talkingMEDICARE; News to Use for Agents in the Senior Market
Proper Dental Coverage Helps Insure Better Health!
As a senior there are many dental insurance coverage options. It important to consider in-network providers, types of services covered, deductibles and co-pays.
Why Oral Health Is Vital to Overall Good Health
- Gum disease, an active bacterial infection in your mouth (also called periodontal disease), is linked to other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia. In fact, if you have chronic gum disease, you’re almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as someone with healthy gums.
- Gum disease may increase the risk of stroke. Harmful bacteria in your mouth can make you more susceptible to developing blood clots and eventually increase the chance of a stroke.
- If you have diabetes, it can be even harder for your body to fight infections. That puts you at greater risk for gum disease. What’s more, gum disease may make it more difficult for people with diabetes to stabilize their blood sugar levels. Good daily oral hygiene and early detection of gum disease are essential for people with diabetes.
- Source: http://seniorsoralhealth.org/general-oral-health/
52% of people aged 50 and older regardless of income or education either didn’t know dental wasn’t covered under Medicare or incorrectly believed that it was. – Oral Health America’s 2015 Public Opinion Poll
“Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care, dental procedures, or supplies, like cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, dental plates, or other dental devices. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) will pay for certain dental services that you get when you’re in a hospital. Part A can pay for inpatient hospital care if you need to have emergency or complicated dental procedures, even though the dental care isn’t covered.”
“States are required to provide dental benefits to children covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but states choose whether to provide dental benefits for adults.”
VA offers comprehensive dental care benefits to certain qualifying Veterans.
- To determine benefits and eligibility visit: https://www.va.gov/dental/
- Find a VA Dental Clinic: https://www.va.gov/DENTAL/Dental-Clinic-Locations-Finder.asp
National Institutes of Health U.S. National Library of Medicine | This site includes information on terms, prevention, treatments, tests, resources and more: https://medlineplus.gov/dentalhealth.html
Oral Care for Older Adults: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2015/10/keep-your-mouth-healthy
Medicare Interactive | This site includes helpful information as well as a video on Medicare dental coverage: https://www.medicareinteractive.org/get-answers/medicare-covered-services/limited-medicare-coverage-vision-and-dental/resources-if-you-need-dental-coverage
Reduced-Cost or Free Dental Clinics
Needymeds Database | The clinics in this database offer dental services to area residents and are free, low cost, low cost with a sliding scale based on income, or offer some type of financial assistance: https://www.needymeds.org/dental-clinics
Free Clinics.com Database: https://www.freeclinics.com/
Community Health Centers | Health centers supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration provide health care to patients even if they can’t pay. There are nearly 1,400 health centers around the country. About three-quarters of the centers also provide dental care: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/
Dental Schools | For a complete list of dental schools, visit the American Dental Association website: https://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/search-dental-programs#t=us&sort=relevancy
Programs for Dental Assistance
The Eldercare Locator | A public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, will connect you to services for older adults and their families. Visit www.eldercare.gov or call 1-800-677-1116.
Oral Health in Rural Communities: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/oral-health
Oral Health & Aging from Health Resources & Services Administration
- Brushing: Information for Caregivers: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2018-08/Brushing-508_0.pdf
- Flossing: Information for Caregivers: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2018-08/Flossing-508.pdf
- Dry Mouth & Older Adults: Information for Caregivers: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2018-08/DryMouth%26OlderAdults-508.pdf
- Finding Low-Cost Dental Care: Information for Caregivers: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2018-08/FindingLowCostDentalCare-508.pdf