I hope anyone nearing age 65 realizes that Medicare does not cover routine dental procedures. As recently reported in a terrific retirement blog, seniors pay more than $1,100 a year for dental work. But what is most troubling to me is that two years ago the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation reported that one in five Medicare enrollees said the high cost of dental care is a barrier to getting care. That’s dangerous, as not keeping up with dental care can impact your quality of life—if your teeth and gums don’t stay strong-and can lead to illnesses.
If you are on the cusp of retiring, and currently have good dental insurance benefits through work, talk to your dentist about whether there is any major work that will need to be done in the next few years; you might want to consider accelerating that work while you are still covered.
Once you’re retired-and for anyone currently working who doesn’t have coverage- I want you to look into a dental savings plan. This is not insurance. It’s better! Many insurance plans have an annual maximum coverage of $1,500 or so. With a dental savings plan you pay a flat monthly fee-you will be amazed how affordable it is-and then you are eligible to receive discounted services from a dentist that participates in the plan. I have saved plenty using a dental savings plan. I encourage you to check out your options at DentalPlans.com