Health and Wellness: Dental coverage in retirement – Dallas County News

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The Dallas County Health Navigators frequently talk with persons who have retired and were caught unaware that basic Medicare does not cover dental care. Many new retirees have faithfully gone to their dentist every six months for their entire life, and are shocked to discover their Medicare insurance won’t cover an exam and cleaning. This is important to know, because in Iowa, the average cost of a dental exam, cleaning, and X-rays is $250-$350.
Poor oral health may lead to complications with health conditions such as respiratory disease, heart disease and diabetes. Good oral health is an important part of staying healthy in retirement. A healthy mouth lets you eat the foods you like, and smile with confidence.
There are some options for dental coverage in retirement:
Can you continue with the dental insurance you had through your employer, paying a premium?
The DMACC Dental Hygiene program provides low-cost preventive dental services done by students.
Primary Health Care (two locations in Des Moines) charges on a sliding fee scale.
Ask your dentist about a payment plan.
Is it cheaper to pay for your exam and cleaning, rather than monthly insurance premiums?
Before you retire is the time to decide these things.


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