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Top 10 Highest Ranked Senior Dental Plans for 2019

Seniors consistently require quality care for their teeth to maintain a healthy-looking smile, and that means having their dental needs taken care of on a regular basis. The problem for seniors is that when they retire and lose their dental insurance coverage from their employer, they are then left to fend for themselves. Medicare sponsored plans offer little to no dental coverage, and it leaves seniors having to figure out what to do in order to be able to afford dental services. Seniors either need to pay for everything out of pocket or can make an investment into a dental insurance plan to help take care of the costs. 

 

For seniors interested in getting dental insurance but not wanting to do tons of research into which companies and plans are ideal – you’re in luck as we put our experts to work to find the country’s top solutions. Our experts looked at numerous companies who provide dental insurance plans and looked at factors including their availability, the number of in-network providers, coverage options, and pricing details. 


Below are our updated listings of the top ten senior dental plans for 2019.

 

  • Guardian Dental – Their coverage is only available in a few states, but Guardian offers affordable and comprehensive dental programs with benefits that seniors will appreciate.

  • Humana Dental – Is the largest dental insurer in the US – Humana’s policies also come with additional perks and add-ons such as dental and vision packages at great rates.

  • Cigna Dental – A superb option for seniors who travel regularly or plan to move overseas – Cigna boasts a strong worldwide network of 167,000 qualified dentists.

  • Careington Dental – Careington dental plans are not traditional insurance – they have low-cost savings cards that offer significant discounts with certain providers.

  • Aetna Dental – Dental plans for individuals are limited to just select states, but Aetna’s complete dental plans are affordable and packed full of benefits which seniors need.

  • Liberty Dental – Operating as a dental insurance discount plan provider, Liberty Dental offers affordable plans with excellent discounts for residents within certain states.

  • Delta Dental – Delta Dental is one of the country’s biggest dental insurance providers – supporting individuals living within 15 states and the District of Columbia, and have 140,000 participating dental professionals within their network. 

  • UnitedHealthcare Dental – Featuring a large network and several plan options, UnitedHealthcare’s dental coverage can help address senior’s long-term oral health needs.

  • Spirit Dental – Through its partnership with Ameritas Classic Network – Spirit Dental offer incremental savings to reward customer loyalty at no additional cost.

  • MetLife Dental – As a sizeable player in the insurance industry, many seniors have coverage with MetLife, and the company has a few different dental plans available.

How We Chose Our Top List

If you are on the hunt to find a great dental plan at a quality price, then you’ve come to the right website. Our top 10 companies list has a solid collection of information that will assist you in narrowing your search down. We conducted a great deal of research to determine which dental insurance plans were best for seniors. Some of the criteria we took into account was looking into premiums, what benefits and discounts are available, managing accounts, wait periods, convenience factors, and other elements. If you’re a senior who is without dental insurance currently but really wants to get some coverage as soon as possible, then read on to learn which options may be right for you and your needs. 

14 Companies Examined

3 Experts Consulted

10 Companies Selected

 

24 Hours of Research Done

1. Guardian Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Guardian is ranked as our number option for dental insurance in terms of the best coverage at the best rates. They offer three primary dental insurance plans that work well for seniors who are looking for a cost-efficient solution. The only major drawback of Guardian is that they only accept customers from about 20 states, but do provide an extensive network of dentists and service locations for those who qualify. Its website has a ‘search by zip code’ feature that allows seniors to track down some great dental coverage at favorable prices. Their plans are inclusive to cover 100% of the costs for preventive care including standard cleanings and x-rays and provide discounts of up to 90% on routine procedures for seniors such as fillings or extractions. 

Pros
  • Preventive care is covered 100% with in and out-of-network dental providers

  • Guardian has built a network that includes more than 100,000 dental providers

  • The dental cost estimator on their website is accurate 

  • Have an easy to use online account portal

Cons
  • Plans for individuals are only currently available in approximately 20 states

  • There are waiting periods for almost every plan they offer 

Pricing

Guardians three featured dental plans are Advantage Gold PPO, Advantage Silver PPO, and the Advantage Bronze PPO. Pricing differs from plan to plan depending on what amount of coverage is needed, and from state to state as well. Plans typically range on average from just $16 per month and get up to $60 monthly for individuals, and are of course higher for those seeking out family plans for coverage. 

