Does Dental Care have an Age Limit?

PLANTATION, FL, Sep 15, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- Unfortunately for a lot of seniors in America, traditional Medicare does not cover dental services, and any type of dental coverage under Medicare would require supplemental coverage or a Medicare Advantage Plan. A 2015 report by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reported that 23 percent of seniors, or almost one quarter of the senior population 65 and older, have not been to the dentist in the last five years. And half of all seniors 65+ haven't seen a dentist within the past year. As a result, people are seeking other solutions to meet their needs. One such alternative is a dental savings plan or discount dental plan, which is an alternative to traditional dental insurance.

"Seniors represent a significant part of our customer base," states Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans. "And we find that our customers, and seniors especially, understand the direct connection of oral health to overall health and wellbeing."

In fact, a recent :DP SmileIndex* survey revealed that :DentalPlans customers 55 and older were more likely to stay on top of their ADA recommended treatments, with 76.6 percent receiving two checkups per year, 80 percent receiving two cleanings and 70.5 percent getting an annual x-ray.

While :DentalPlans customers are significantly more likely to visit a dentist regularly (88 percent) than the national sample (63 percent), both groups cite cost as the primary reason for not visiting the dentist. Furthermore, according to Oral Health America, nearly 70 percent of seniors do not have dental insurance. And with 47.5 percent of dental expenditures paid out of pocket, seniors on a fixed income may find it more difficult to afford care. As a person ages, they often require more costly dental procedures like crowns, root canals, extractions, and dentures. With the costs of some of these procedures exceeding $1,000, it's easy to see why visiting the dentist on a limited income would be overwhelming.

So, can seniors afford dental care?

":DentalPlans is committed to helping Americans afford dental services," adds Chase. "We believe that seniors shouldn't have to make the difficult choice of whether or not they can afford dental care, but can instead choose which plan best accommodates their needs."

What is a Dental Savings Plan?

Dental savings plans offer a simple-to-use, cost-effective alternative to dental insurance. Participating dentists have agreed to accept a reduced fee from dental savings plan members for a variety of dental procedures. Members pay a low annual fee and get access to reduced rates on dental services including cosmetic dentistry and orthodontia, as well as discounts on vision and pharmacy with select plans. Members can choose from more than 30 different plans from trusted healthcare brands like Aetna, Careington, and Cigna , and gain access to more than 100,000 dentists nationwide.

:DentalPlans has affordable plans to fit any need and budget, including seniors on a fixed income. And depending on the plan you choose, you can save 10 to 60 percent off services. Visitors of DentalPlans.com can compare plans by zip code or procedure, view sample savings and find a nearby dentist. :DentalPlans is committed to making you smile, by making access to quality oral healthcare affordable and accessible to everyone.

Example savings:

Plan: Vital Savings by Aetna

Scenario: One Adult

Annual Individual Membership Fee: $144.95

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                            Typical Dentist   Sample Reduced   Total Savings
                            Fees              Fees
                                              (for Plan
                                              Members)
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2 Routine 6 Month Check-ups  $114              $54              $60
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2 Adult Teeth Cleanings      $204              $110             $94
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Full Mouth X-Rays          $144              $77              $67
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Upper Denture           $1,885            $820             $1,035
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Savings                                                   $1,256*
----------------------------------------------------------------------------



Using the Aetna Vital Savings plan, with an annual fee of $144.95, an individual could save $221 on their annual ADA recommended treatments alone. Consider the savings from other typical procedures for seniors, like dentures, and the savings really add up. For example, an individual who receives all the recommended treatments and gets dentures would save $1,111.05, including the cost of the plan.

About :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives.

We provide comprehensive resource centers aimed at helping people to maintain/regain optimal health, and successfully navigate the maze of healthcare payment options (including Obamacare and Medicaid.) Our independent research -- the :DP SmileMeter(TM) and :DP SmileIndex(TM) -- delivers a unique look into the consumer healthcare market. We offer user-friendly access to a wide selection of traditional dental insurance and 40+dental savings plans, along with innovative healthcare offerings including telemedicine, medical advocacy, and online counseling services. Our online plan comparison and savings calculator tools help consumers to make smart choices about essential healthcare services, and our :DP AtYourService(TM) customer support team leaves no question unanswered. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com.

*A national study was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 1,200 national respondents were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- 2.83%.

An independent study of its members was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 21 and Feb. 4, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 9,410 national customers were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- .99%.

1 2012 Full Year Consolidated File, HC-138, Department of Health & Human Services

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPs)

2 EnlightenMe http://enlightenme.com/dental-procedures-price-list/ and OralHealthExam.org

EDITORS NOTE: For a complete copy of the :DP SmileIndex Survey contact Melissa or Kelly at pr@dentalplans.com

Source:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/does-dental-care-have-an-age-limit-2015-09-15

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