AlzU Blog

Ensure Proper Dental Insurance Coverage for Seniors

If you are a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), you may already know that seniors are more prone to many different illnesses than younger folks, including dental problems.  In fact, over 65% of those over age 65 have some type of periodontal (gum) disease according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

If you are looking into dental insurance coverage for your loved one with AD, here are some important tips to keep in mind;

Don’t automatically assume that Medicare (or any other insurance company)offers dental coverage.  Many standard policies only cover routine exams and cleanings.  Medicare for example, will not pay for dentures, but covers other dental issues such as an exams required before surgery or an accident that adversely affects the mouth and/or jaw. 

Be aware that there are extended medical plans for Medicare recipients that cover dental procedures.  Medicare Advantage Plans have several different options with various coverage limits; some even cover fillings and reduced fees for dentures. 

Be sure to consult with an insurance agent you know and trust to ensure you are getting the proper coverage for your loved one.  There are many different options and a stand-alone insurance plan may be the best choice if you don’t want to pay the cost of a Medicare Advantage plan.

Be prepared to decide whether you want to keep seeing your current dentist or you are willing to see someone new who is in-network. 

Don’t forget to check out the waiting period (if there is one) for coverage as well as any pre-existing conditions that may not be covered-such as the need for bridges after tooth extractions.

Compare each plan’s costs including co-pays and deductibles as well as maximum benefits to ensure you are selecting the most cost effective plan that covers your loved one’s dental care needs.

Consider discount programs offered by some network of care providers-who agree to accept lower rates for specific services like cleaning and exams.  This special offer usually requires a membership fee to use the network.

Keep in mind that Medicare does NOT cover most dental expenses so be sure to consider other options for your loved one with dental care needs. 

Check out other topics for caregivers by signing up for our 25 lesson course at  CLICK HERE to join today.

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