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Best Dental Plans for Seniors in 2019

Our experts have researched 14 dental plans and recommend 10 of the best options for seniors.

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Top 10 Highest Ranked Senior Dental Plans for 2019

There’s no age limit for wanting to have a beautiful smile, and seniors often have special dental needs. Unfortunately, many seniors face coming off of company health coverage options when they retire, and most Medicare sponsored plans offer minimal or no dental coverage. This can leave a majority of aging individuals in need of a dental insurance plan at an affordable cost. To ease the search, we have compared a number of companies concerning their availability, the number of in-network providers, coverage options, and cost. Here is our updated listing of the top ten senior dental plans for 2019.

How We Chose Our Top List

Shopping for a quality dental plan? If so, our top 10 list covers everything you need to know. We researched the best dental insurance plans for seniors, looking at premiums, benefits and discounts, convenience, wait periods, account portals, and more. Don’t go another day without the perfect dental plan in place, especially if you’re a retiring senior.

14
Plans considered
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Experts consulted
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Plans selected
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Hours of research
1. Guardian
Ease of use Excellent
Service & Response Excellent
Pricing Excellent

Guardian offers three primary dental insurance plans that can help seniors enjoy better oral health without breaking the bank. Of all of the companies reviewed, Guardian appears to offer the best coverage at the best rates. They have an extensive network of providers and service locations, but there is a catch: Guardian is only available in about 20 states currently. However, seniors residing in those states can use Guardian’s ‘search by zip code’ function and find some great deals and dental coverage. Plans often cover the full cost of preventive care such as standard cleanings and x-rays, while offering up to 90 percent discounts on basic procedures like extractions or fillings.

Pros
  • Preventive care is wholly covered with in and out-of-network dental providers
  • Guardian has more than 100,000 in-network dental providers
  • The dental cost estimator online is accurate for customers
  • Easy to use online account portal
Cons
  • Plans for individuals are only currently available in approximately 20 states
  • Waiting periods for nearly all plans

Pricing

Guardian has three featured dental plans: Advantage Gold PPO, Advantage Silver PPO and the Advantage Bronze PPO. The cost of each plan varies depending on the state you live in and the type of coverage you need. On average, these plans range from a budget-conscious $16 per month up to comprehensive coverage expenses around $60 monthly, but will also vary between individual plans and family plans.

The Bottom Line

Seniors not only appreciate the value of Guardian dental plans, but they also find that navigating their online system to be rather easy and safe. Using a tablet, computer or smartphone, policyholders can quickly access a list of providers, track claims, get dental work cost estimates and explore the more than 101,000 participating dentists with Guardian. This provider also requires minimal claim forms (if any) and pays out claims rather quickly with turnarounds averaging 2-14 days.

2. Humana
Ease of use Excellent
Service & Response Excellent
Pricing Excellent

Humana is one of the nation’s largest dental insurance providers, and they offer plans for employers, groups and individuals. Besides having highly rated customer service and affordable plans, Humana is popular with seniors because they offer special veteran’s programs and a remarkable loyalty program available to most consumers. These plans often include discounts on hearing exams, alternative medical therapies, prescription discounts and can even be combined with vision insurance. With 130,000 dental providers in their network, finding care is a breeze via the mobile app, online or by calling customer service.

Pros
  • Benefits increase annually under Humana’s loyalty program
  • Combining dental/vision coverage gets policyholders great discounts on multiple services
  • Can see specialists without consulting primary care dentist
  • Convenient online features and a mobile app streamline the experience
  • Special discounts and packages for veterans
Cons
  • Higher fees for smokers
  • Standard enrollment fees
  • Not all plans are available in every state

Pricing

Humana offers numerous programs, with the most affordable being the Dental Savings Plus Discount Plan, which isn’t insurance but a simple rate plan accepted by participating dentists. Customers pay a flat annual rate and a $15 enrollment fee. The most popular packages have a $35 enrollment fee and costs vary depending on your home state, age, smoking status and the package chosen. Top options include Humana Preventive Plus Package for Veterans, Dental Preventive Plus and Dental Loyalty Plus, with the latter having a one-time deductible rather than annual one, making it the most comprehensive (and most expensive) plan. On average, these insurance plans cost between $22-65 monthly.