The Bottom Line

Seniors will find comfort in using Guardian’s online system as it’s easy to navigate, and safe to use. Policyholders can use their mobile phone, tablet, or computer to access Guardian’s network of dental providers, discover over 101,000 dentists which the company works with, track their claims, and receive work estimates. The company’s dental plans come at fantastic value, requires minimal claim forms – if any at all, and pays out claims with turnarounds averaging anywhere from 2 to 14 days. 

 

2. Humana Dental

Ease of use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Recognized as being one of the country’s largest dental insurance providers, Humana has a deep and diverse collection of affordable plans for individuals, groups, and employers. Humana is a popular option for seniors to pursue as they have a solid loyalty program in place, have special programs for veterans, and their customer service team is top-notch to deal with. Discounts are provided to policyholders for hearing exams, alternative medical therapies, prescription discounts, and plans can even be combined with vision insurance. With 130,000 dental providers in their network, finding care can be easily done through their mobile app, website, or by calling customer service.

Pros
  • Benefits increase year over year through Humana’s generous loyalty program

  • By combining dental and vision coverage – nets policyholders great discounts on many of their services

  • Can go to see specialists without consulting a primary care dentist

  • Convenient website and mobile app features

  • Special discounts and packages offered to veterans

Cons
  • Those who smoke will experience higher fees 

  • Have enrollment fees

  • Not every plan is available in every state

Pricing

A wide selection of plans are available to purchase – starting with the most affordable option, the Dental Savings Plus Discount Plan has a flat annual rate and a $15 enrollment fee, and isn’t actually insurance but rather a simple rate plan that is accepted by participating dentists. The most commonly purchased plans start with a $35 enrollment fee, and the costs vary for each one depending on a few factors including the package desired, the state you reside in, your age, and if you are a smoker or non-smoker. The top plan options sold by the company are the Humana Preventive Plus Package for Veterans, Dental Preventive Plus and Dental Loyalty Plus, with the latter having a one-time deductible rather than an annual one, making it the most complete but most expensive plan. These insurance plans cost on average between $22 to $65 per month.

The Bottom Line

For individuals who have served in the military – Humana provides the best all-around dental insurance deal via their Preventive Plus for Veterans Plan. This exclusive offering is only a one-year commitment to gain their extensive benefits. Seniors of all kinds can easily find a dentist, access their account information, review claim statuses, review benefits and coverage, check on prescription prices, locate a pharmacy and refill prescriptions through the company’s MyHumana mobile app. 

 

3. Cigna Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Cigna has built a solid reputation as being a quality dental insurance provider and has amassed 85,000 dentists and 165,000 provider locations across its global network. A key benefit of Cigna is that their policyholders can live wherever they want or travel abroad and get access to dentists and coverage through their insurance. The company has three different plans available, and preventive dental care covers 100% of the costs pertaining to exams, x-rays, basic cleanings, and fluoride treatments. Two nice aspects about how Cigna conduct business is they don’t require their policyholders to manually submit their claims, or pay for the whole cost of dental treatments while in the dentist office. Cigna has an agreement with all of their dental offices so that their staff will file claims for their customers, and only cover the outstanding balance that the insurance doesn’t take care of. A primary dentist doesn’t need to be chosen either, leaving the door open to try out various dentists if desired. 

Pros
  • International coverage is supported through their large provider network

  • Exams, cleanings, and x-rays are included to do twice per year 

  • No primary dentist exists, providing flexibility for patients 

  • Claims aren’t filed by patients – each dental office handles the admin work 

  • Management of their services are easily done via their patient app

Cons
  • Coverage and benefits vary state to state

  • There’s a one-year waiting period before the top-level coverage activates

  • The payout percentages for basic services are a bit lower than the average provider

Pricing

Each of their three plans differs in benefits offered and price points range from $17 to $63 per month – we briefly outline each plan below. 

 

  1. myCigna Preventative Plan – Is the most basic of their three plans – only covers the cost of cleanings, oral exams, x-rays, fluoride applications, and sealant and non-orthodontic space maintainers. These services are offered twice per year for patients 

  2. myCigna Dental 1000 Plan – Benefits max out at $1,000 per year, and the deductible is $50 for individuals and $150 for families. This plan includes everything from the above plan plus a portion of root canals, crowns, filling’s costs are covered. 

  3. myCigna Dental 1500 Plan – Benefits are capped at $1,500 annually, and there’s a one time deductible of $50. The top two plan’s features are provided, plus a portion of orthodontics are covered as well. 

 

Both the 1000 and 1500 plans have a one-year waiting period for the premium services to be available, and pricing fluctuates slightly depending on the state you reside in. 

