There are many reasons Americans do not seek dental care, which primarily involves financial issues. The cost of dental care is often too expensive for low-income and middle-income families.
In June of 2016, the Department of Health & Human Services awarded over 400 health clinics $156 million to provide treatment to those who are not able to afford dental insurance. Furthermore, the Department of Health & Human Services reported that 108 million individuals in the United States do not have dental coverage. Martin Kramer(head of communications at the Health Resources and Services Administration), explained this was the first time grants are being disbursed for oral health treatment.
The Difference Between Dental Insurance And Dental Coverage
The difference between dental insurance and dental coverage is very important because there are different plans that offer different things. Most dental insurance plans will provide coverage for a large area, but there are certain dental plans that only work with certain companies or offices. A dental plan might pertain to only one office or place that people can go, but that is better than nothing. Coverage information that people get lets them know how far they can get away from home when they need coverage. Everyone who chooses an insurance plan needs to know what they are getting when they sign up.
Where Are The Insurance Companies That Offer Great Dental Insurance?
There are insurance companies that people can choose from that offer nothing but dental coverage, and there are others who offer dental as part of their overall insurance. Someone who wants to find better coverage will notice that they can make the best choices when they have looked through the comparison chart that has all policies. There are some comparisons that people will need to look over because it shows what their copays are, explain how far their network goes, and how much they will spend.
Websites That Provide Information About Finding Free Dental Care
There are some websites that provide information about finding free dental care and will explain where you can get a government plan that will cost you less money than a regular insurance plan. You could sign up for Medicaid or Medicare, and you will not pay everything to have coverage for your dental needs. Someone who needs coverage for their kids should make sure that they have applied through the local office that manages either Medicaid or Medicare.
What Medicaid and Medicare Do For You
Medicaid and Medicare are helpful to you because they give you an insurance company that will offer the coverage you have chosen. The dental plan that you get through these companies will give the same coverage that you could get from a regular company if you got it through your employer. You might want to have insurance even if you have a job, and you need to see if you qualify based off your income. Check if the companies have a plan that works best for you, or you see if you have to take a look at plans that are based on particular medical offices.
Websites That Provide Information About Finding Free Dental Care
There are some incredible dental offices that will provide you with help with your dental care, and they have dental insurance plans that are specific to them. There are a lot of people who will find that they can go to these offices, and will be given a regular appointment that will allow you to receive cleanings and regular maintenance. Be sure to check that you choose a plan that has enough offices in your area. You might want to choose the company that has a dentist that you like, and you must speak to them about what would be the best policy for you. These are all different policies, but they all have the same goal. These plans bring you into the office, give you the care you need, and help you afford this care. You can make small copayments in the office, and you will notice that the company also has the ability to handle your cavities and surgeries.
How Long Do These Plans Last?
You could get a plan that will last for a year, and you will find that you could use the plans for the whole year because they renew exactly a year after the plan started. There are a lot of people who would prefer to have a short-term plan because they want to have something that is going to make it easier for them to get care while they try to make arrangements for better healthcare.
Where To Find Free Dental Care
The cost of dental care leaves low-income families in difficult situations. According to the American Dental Association, 20% of low-income individuals reported their oral health was in poor conditions. There are many resources for those who need free dental care, which include:
Medical Trials and Studies
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, dental schools are an ideal place to seek quality dental care free of cost. Dental clinics are usually found at teaching institutions, which gives dental students the opportunity to gain experience by treating individuals in a supervised setting.
Considerations With Dental Schools
Treatment from Dental Schools is best used for more basic, non-critical treatments. Keep in mind, it will take longer to get treated at a dental school clinic because a faculty member, which is usually supervised by a licensed dentist, who will need to supervise the student carefully and provided guidance when needed. Furthermore, many faculty members and graduate students provide free or low-cost treatment at dental schools. Not all dental school clinics will offer free services, but they will offer services at a reduces prices, which is typically determined by a sliding scale that is based on the patient’s income.
Health departments offer reduced-cost and free health services, which includes dental care. The American Dental Association reported that in 2009 there were 1,131 health departments, and an estimated three-fourths of these clinics offered dental services on site. In 2009, federally funded health clinics provided dental care to 3,438,340 patients.
Federally Funded Health Insurance
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offer three federally funded insurance programs:
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Medicare is an insurance program for those 65 years and older. However, Medicare dental coverage is limited and will not cover the cost of dentures or many other dental procedures. Medicaid is a health insurance program that offers dental insurance to those who qualify. Since Medicaid is a state-run program, each state has different eligibility guidelines. In most states, Medicaid coverage for dental treatment is limited for individuals over the age of 21 years but provides comprehensive coverage to those under 21 years old. CHIP provides health insurance to those 19 years old and younger if they qualify. Eligibility for the CHIP program will vary from state to state.
Volunteering for clinical studies is another way to obtain free dental care. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research often looks for volunteers to participate in clinical research studies. In many cases, volunteers must have specific oral, craniofacial, or dental issues to be eligible to participate. Those who are interested in volunteering in clinical trials can visit the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website and select “Clinical Trials” to view a list of upcoming and current federally funded clinical studies. ClinicalTrials.gov is another resource that provides information about government and private clinical studies.
Apply for Dental Grants
Some individuals who are in need of cosmetic restorations may qualify for a Cosmetic Dentistry Grant (CDG). Anyone in need of cosmetic dental care is free to apply. Those who are awarded a complete CDG are not required to repay any of the funds. However, if the applicant does not follow the recommended treatment plan, he or she may have to return all or a portion of the funds. In order to receive a CDG, an individual must show his or her gums are healthy enough to support an implant or the type of cosmetic procedure he or she will need. Applicants will be provided with a free oral health exam by a certified dentist.
How Much Do Grants Cover?
If the dentist determines the applicant is a good candidate, he or she will recommend the patient for inclusion in the program and provide an appropriate treatment plan. The program receives up to $1 million in funds each year to be allocated to patients monthly. Those who receive a CDG will have up to 3 months to begin the treatment plan. There is also a partial CDG, which is based on income. Applicants are selected for partial CDGs based on a per capita, percentile basis, and the number of funds available. Partial CDGs are also distributed equally based on the number of individuals in the applicant distribution pool.
Remember that you can get both dental plans and dental coverage to care for your teeth or your children’s teeth. Someone who is trying to make the best possible choices for their dental health could get a free dental health plan that will come from a government plan, or they could use the plans that are tied to specific offices that you might want to go to. You should check that you have chosen an office that is closest to your house, or you can go to the government office to get the Medicaid or Medicare plan that you think would be best for you. You can completely change how you manage your dental care, and you can get a special plan that will make it much easier for you to handle your dental care.
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