The Bottom Line

Convenient and cost-effective Humana dental insurance is the best deal on today’s market for those who’ve served in the military under the Preventive Plus for Veterans plan. Only a one-year commitment is required to enjoy the immense benefits of this exclusive program. Seniors can easily find a dentist, review benefits and coverage, access their account information, claim statuses, check on prescription prices, locate a pharmacy and even refill prescriptions through the MyHumana app.

3. Cigna
Ease of use Excellent
Service & Response Excellent
Pricing Excellent

With 85,000 dentists and 165,000 provider locations worldwide, Cigna is a well-known dental insurance provider. Those who love to travel or are considering living abroad for an extended period will find this to be a top choice for dental insurance. Cigna offers three various coverage options including an affordable preventive care package that covers 100% of associated costs such as exams, x-rays, basic cleanings and fluoride treatments. Seniors appreciate that Cigna Dental PPO plans don’t require patients to self-submit claims or pay the entire cost of treatments upfront. Cigna’s dentists file any claims and you simply pay the balance remaining. Another benefit is that there’s no need to choose a primary dentist if you prefer not to.

Pros
  • Coverage is available internationally and domestically through a large provider network
  • Bi-annual exams, cleanings and X-rays are included in plans
  • No primary dentist assignments for patients
  • No claims for patients to file
  • Easy to navigate patient portal app
Cons
  • Coverage and benefits will vary depending on your state
  • One year waiting period before higher-level coverage is active
  • Payout percentages for basic services are somewhat lower than other providers

Pricing

The myCigna Preventative plan only covers the cost of cleanings, fluoride applications, oral exams, X-rays, sealant and non-orthodontic space maintainers. These are covered 100% twice per year. The myCigna Dental 1000 plan maxes out at $1000 annually and has a $50 and $150 deductible for individual and family plans respectively. The myCigna Dental 1500 plan caps at $1500 per annum and has a one-time $50 deductible. While both plans have a one-year waiting period, they cover a portion of dental work such as root canals, crowns and fillings, the myCigna 1500 also covers orthodontics. Specific plan pricing varies tremendously by state, but typically range between $17-63 per month.

The Bottom Line

Seniors seeking flexible dental insurance at great rates with global coverage should give Cigna serious consideration. As a PPO, you have no primary dentist and have a large network of providers. Cigna also pays a portion of most services from out-of-network providers, making it very convenient. Aging individuals will find their website easy to navigate and will never have to worry about processing claims or paying out-of-pocket for covered expenses.

4. Careington
Ease of use Excellent
Service & Response Above Average
Pricing Excellent

Careington offers a dental discount program called the Careington 500 Series, which is not to be confused with traditional insurance. Rather, this type of program allows just about anyone to receive discounts ranging between 20 and 60 percent on an array of dental procedures. In fact, most preventive, restorative, and cosmetic procedures such as dentures and implants that aren’t typically covered are discounted with a Careington 500 plan. Customers simply pay a one-time annual fee to gain immediate coverage and access to a network of 67,000 participating dentists who offer discounted services for members. There are no annual spending caps, and as long as a provider is listed on the network, you can change dentists at any time.

Pros
  • Low one-time enrollment cost
  • Unlimited benefits
  • Free benefits for hearing and vision needs, prescriptions and some specialty healthcare
  • No referral necessary to see specialists
  • No waiting periods or health restrictions
Cons
  • May not be as comprehensive as traditional insurance
  • Plan members pay all costs not covered by the program

Pricing

Careington offers straightforward annual prices that are $99 for most enrollees. There is a one-time $20 processing fee when signing up and benefits are available for use typically immediately or within a few days. Fee schedules and actual savings for each procedure are listed by the individual providers and will vary from dentist to dentist. If you aren’t happy with the plan, you can cancel within 30 days.

