Dental care is a benefit many seniors may not realize they are giving up once they officially retire and sign up for Medicare, but regular dental visits are vital to maintaining good health throughout the aging process. Tooth decay and gum disease have been linked to pneumonia and heart disease. A lack of regular cleanings can lead to enamel erosion, cavities and eventual tooth loss, presenting the need for implants or dentures.
Just like staying active reduces your chances of future health problems, regular dental care helps you keep your natural teeth and prevents infection and decay. But what should you do if you can’t afford your dental bills?
Fitting Rising Dental Care Costs in a Budget
Maybe this story sounds familiar: when Tom finally retired from a 40-year career at age 65, he confidently signed up for Original Medicare and felt he could depend on his retirement savings to cover the various extra medical charges that came up along the way. Fast forward five years and a downturn in the stock market had chipped away at Tom’s modest nest egg, making it even more critical that he limit his spending and live within his budget.
Tom began having pain in his jaw so he scheduled a dental check-up. After the otherwise routine dental cleaning, paid for out-of-pocket, the dentist informed Tom that he would need to have multiple already loose teeth pulled, reconstructive bone surgery and a new denture custom fitted. Tom experienced “sticker shock” when he viewed the price quote, but ignoring the dentist’s advice could have serious long-term health consequences. How will he afford this surprise expense without compromising his finances?
Could Medicare Advantage Offer the Best Coverage?
If Tom signs up for a Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental coverage, he will have much lower out-of-pocket costs for all of the procedures his dentist recommends. Depending on the plan he chooses, not only would his regular cleaning have been paid for (minus a deductible), he will get help paying for those major extra services that would otherwise quickly drain his resources.
On top of dental coverage, Medicare Advantage plans offer vision coverage, prescription drug coverage and some will even pay for your gym membership. Subscribers will pay an additional premium on top of their monthly Medicare Part B premium, but enjoy broader coverage and an annual cap on out-of-pocket medical costs.
Planning Ahead Is Always Smart
Just like Tom, you may not be able to predict your oral health five years down the road, but if you make sure you’re covered now, you won’t ever have to worry about getting the dental care you need, right when you need it. If you’re ready to shop Medicare Advantage plans, contact My Senior Health Plan today to learn more about the options available in your area.