The Bottom Line

The ability to get a good range of coverage at great rates, and with worldwide options make Cigna an excellent provider to consider for your dental insurance needs. No primary dentist, a large network of providers, and the company paying a portion of service fees from a non-network provider is a nice touch as well. The Cigna website is each to navigate which is a nice element for seniors, claims don’t need to be filed, and not having to pay out of pocket for expenses which are covered is a good advantage. 

 

4. Careington Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Careington is noted for having a dental discount program – the Careington 500 Series provides the opportunity to get discounts of 20% to 60% on a wide selection of procedures. Preventive, restorative, and cosmetic procedures that aren’t usually covered through insurance are discounted through the company’s 500 Series program. A one-time enrollment fee is charged plus an annual cost, then members can gain immediate coverage through the network of 67,000 participating dentists. No spending caps exist, and any of the dentists within the network can be used at any time. 

Pros
  • Just a low one-time enrollment cost needs to be paid 

  • Unlimited discounts are available 

  • Free benefits for hearing and vision needs, prescriptions and some specialty healthcare services can be tapped into 

  • No referral is necessary to see specialists

  • No waiting periods or health restrictions

Cons
  • Not as comprehensive as traditional dental insurance

  • Members pay all costs which aren’t covered by the program

Pricing

All it takes to become a member is paying a $20 processing fee, and the annual price for most individuals is $99. Discounts are available to take advantage of right away or a few short days after. Fee schedules and actual savings for each procedure are listed by each of the individual providers and do vary from dentist to dentist. If you aren’t completely satisfied with the plan it’s nice that you can cancel it within 30 days for a full refund. 

 

The Bottom Line

Seniors who are looking for a cost-effective dental program to save some money will find Careington to be an interesting option. For those potentially looking to get dentures and don’t need major dental work done will appreciate what the company has to offer. Health checks aren’t done, there are no age requirements or pre-authorizations needed before seeking out treatment, and the waiting period is minimal – so the program goes into effect fast. Bonus discounts for vision, hearing, and prescriptions are also fantastic. Lots of savings can be gained, and there’s no insurance paperwork to do which seniors will enjoy learning about. 

 

5. Aetna Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Aetna’s niche is dental group plans but are still one of the most popular insurance providers in the country. Only a few state’s residents can take advantage of their dental coverage – Alaska, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Delaware, and Illinois. Low monthly rates are available from Aetna for individuals and families, and seniors who want denture coverage can get it from the company after a waiting period concludes. 

Pros
  • Premium plans cover 100% of preventive treatments, and most of their plans take care of 80% of those costs

  • Their website is easy to use and has convenient claim forms and tracking abilities 

  • There is coverage for dentures after a waiting period wraps up 

Cons
  • Plans for individuals and families are currently limited to just a few states

  • Waiting periods consist from six months to a year and a half

  • Payments must be made online

Pricing

Premiums vary according to the state of residence and someone’s current health status. The lower-tier plans are roughly $25 to $31 per month, while the plans on the higher end of the spectrum are in the range of $33 to $47 on a monthly basis. These rates are very fair for all customers, and Aetna is an attractive option for those living in coverage supported states. 

The Bottom Line

If you are a resident in any of the above states, then Aetna should be strongly considered as a dental insurance provider. Their coverage is solid, rates are minimal, and the dental network offered is excellent to maintain good oral health. Denture coverage includes great compensation for new and replacements, and up to 80% of costs are covered for repairs. 

 

6. Liberty Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Liberty isn’t a traditional insurance program, and the company doesn’t lock down its customers long-term. Benefits for preventive cleanings and x-rays are the most generous offered by the provider, and most other dental services qualify for 10% to 20% discounts. Seniors will appreciate the fact that there’s a senior rate, and discounts are available immediately for all sorts of procedures such as dentures, implants, crowns, root canals, and other major services. No deductibles exist, maximums for discounts aren’t capped, discounted rates are paid right at a dental office with no reimbursements needed, and no claim paperwork is required. However, Liberty is limited – only residents in California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, and Texas are eligible to enroll. 

Pros
  • Low out-of-pocket expenses for most procedures

  • Zero deductibles and no maximum on spending limits

  • Coverage is active right away

  • Most pre-existing dental issues are covered

  • No referrals necessary in order to see specialists

Cons
  • Have to select a primary care dentist 

  • The plans are only available in a limited number of states

Pricing

Individual and family plan pricing fluctuates depending on which state you reside in, but as a general rule of thumb – individual plans range from $75 to $100 per year, and family plans fall between $125 to $175 on an annual basis. A $20 enrollment fee also applies when signing up. Seniors who are 65 years of age and older get special discounts according to their plan. 

