American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) dental insurance is available to members of AARP and their family members. It is provided through Delta Dental Insurance Company, Dentegra Insurance Company or Dentegra Insurance Company of New England depending on the state in which you live. The insurance plan comes with immediate coverage for basic dental services and after a 12-month waiting period you can get access to major services.
Any active member of the AARP (the primary enrollee) can take part in the dental insurance program and their family members are also eligible. The rates vary from state to state. See a link in resources below to get the rates for your particular state. Insurance plan options include individual, two-party and family coverage.
The AARP dental insurance program has different features. For the first year you get coverage for the following services: diagnostic and preventive care, periodontal maintenance cleanings, denture repair, rebase and relining, basic restorative (fillings), oral surgery and endodontics (root canals). After 12 months, the following services are covered: periodontics, crown and cast restorations, prosthodontics (dentures) and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
The AARP dental insurance plan has two options with different coverage amounts for the services outlined above. For example Plan A covers 100 percent of diagnostic and preventive care while Plan B covers 80 percent. Of course the premium amounts are slightly higher for Plan A than for Plan B.
This insurance plan is a dental PPO so you will maximize your benefits by choosing a dentist from the Delta Dental network of preferred providers. You may also decide to choose a Delta Dental Premier dentist or a non-participating dentist. Premier dentists are dentists within a network, who have agreed to accept a maximum allowance stipulated by Delta Dental. The Premier dentist's office handles all the paperwork and you are billed for the difference. If you decide to go with a non-participating dentist, you will be billed directly by the dentist and Delta Dental will reimburse you directly for any costs up to the maximum allowed for your plan.
It is important to note that while you are free to go outside the Delta Dental PPO network, choosing a Premier dentist or a non-participating dentist will invariably cost you more. Check to make sure of how much extra it will cost and what will be covered before making this decision. You should also be very careful to make your premium payments on time because missing those payments is grounds for losing your eligibility for AARP dental insurance.
Faith O has covered politics and general news in Washington DC, Chicago and Maryland. Her writing has appeared in the Associated Press, Prince George's Sentinel, Northwest Indiana Times, Chicago Defender and Daily Southtown, among others. She has a Masters of Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and a Bachelor's degree from Hampshire College in Amherst.