On October 15, open enrollment for Medicare began. Millions of seniors in Illinois will once again face the challenge of finding the right Medicare coverage, including the need to decide between Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. While the primary focus will be on medical and prescription coverage, it is important not to ignore the potential impact of dental coverage.
Most Medicare participants fail to understand Medicare does not include routine, preventive dental procedures that are critical to longevity and overall health. Currently, Medicare benefits only apply to surgical dental procedures carried out in hospitals. As a result, seniors must either pay for dental services completely out-of-pocket or try to find a Medicare supplement that provides high-quality, affordable and accessible dental care.
Unfortunately, this is extremely difficult. Most Medicare dental supplements are low-cost and poorly designed. In addition, these plans have very limited networks of inexperienced dentists.
“We understand the challenges seniors in this situation face, which is one reason why we offer the UDP Prevention Plan,” commented Dr. Lou Graham at University Dental Professionals. He continued, “We make the search for experienced and knowledgeable dentists easy and provide the care seniors need at a rate they can afford. Our Plan allows these patients to enjoy friendly, personalized care at a consistent, annual fee.”
Furthermore, the negative impact of poor dental care on the overall health of seniors can be significant. A range of statistics tell the story:
- Only 29% of seniors have dental coverage.
- 1 in 5 adults aged 65 or older have no natural teeth remaining, and complete tooth loss becomes twice as prevalent by age 75.
- People who still have 20 or more teeth at age 70 are significantly more likely to have a longer lifespan than those with fewer teeth.
- 70% of adults over the age of 65 have advanced periodontitis. This is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
- In Texas, nearly 4 million senior citizens struggle with periodontal disease – a disease that has been strongly linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and other serious conditions.
While dental membership plans have existed for more than 20 years, most patients are unaware of this option. At the same time, ease of use and enrollment are two of the most significant benefits.
Other facts to know about the UDP Prevention Plan include:
- All, routine preventive care is included at a fixed cost per month.
- Benefits are available immediately without any waiting period.
- There are no annual limits, deductibles or co-pays.
As seniors consider the benefits of the UDP Prevention Plan, it is important to keep a couple of dates in mind. Open enrollment for Medicare started on October 15, 2022, and ends December 7, 2022. This is the time to drop an existing dental supplement that is not working and to enroll in a better form of coverage.
Families interested in learning more should feel free to contact University Dental Professionals via their website or by calling 773-684-5702.