Dentistry for People Without Insurance

By Insurance Industry Expert & Author
Updated on

About half of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 have commercial dental coverage according to 2019 data from the Centers for Disease Control. The same government resource indicated that Americans with private dental coverage were more likely to see a dentist than those who were uninsured or having other types of dental coverage. So what should a person do when they lack insurance but need dental care?

The answers for the uninsured depend on factors such as age and income. The help below is broken out according to these factors.

Seniors & The Elderly

Seniors age 65 and older can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with dental benefits. Over 9-in-10 Medicare Advantage plans now have some form of dental coverage and there are many plans with low premiums or even $0 premiums (though enrollees still pay their regular Part B premium to the government). While Original Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover dental benefits, Medicare Advantage plans deliver these benefits often with supplemental features such as dental and vision coverage.

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The government provides a means of dental care for children belonging to families of modest means. Children qualifying for their state's Medicaid program can receive dental care paid for by the state. Medicaid's child dental services are known as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. This dental coverage for children includes:

  • Oral health maintenance
  • Restorative care for teeth
  • Relief of pain & infections

Medicaid is available in every state. If you wish to determine if your children are eligible for the program in your state, visit the Medicaid's eligibility page.

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Adults with Low Incomes

There are a variety of program across the United States that provide quality dental care to low-income populations as well as the uninsured. The care may be free or it may be charged according to a scale based on the patient's income. Another resource of low-cost dental care are dental schools. Dental schools typically provide dental services at a reduced rate since it allows students to obtain the experience they need for their professional development.

If you need help finding low-cost or no-charge dental providers in your state, select your state from our resource page on dental insurance across the nation. At the bottom of each state page are links related to oral health issues, with the last one often dealing with dental clinics serving low-income communities and the uninsured.

Adults Who Do Not Qualify as Low-Income

Even if you do not qualify as a low-income individual, you can still visit a local dental school for reduced cost dental care. If none exist in your region, you can still check low-cost clinics (refer to the prior section) to see if you are eligible for care. If neither of these are a viable option, there are extremely low cost dental coverage options available in the market. For example, the Careington 500 Series Dental Savings costs less than $10 a month and membership provides access to dentists who offer discounts of 20% to 60% on care. Dental HMO plans are another option. These plans often have a low monthly premium and provide substantial savings versus normal uninsured dental care. To see dental plan options available in your region, go to the home page and compare dental insurance offered in your zip code.

Need help choosing a plan? Call us at 800-296-3800

Our knowledgeable customer service team will assist you with any questions you may have prior to enrolling in a dental plan. They can guide you through the process of choosing coverage that matches your needs as well as your budget.

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