The Bottom Line

Careington dental plans are great for seniors looking for a low-cost option to traditional insurance. It’s excellent for those who don’t require major dental work but is also a wise choice for those needing dentures. There are no health checks, age-requirements or pre-authorizations needed before seeking treatment under the Careington Dental program, nor is there a long waiting period so you can seek care right away. You’ll also enjoy the extra discounts for vision, hearing and prescription services. Sign up today to enjoy significant savings without dealing with insurance paperwork.

5. Aetna
Ease of use Excellent
Service & Response Above Average
Pricing Above Average

While it’s one of the most popular insurer’s in the nation with a wide network of providers, Aetna primarily only deals with dental group plans. Therefore, dental insurance options are only available in a few states such as Alaska, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Delaware and Illinois. To those who have the option, Aetna is a solid provider of dental plans with numerous options for consumers to consider. Seniors may be tempted by benefits such as coverage for dentures after a waiting period and the low monthly rates for individuals and families.

Pros
  • Premium plans cover 100% of preventive treatments and 80% on most plans
  • Easy to navigate website with convenient online claim forms and tracking
  • Coverage for dentures after a waiting period
Cons
  • Individual plans are limited to a handful of states currently
  • Waiting periods from six months to a year and a half
  • Payments must be made online

Pricing

Depending on your state of residence and current health condition, premiums will vary. On average, the lowest premiums ranged between $25 and $31, while upgraded plans averaged $33 to $47. These are some of the most reasonable rates on the market, making Aetna dental insurance a deal for those who are eligible.

The Bottom Line

Again, while availability is highly limited, those who can get Aetna should give their plans a hard look. With such low rates and exceptional coverage through a wide network of top-notch dentists, it’s a great way to save money and maintain oral health. Seniors appreciate that Aetna will pay up to 80% of denture repairs and offers generous coverage for new dentures and replacements.

6. Liberty
Ease of use Above Average
Service & Response Above Average
Pricing Above Average

The Liberty Dental Discount Plan is a wonderful option for those not seeking a long-term commitment or another monthly bill for a traditional insurance program. Savings average between 10-20% for the majority of one’s dental services with extra benefits for preventive cleanings and x-rays. Seniors love this program because there is a senior rate and they can begin receiving discounts immediately for even major services like crowns, dentures, implants, root canals and much more. Furthermore, there are no deductibles or maximums and patients simply pay the discounted rates directly to the provider for their services, so there’s also no paperwork or claims to file. Currently, Liberty Dental is available in: California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Missouri, New York, New Jersey and Texas.

Pros
  • Low out-of-pocket cost for most procedures
  • Zero deductibles and no maximum spending limits
  • Coverage begins immediately
  • Most pre-existing dental issues are covered
  • No required referrals to see specialists
Cons
  • Must choose a primary care dentist that entire family must use
  • Policies are available in a limited number of states

Pricing

Because of its diverse coverage across the nation, the cost of individual plans and family plans will vary. In general, individual Liberty Dental plans cost between $75-$100, while family plans average $125-175 annually. Seniors 65 and up qualify for special discounts that will depend upon their plan. Prepare to pay a $20 enrollment fee when signing up.

The Bottom Line

Seniors seeking access to emergency care or who are looking to have some major dental work done will find Liberty Dental to be an appealing choice. As a dental discount program, most pre-existing conditions will be covered and you can save as much as you want all year long without limits. Low one-time rates and the lack of filing insurance claims are additional perks any customer appreciates.

7. Delta
Ease of use Above Average
Service & Response Average
Pricing Above Average

Delta dental policy holders can choose between 140,000 network providers. This company is the largest in the nation and offers both an HMO-type plan where you choose providers and see up-front cost and a PPO plan where you can get extra discounts by using the preferred provider network and choosing a primary dentist. On average, seniors can save about 45% on basic and major services through Delta plans. However, these programs are only currently available to residents of 15 states and Washington DC. A truly unique benefit of choosing Delta is that they have the ability to dictate the maximum out-of-pocket costs within several of its plans. For example, they may specify that a crown will cost policyholders a maximum of $300, etc.

