You Save on Dental Implants
If you’re a senior who’s in need of dental implants, it’s important to look at your insurance coverage before starting the process. Medicare won’t cover your costs – but there are alternatives that might.
Your best bet is to compare different health and dental insurance options. You can search online for different plans, including individual, group, and supplemental policies. You can then compare the details of each one to find the most comprehensive coverage, or specific dental implants coverage.
And don’t forget to talk with your dentist about your options. There may be ways to fit dental implants into your current coverage. With the right knowledge beforehand, you may be able to get some aspects covered.