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Dental Insurance and the Power of Planning

2. Dental Insurance and the Power of Planning — How Will You Plan to Pay Unexpected Dental Bills?

How will you plan to pay unexpected dental bills? Even though more people are planning ahead for dental care, a large coverage gap still exists for all ages. For instance, 90 percent of Americans lose their dental insurance when they retire, and Medicare doesn’t cover dental care.

And because a growing number of employers — currently more than 69 percent — no longer include dental insurance as a group benefit, even people in the workforce are facing coverage gaps. So, just as they plan for unexpected medical bills, people also need to consider how they’ll pay for unexpected dental bills.

Planning ahead can be particularly important, especially if you’re on a fixed retirement income. With the average Social Security benefit at about $1,400 a month, paying out-of-pocket for a root canal costing $900 or more, for example, can be difficult for many people. In fact, a recent study indicated nearly 6 in 10 Americans wouldn’t have enough money in savings to cover $500 in unplanned expenses.

Sources:
“Medicare & You,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2017
“Older Americans Not Receiving the Oral Health Care They Need,” by Melissa Hoebbel, Oral Health America, September 3, 2013
“Fact Sheet,” Social Security Administration, ssa.gov, 2017
“Why Some Millennials Aren’t Smiling: Bad Teeth Hinder 28% In Job Search,” by Diana Hembree, forbes.com, March 28, 2017
“6 in 10 Americans don’t have $500 in savings,” by Kathryn Vasel, money.cnn.com, January 12, 2017

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