Pros
  • Customers can choose between a PPO plan or an HMO-type plan
  • Upfront fee listings available from providers
  • Some services have maximum out-of-pocket costs to customers
Cons
  • Fairly high monthly rates for coverage
  • Rates increase for those 50+
  • Only available in a limited number of states

Pricing

There are too many potential cost factors in determining a monthly average for Delta’s policies. However, the Delta Dental Premier coverage for one person averages $50, $100 for two people and $154 for a family plan. These averages will depend on whether you choose the HMO or PPO type plan and the age of those to be listed on the policy. Most packages cover two preventive sessions annually 100%.

The Bottom Line

Delta Dental is ideal for seniors looking for a reliable program with a large network of providers to choose from. Budget minded seniors can see up-front costs of services with potential providers before making a choice, so there are no surprises at the dentist office. If you have the need for major dental services such as dentures, root canals and crowns, Delta Dental deserves to be a candidate on your list.

8. UnitedHealthcare
Ease of use Above Average
Service & Response Average
Pricing Average

As one of the nation’s most recognized healthcare insurance providers, it only stands to reason that UnitedHealthcare would have a strong dental network that is larger than most competitors. While the savings are consistent and predictable with dental insurance from UnitedHealthcare, prepare to pay a pretty penny for comprehensive and premium plans. There are some cheaper plans with higher copays and lower coverage limitations for budget minded seniors.

The biggest thing to keep in mind before enrolling in a UnitedHealthcare dental insurance plans is that there are long waiting periods for procedures beyond preventive care. For example, a 4-6-month wait is required for fillings and extractions and major services like root canals aren’t covered for 12 months. There are also strict limitations concerning pre-existing conditions such as broken dentures or teeth.

Pros
  • Plans geared toward senior needs such as dentures are available
  • Deductibles are low for most programs especially family plans
  • One of the largest selections of in-network providers
  • Preventive care is available immediately
Cons
  • Long waiting periods for major services between four months and one year
  • No coverage for pre-existing conditions like dentures, broken teeth and bridge issues
  • Challenging to explore pricing levels without making an official inquiry to company

Pricing

As mentioned, the estimated cost of UnitedHealthcare’s six dental plans are not widely available without searching every state, possible age brackets, health issues, etc. Therefore, we recommend contacting the company directly for their updated 2019 rates. However, if they fall in line with their healthcare rates, expect them to be on the higher end of the scale.

The Bottom Line

Seniors who prefer an in-network provider will enjoy the options with United HealthCare, as they offer several deductible and premium levels. However, there are options to use out-of-network providers, but they may cost you more out-of-pocket for procedures. One of the greatest benefits for seniors with this company is that they offer age-consideration plans that are designed for elderly customers. These policies specifically cover common senior dental needs such as dentures, bridges and dental implants.

9. Spirit Dental & Vision
Ease of use Average
Service & Response Average
Pricing Average

Spirit Dental is a standout amid dental insurance providers today for a number of reasons that will specifically appeal to seniors. In addition to plans with in-network provider options and those where you can pick your own dentist, Spirit Dental also requires no waiting period for basic dental care or even major services such as bridges or crowns. This provider is senior friendly in that these customers get a remarkable two free exams and three annual cleanings included with either plan. Furthermore, the longer you maintain policies, the higher your savings. Spirit Dental offers vision, life and disability add-on policies in addition to dental benefits. They don’t deny any application, but do exclude certain pre-existing conditions such as broken dentures, teeth or implants.

Pros
  • No applications are denied
  • Extremely senior friendly policies
  • $100 lifetime deductible
  • $5,000 annual benefit maximum is higher than most competitors
  • Company supports the Smile Network Foundation
Cons
  • Only covers dental issues obtained during coverage periods
  • Out of network providers cost more to consumers

Pricing

Spirit Dental plans cover two people, but there are also family plans. Depending on the coverage you choose, pricing may be higher than the averages of these couple’s plans that had reasonable rates ranging from $36-74 monthly. Family plans will cost more. These plans’ benefits range from $1200-$5000 with a lifetime $100 deductible. Preventive care is 100% covered, and vision insurance can be added for $7 monthly.

