US Retirees Spending Around 1k On Dental Costs

There are a lot of things to handle when people get ready to become retirees; Social Security number and filings, 401k’s, and travel budgeting, if they’re going to travel the world, which is quite common for retirees across the world.But retirees in the US are getting blindsided by costs that many aren’t prepared for; dental costs.

According to data from the Kaiser Foundation, 37 million Americans, which amount to about 2 out of every 3 Medicare beneficiaries, have no dental coverage. This is due, in part, to the fact that Medicare doesn’t actually cover crowns, dentures, fillings, or cleanings.

That means that, when faced with having to deal with the cost of dental implants, even beneficiaries have to pay out of their pockets. Kaiser notes that, on average, this amount to about a thousand dollars, with the figure sitting at $922 back in 2016.

The Kaiser Foundation notes that people who have dental insurance get it outside of Medicare, usingfor private plans, including individually acquired plans, company provided insurance, as well workplace retiree insurance.

The foundation even forwarded some policy changes that could provide better dental coverage to Medicare’s beneficiaries. Some potential changes that could work include adding dental to Part B of Medicare, which covers medical insurance, as well as creating voluntary dental benefits and creating a new part of Medicare to cover them.

Good news is that that bi-annual check-up is pretty affordable.

FAIR Health Consumer, a website that tracks the costs of medical procedures in the US, notes that the average cost for a simple dental cleaning is about $129 for people in Manhattan, while averaging at about $200 for other people.

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? That isn’t the issue though, as crown, fillings and dentures are the ones that really cut into people’s pockets. According to Fair Health, a ceramic or porcelain crown place over metal can cost you as much as $2,000, if you go to out-of-network dentist, or if you have no insurance to help you out. Yeah.

That being said, insurance still can’t cut all the costs, which is just painful to think about, and really hammers in how expensive healthcare is in the US.

One situation was given by Kaiser, where a 72-year-old patient got three fillings, two crowns, and tooth decay treatment, followed by maintenance six month after the treatments. Kaiser says that, without insurance, the patient would’ve paid $4,300 in medical costs. With Medicare Advantage, that number went down, but only to $3,300.