Dental Associates of Florida - Central Brandon
647 West Lumsden Road, Brandon, FL 33511
A recent survey found that approximately 65% of adults over the age of 65 do not have dental coverage. One reason for this is that most Americans get their dental insurance through their employer and struggle to find an affordable replacement option when they leave the workforce. The second reason is that Medicare, which is the primary health care coverage for most seniors, does not include benefits for dental services.
There are several reasons why it is important for seniors to consider their options for dental benefits in Central Brandon:
The cost of routine preventative dental services can easily amount to hundreds of dollars, and the cost of advanced treatments can reach into the thousands of dollars. The following are examples of what you can expect to pay for common dental services. Keep in mind, however, that prices can vary based on your location and the exact nature of your dental issues:
The cost of a crown can range from $500 to $3,000 based on the type of material used.
The cost of a root canal can range from $300 to $2,000 based on the location of the tooth and the complexity of the procedure.
Most seniors looking for dental coverage typically choose a Medicare Advantage plan or private dental insurance. Even without insurance coverage, there are ways to make the cost of dental services more affordable and manageable, such as discount plans and financing options.
Approximately 25% of Medicare recipients receive dental coverage by enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans. These are supplemental plans offered by private insurers, such as Human, UHC, and Aetna, that provide benefits above and beyond those offered by traditional Medicare. While services covered by basic Medicare are reimbursed by the government, it is the insurer that reimburses providers under Medicare supplement plans. Since supplement plans are separate from standard Medicare, you normally will receive a separate ID card in addition to the red, white, and blue Medicare card. In addition to providing access to a wide network of qualified providers, Medicare Advantage plans offer price protection and cost-sharing measures, such as limits on out-of-pocket expenses and low deductibles. Medicare supplement plans typically cover prescription costs and offer vision, hearing, and dental benefits. The average cost of a Medicare supplement is typically low per year. Dental coverage normally includes cleanings, basic exams, and X-rays.
Approximately 10% of Medicare recipients get their dental coverage through a private dental plan. Private dental plans provide more comprehensive dental coverage than Medicare supplement plans; however, they do not normally include vision, hearing, or prescription benefits. Most insurers allow you to choose from different plan levels, so you can select the plan that best fits your needs and budget. The average cost of private dental coverage is around hundreds of dollars per year.
Regardless of the type of dental plan that you choose, most plans will pay a percentage of the cost based on the complexity of the service. For example, a basic exam may be covered at 100%, a filling at 80%, and a crown or root canal at 50%. The higher the level of the plan, the more expansive the benefits. For example:
As the name suggests, these plans normally only cover maintenance and prophylactic services, such as cleanings, exams, and X-rays. This type of plan may work well if you are in good oral health but may leave you with considerable out-of-pocket expenses if you need an advanced dental procedure.
These plans include additional benefits for more advanced treatments, such as orthodontics, emergency procedures, specialized X-rays, fillings, dentures, and inhalation anesthesia.
Most top-tier plans include at least partial coverage for advance services, such as root canals, endodontic and periodontic procedures, oral surgery, crowns and other types of restorations, and dentures. Although these plans have the highest price tag, they can save you money in the long run if you have significant dental issues.
Discount plans are an increasingly popular way to make dental services more affordable. Dentists who accept discount plans, such as DentRite, agree to accept pre-negotiated discounted rates for common services, including: checkups, X-rays, extractions, crowns, root canals, dentures, fillings, and routine cleanings.
When you enroll in a discount plan, you pay an enrollment fee and a monthly membership fee instead of a monthly or annual premium. You then pay the dentist directly at the discounted rate.
Most discount plans also include benefits for prescriptions and vision and hearing services. You should keep in mind that discount plans are not insurance and do not provide the same level of coverage as insurance, so you may be better off with traditional insurance if you require extensive dental work.
Even without insurance or a discount plan, most dentists offer payment and financing options that can help you manage the cost of dental services. One example is CareCredit, which is a popular medical credit provider that is accepted by hundreds of thousands of providers and facilities across the country. Some plans let you finance balances for up to 24 months with no interest as long as you pay the balance in full by the end of the promotional period. Most finance companies also offer long-term financing of up to 60 months for large balances. Of course, financing is not without its drawbacks. You do have to go through a credit approval process to qualify. The interest, which normally averages between 15% to 20%, can also add significantly to the final cost of your care.
AARP and other senior organizations are great places to look for information on discounts on professional services, including dentists, and insurance options geared toward seniors.