The Bottom Line

Seniors looking to stay with a provider long-term will enjoy greater benefits with Spirit Dental compared to other programs. Their policy rates are highly affordable, with most basic procedures covered at up to 65% in just the first year. These savings can increase to 90% by the third year of coverage. Major savings are also to be had on more expensive treatments and dental implements. There’s no arguing that Spirit Dental will raise senior’s spirits with exceptional plans and perks.

10. MetLife
Ease of use Average
Service & Response Average
Pricing Average

MetLife is best known for dealing with small and large enterprises to handle group life, dental and other types of insurance for their employees. However, MetLife does offer family and individual programs through their MetLife TakeAlong Dental plans. Essentially, this is designed as ‘portable’ dental insurance that can be transferred between jobs and even into retirement via a Preferred Provider Organization through MetLife. This gives seniors the option to choose a lower cost provider in the network while still enjoying the freedom to choose any dentist or specialist they choose at higher rates. MetLife recently announced an upcoming program that will be available in three states called the Dental Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)/Managed Care that offers more variety concerning coverage and has no maximum limitation on annual use.

Pros
  • Coverage for 24/7 emergency care and services
  • Retirees under an existing plan can easily transition into a PPO individual or family plan
  • Expanded diagnostic benefits for procedures like brush biopsies
  • Set fees for multiple service procedures and materials to minimize fee confusion
Cons
  • Very few options for individual dental plans
  • Pricing disclosure is limited online
  • Web portal is more designed for businesses and employee members

Pricing

There are no set prices for MetLife TakeAlong Dental plans, as this will depend on whether the enrollee is a current member transitioning to a new plan, their age and other factors such as smoking habits. Of course, the Dental Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)/Managed Care program is yet to launch, so rates are yet to be announced by MetLife. However, members enjoy discounts from 15-50% and coverage for more than 400 dental procedures.

The Bottom Line

MetLife’s dental programs are a great way to enhancing retirement benefits and keep a smile on your face and those of your loved ones. With coverage for services such as implants, dentures, veneers and other commonly needed dental implements for seniors, Met Life might just be the right option to meet your needs. If you prefer HMO care options, don’t forget to look into the new plan if you reside in California, Florida, Texas or New York.

Why is Dental Insurance Important for Seniors?

As we age, our oral health becomes more complicated and yet more detrimental to overall wellbeing. Seniors have special needs such as dealing with gum disease, root decay, broken or lost teeth and even arthritic conditions that can lead to dental problems. Retiring seniors especially need to begin looking for a plan to avoid costly coverage gaps, as Medicare offers no type of dental coverage in general.

Most dental insurance companies offer an array of plans that range from basic preventive-only coverage and discount savings plans to comprehensive traditional packages and ‘gold-level’ plans. Except for dental discount plans, most programs have a six-month or longer waiting period, especially for major dental work coverage to kick in. This makes finding a new policy before losing any current coverage essential for seniors.

How Much is Senior Dental Insurance?

Standalone dental insurance plans can range anywhere from $30 per month to over $100 monthly for individual plans, with family programs averaging triple those estimates depending on coverage levels. Deductibles typically average between $50-$150 per year, but some plans offer a one-time deductible for premium policies. The most affordable option for those seeking temporary or low-cost care can invest between $75 and $150 in a dental insurance discount program that offers enrollees substantial discounts on all services beginning within days of signing up. Costs will vary for all types of coverage by state, age, the number of enrollees and your program selection.

Senior Dental Plans and Dentures

Dentures are often available under most dental insurance plans and dental savings/discount programs. However, under most traditional dental insurance programs members will have to wait a year or more to qualify for denture-related services. The good news is, that most dental discount plans offer some level of denture coverage within days of enrollment for a small annual enrollment fee. Furthermore, it’s important to check each plan carefully to see if there is a pre-existing condition clause that prohibits dentures and repairs unless the teeth are lost or broken during a period of coverage under their policy.