By Suze Orman
Once you retire, or scale back on your hours, it becomes ever more important for your money to work even harder for you. Now that you are living off of your savings, and income from pensions and Social Security, you want to make every dollar spent count.
When it comes to your health care, it is a big deal that at age 65 you are eligible for Medicare coverage. The monthly premiums are far less than what you would pay in the individual dental insurance market. That’s a great deal. But you still have to budget for plenty of medical costs.
On average, Medicare covers about 70% of an individual’s health related expenses. Co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses can add up to 30% of your medical costs!
And you likely are on the hook for 100% of your dental care needs. Medicare does not cover routine dental care, and even if you have some coverage through a supplemental Medicare Advantage plan, it likely has a low limit on how much it will pay each year. So it is no surprise that a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a leading non-partisan health care research outfit, reported that more than 1 in 5 seniors with Medicare report they have delayed or foregone senior dental care because of the high cost.
That makes me so angry. We all know how important dental health is to our quality of life, and our overall health.
Seniors Should Look into a Dental Plan
Dental savings plans are not insurance. They are better than dental insurance. Dental savings plans are very affordable, and – unlike traditional dental insurance - there is no annual cap on your coverage.
Rather, if your dentist accepts a dental plan, you will be offered a deep discount off of his or her standard rates. And you can use your plan to save on dental care as often as you wish, for everything from cleanings to crowns!
A dental plan is your ticket to affordable dental coverage for the rest of your life. I have saved big-time using a dental plan that my dentist accepts. I can’t imagine why anyone, especially seniors, would not want to do the same.
Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today, Orman is undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. Visit Suze’s website, to access a wealth of resources that will help you to get smart about your money.
How Do Dental Savings Plans Work?
As Suze Orman notes in her article above, dental savings plans (also known as discount dental plans) are a smart, affordable alternative to traditional dental insurance. Plan members save 10%-60% - the amount varies based on the dental procedure - on the typical cost of dental care and treatments at a nationwide network of more than 100,000 dentists.
There are some important differences between dental insurance and dental savings plans. With a dental savings plan you:
Start saving immediately, as soon as your plan activates (typically within 72 hours). Unlike insurance, there is no deductible to meet.
Save on any dental treatment included in your plan. With insurance, there is a waiting period before you are covered for more expensive treatments like crowns and bridges.
Dental savings plans are easy to use. You pay the discounted rate directly to the dentist. No paperwork hassles, no worries about whether your insurance claim will be denied, and no waiting for reimbursements.
Save on treatment for pre-existing conditions. Insurance plans typically do not cover treatment for dental problems – such as missing teeth - that you had before buying coverage.
Use your plan as often as you want. Dental insurance limits your coverage to $1000-$1500 a year – about the cost of a single root canal and crown! After you reach your annual insurance limit, you pay out of pocket for your dental care. Thankfully, dental savings plans have no annual limit to worry about.
Everyone qualifies for a dental savings plan. There are no age or health restrictions, and the membership fee is the same for everyone who joins a plan.