Wondering if dental insurance is still worth it after retirement?
When you retire, you might feel like the dental portion of your insurance policy is an expense you can no longer keep up with. Since you don't have an income anymore, it's tempting to cut corners anywhere you can. But is dental insurance really something you should give up?
In this guide, we'll walk you through what you need to know about dental plans for seniors and provide you with the assistance you need to secure a plan. After all, with OHIP coverage after 65 being limited to certain services, exploring a plan which includes dental can wind up saving you thousands of dollars in the event you need to have some work done.
How Canadian Dental Insurance Works
First, you'll need to know how the insurance system works, so you can decide whether or not it's right for you when you retire.
The right insurance plan depends on what you can afford, and of course, the types of dental issues you have, anticipate or in some cases, are genetically prone to. In all cases however, basic preventative care is paramount so a dental plan can no doubt help with that.
One of the great advantages of living in Canada is that we don't have to choose a plan or a doctor based on network availability. All Canadian dentists, orthodontists, periodontists etc bill direct to most major insurance companies. In the rare case they don't bill direct, you are able to submit your receipt to your provider for a reimbursement.
The insurance premiums you pay depend on factors including the insurance company, and the plan you pick. Even when you're not getting work done, keep in mind that you'll need to keep paying the monthly premium.
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Will You Lose Money?
If you're paying premiums when you're not using dental services, it can feel like you're losing money. Some people would argue that may be true. However others tend to make the most of their plans and utilize the yearly maximums for (as mentioned above) preventative care; ultimately making the plan worth it.
Insurance companies do need to make profits so they can stay in business, just like any company. However, insurance does exist for an important reason: you'll be protected if something bad happens. That said, dental insurance may not be as crucial as other types of insurance.
When you have homeowners' insurance or health insurance, that's because you literally couldn't afford the worst-case scenario. The risk of not having insurance is hard to afford.
If you're getting standard dental care done, including cleanings and x-rays, you might lose a couple hundred dollars in paying insurance premiums. These preventative-care treatments are covered by insurance. While one x-ray paid out of pocket may not worth investing in an entire annual dental policy, imagine having an dental issue where multiple x-rays are required?
The Worst-Case Scenario
When you're retired, saving a couple hundred dollars a year can seem well worth it. But if the worst happens with your dental health, will you be prepared to face it without insurance?
Maybe you end up needing a root canal, some fillings, or a crown. That's on top of the cost of your routine preventative care. This is where your insurance becomes helpful. For more insight on the cost of a root canal in Canada, be sure to refer to our publication on the topic.
However, dental insurance isn't always as helpful as you might want it to be - it depends on your policy. Some insurance policies have low maximums, and once you reach that amount, you'll have to pay for everything on your own. To make your policy worth it, look for one with a maximum that will cover what you might need in a given year.
Having insurance can also help you pay lower fees when you're at the dentist. Keep in mind that cosmetic dentistry generally isn't covered by insurance. But insurance exists to help you pay for the serious work you might need to get done.
Should You Wait to Get Insurance?
Since insurance is most helpful when you have more serious problems, it's tempting to wait until you "really need it." However, no one can anticipate an emergency and the on set of a tooth infection has been described as one of the most painful experiences people have had.
Insurance companies have probationary or waiting periods to discourage people from doing this. This means that for a period of time after you start the insurance policy, it won't cover any work done. You can't wait until you need insurance - you'll have to start the process when things are still fine with your teeth. That way, you'll have an active insurance policy at the moment you need it.
A Dental Plan is More Affordable Than You Think
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Is Dental Care That Important?
You're probably starting to see some of the ways dental insurance can help you out after retirement. You might spend a little more on premiums in an average year. But since you'll be living on a budget, you'll need your insurance to help you pay when more serious problems arise.
Still, it's tempting to think your oral health isn't all that important - especially when you aren't having any problems. Couldn't you just skip the routine exams and save some money, at least for the first few years? Let's take a look at why that's not a good idea.
Your oral health is actually closely linked to your overall health. What's going on in your mouth can give a hint as to what's happening elsewhere in your body - and it can also affect your overall health.
How does this work? Like most parts of your body, your mouth is full of bacteria. Most of these bacteria are just fine and can be kept under control with regular brushing and flossing. But when your mouth isn't clean enough, the bacteria can get out of control.
This can cause many issues, and not just in your mouth. In addition to gum disease and tooth decay, research has linked excess bacteria in the mouth to a number of other diseases.
Tooth Decay Becomes More Prevalant as We Age
Read our publication on the topic here.View article
The Best Dental Insurance for Seniors in Canada
You can't afford to neglect your oral health, especially after retirement. A dental insurance should be a priority, even if it costs a little bit more money. After all, what price can you put on preserving your health for years to come?
Wondering what the best dental plans for seniors are? We have some great options for you - contact us to learn more.