The Bottom Line

Seniors who have needs that include possible emergency care or major dental work done will find Liberty to be an intriguing option to address those needs. Savings aren’t limited, any outstanding dental issues usually qualify, the rates are pretty good from a value perspective, and not having to file insurance claims are all nice aspects when dealing with the company. 

 

7. Delta Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Delta holds down the honor as being the largest dental insurance company in the country and has a vast network of 140,000 providers. Delta has two different types of plans, the HMO or the PPO – the HMO plan offers the ability to choose providers and see costs up-front, and the PPO plan nets policyholders extra discounts by using the preferred provider network and selecting a primary dentist. Seniors will be glad to know that they can save around 45% on basic and major dental procedures with Delta, but the unfortunate reality is that only residents in 15 states and Washington, DC, can gain coverage benefits. Delta offers the opportunity to communicate what the maximum out of pocket costs can be, for example, they may specify that policyholders can expect to pay a maximum of $300 out of pocket for a root canal. 

Pros
  • Customers can decide between a PPO plan or an HMO-type plan

  • Upfront procedure fees are available from providers

  • Some services have maximum out-of-pocket costs set for customers

Cons
  • Monthly rates are quite high for coverage

  • Rate go up for those who are 50 years of age or older

  • Coverage is limited to 15 states plus the District of Columbia

Pricing

There are many factors that play into the cost of a policy from Delta – the Delta Dental Premier coverage for an individual averages $50 per month, $100 for two people, and $154 for a family plan. Averages fluctuate depending on whether if the HMO or PPO type is selected, and the age or ages of people make an impact on pricing as well. Most plans at the very least take care of all the costs for two annual preventive sessions. 

The Bottom Line

Delta Dental appeals to seniors who want a dependable plan to tap into a large network of providers for dental work, who like to see what they can expect to pay for each procedure, and if any major services are needed – dentures, crowns, or root canals, for example, then this provider should be right in the mix to earn one’s business. 

 

8. UnitedHealthcare Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

UnitedHealthcare stands tall as one of the most identifiable healthcare insurance providers and have a strong dental coverage offering and network that trumps most of the competition. Comprehensive and premium plans are of good quality, but the price points are relatively high despite gaining some savings value here and there. Lower level plans have less coverage offered and have higher copays, but may appeal to seniors who are budget focused. 

Long waiting periods for procedures outside of preventive care is a reality, and seniors who are considering services from UnitedHealthcare need to be aware of these conditions. Waiting periods include four to six month waits for fillings and extractions, and more major procedures such as root canals aren’t covered for a whole year. The company is also firm on its stance towards limiting coverage for dental issues that already exist – fixing damaged dentures or teeth offers no compensation at all. 

Pros
  • Plans aimed at senior’s needs such as dentures are available

  • Deductibles are fairly low for most plans, especially family plans

  • Have one of the largest networks of providers

  • Preventive care is available right away 

Cons
  • Have lengthy waiting periods for major services – between four months and one year

  • No coverage for pre-existing problems including denture maintenance needed, broken teeth, and bridge issues

  • Is challenging to explore pricing for procedures without contacting the company

Pricing

UnitedHealthcare has six different dental plans in place, but the estimated costs of them differ from state to state, depends on age brackets, any current health issues that exist, and other variables impact pricing. If their pricing is consistent with their healthcare rates, and we believe it is, then their dental rates will also be expensive. 

The Bottom Line

Have numerous deductible and premium level options as long as seniors operate within their network of providers. Out of network providers can be used, but more out of pocket costs are likely to occur. Seniors will enjoy that they have plans which were designed for older customers so that coverage for dental needs such as dentures, implants, and bridges are included in the policies. 

 

9. Spirit Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Spirit Dental appeases seniors by providing dental insurance coverage which appeals to their specific needs – good on them. A significant benefit of the provider is that they have no waiting periods for both preventive care and even major procedures. Some plans limit policyholders to their provider network, while other plans offer flexibility to go outside of the network to choose your own dentist. Seniors get two free exams per year, and three cleanings are covered on an annual basis – one more than most providers offer. The longer a policy is held, the more savings are earned, and all applications are approved. Other policies can be picked up from the company including vision, disability, and life. Some pre-existing issues offer no coverage – broken dentures or teeth, or implants are some which are excluded from policies. 

