It is critical to note that the Original Medicare (Part A and B) does not cover any routine dental care for seniors. As a result, nearly half of elderly people on Medicare do not have any kind of dental coverage at all.
So, the primary way for you to get the dental care you need is through the Medicare Advantage plan, which may require you to pay additional premiums. In addition, these plans tend to be available in limited areas.
If you opt for that plan, you will need to buy policies from private insurance companies to obtain the original Part A and B coverage together with dental care. And this is where the AARP Delta Dental coverage comes in.
AARP Dental Insurance Plan: The Basics
The Delta Dental Insurance Company administers the AARP dental insurance plan and helps cover AARP members and their families. It is insured by the Dentegra Insurance Company, Delta Dental Insurance Company, Dentegra Insurance Company of New England or other affiliate companies.
Your choices depend mostly on where you live. The dental plan available in one state may not be offered in another.
AARP Delta Dental Plans: Existing Options
If you want AARP to cover you and your loved ones, you have several options to pick from. These include two Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO) plans: Plan A and Plan B. In addition, you could choose DeltaCare USA, which is a Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) plan.
1. AARP DPPO Plans
DPPO Plans enable eligible seniors to access a network of dentists who offer services at discounted prices. As a result, you will spend less on out-of-pocket expenses. However, you can still opt to get dental care from an out-of-network dentist. But you may have to pay more.
Most features of Plan A and B are similar, including waiting periods and the benefits they cover. However, Plan A is more expensive but provides a lower deductible of $50 and provides a higher annual maximum of $1,500. On the other hand, Plan B requires a $100 deductible and only covers you up to $1,000.
Typically, DPPO plans will take care of your basic and preventive dental services the moment you meet your deductible limits. Services like x-rays, exams, root canals, fillings and so on may either be free or available at subsidized rates. It depends on which of the two plans you are on, and how long you have been covered.
However, if you need restorative care that covers issues such as dentures, bridges, crowns and dental implants, you must wait for 12 months before you can enjoy the coverage.
2. AARP DHMO Plans
The DeltaCare USA plan is a typical Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) plan. In that sense, it enables cost-sharing but also severely limits the providers that you can see to those within the HMO network. And that could be problematic if you want to change your dentist or see one who is outside the network.
It is also worth noting that in an emergency, if your primary dental service provider and Delta Dental customer service reps are unavailable, you will receive a limited coverage of $100 to deal with dental pain. And then, you would have to wait until you can reach relevant parties for treatment or to obtain approval to see another dentist within your network.
Also, your primary dental service provider is the one who refers you to specialists within the network if the need arises. In addition, you will pay a monthly premium and a copay amount. The latter is a fee you will pay when receiving the dental care you need.
That said, the AARP DHMO plan does not impose an annual spending limit or deductible limit. Furthermore, it offers cheaper premiums. And it has no waiting periods, which means your full coverage starts the moment you need it.
Final Thoughts on AARP Dental
AARP Dental Insurance plans are worth considering, especially if you are on Medicare and need dental coverage. To determine how much you will pay, check out your state’s AARP Delta Dental costs. And also consider which plan works for you and your family before making the final decision.
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