Pros
  • Every application is accepted 

  • Senior-friendly policies

  • A lifetime deductible of $100 

  • The annual benefit maximum of $5,000 is higher than most competitors offer 

  • The company supports a wonderful organization – the Smile Network Foundation

Cons
  • Current existing dental issues aren’t covered before a policy is purchased 

  • Customers can expect to pay more out of pocket costs when using a dentist that’s outside of their provider network

Pricing

Spirit Dental’s plans take care of two people, but family plans are also available to buy. Depending on the level of coverage desired for couples, the plans range in cost between $36 to $74 on a monthly basis, and as you might imagine, family plans have higher rates. Benefits for plans range from $1,200 to $5,000, and the lifetime deductible is $100. Preventive care is completely covered for each plan, and those who want vision insurance can add it onto a dental plan for just $7 per month. 

The Bottom Line

Seniors who are looking to invest in a dental insurance policy long-term will enjoy the Spirit Dental benefits which consistently increase over time. Plan pricing is very reasonable, basic procedures are covered up to 65% in year one and can go up to 90% when year three rolls around in the policy. Lots of savings can be gained on more extensive procedures, and overall, Spirit Dental is a well-rounded provider of dental insurance and should be strongly considered for long-term coverage. 

 

10. MetLife Dental

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

MetLife has built an empire and is renowned for doing business with small and large organizations for their group life, dental, and other insurance needs for employees. Individuals and families will be pleased to know that there are also dental plans available for them to take advantage of as well. The MetLife TakeAlong Dental Plans can be transferred between jobs and can adapt when an individual decides to retire. Seniors have the ability to choose a lower-cost provider in the network, and can also pay more to choose any dentist or specialist they wish. A new program is available from MetLife and is available in five states – the Dental Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)/Managed Care offers more variety with regards to coverage and has no maximum limitation for annual use.

Pros
  • Coverage for 24/7 emergency care and services is offered 

  • Those who retire and hold an existing plan can easily transition into a PPO individual or family plan

  • Expanded diagnostic benefits for procedures such as brush biopsies

  • Set fees for numerous procedures

Cons
  • A limited number of individual dental plans

  • Pricing details are limited on their website 

  • Their online service is more designed for businesses and employee members to use

Pricing

There are no fixed prices for MetLife TakeAlong Dental plans – this depends on whether the enrollee is a current member who’s transitioning to a new plan, age matters, and another significant factor is if the applicant smokes then pricing will be naturally higher. Rates for the Dental Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)/Managed Care program fluctuate depending on various criteria. Members get to enjoy discounts between 15% to 50% and coverage for more than 400 dental procedures are written into the policies. 

The Bottom Line

 

MetLife’s generous offer of providing the means to transition plans into retirement to offer benefits that you and your family can take advantage of is fantastic. Coverage for procedures including implants, dentures, veneers, and other dental needs that seniors commonly have is offered by MetLife. HMO care options are now available for groups residing in California, Florida, Texas, New York, and New Jersey.

Why is Dental Insurance Important for Seniors?

As time goes on, oral health increasingly becomes more important to maintain a quality health profile. Seniors have special needs including managing potential gum disease, root decay, broken or lost teeth, and even arthritic conditions that can lead to dental problems. Retiring seniors should get a dental plan in place to avoid costly coverage gaps, as Medicare offers no type of dental coverage for the most part. 

Most dental insurance companies have a wide selection of plans available that cover preventive care on the low end, to complete plans that offer coverage for major procedures. Many plans and programs have a six month or longer waiting period, especially for more complex and costly dental services. Timing is important when needing coverage to ensure that waiting periods are minimal in case major work needs to be done. 

How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost For Seniors?

Standalone dental insurance plans can range anywhere from $30 per month to over $100 monthly for individual plans, with family programs averaging triple those costs depending on sought out coverage. Deductibles usually average between $50 to $150 annually, while some plans offer a one time deductible for premium policies. The most affordable option for those seeking short-term or low-cost care can invest between $75 and $150 in a dental insurance discount program that provides enrollees substantial discounts on all services, and usually start immediately or within a few short days of signing up. Costs vary for all types of coverage by state, age, the number of enrollees, and plan selected.

Senior Plans and Denture Coverage

Dentures are often available under most dental insurance plans and dental savings or discount programs usually provide a price break as well. Be aware though that under most traditional dental insurance programs – members have to wait a year or more to qualify for services related to dentures. On a positive note though, most dental discount plans offer some level of denture coverage within days of enrollment for a small annual enrollment fee. It’s vitally critical to examine each plan carefully to determine if there is a pre-existing issue clause that excludes dentures and repair coverage.

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