My mom is disabled and on Social Security/ disability. Right now, she has no dental coverage what so ever, but I am told she might get some in the future when she gets fully approved for disability. I guess there’s some kind of limbo period where the state plan doesn’t cover it but the federal plan will? I really don’t understand all this. At any rate, I just took over managing her care and she needs a lot of work done. I think it’s going to come down to pulling her teeth and getting dentures, but I’m not totally sure. I have been trying to find an affordable dentist, but nobody seems to be willing to help. They all want thousands of dollars up front. I don’t know if it’s these offices or the healthcare system, but she needs help. Any ideas on how I can find an affordable dentist?
Kudos to you for stepping up to the plate and helping your mom out. The programs are so confusing, you practically need a PhD to understand what covers what and what’s actually available.
Unfortunately, you are correct, in that government programs do not typically see to the dental needs of disabled and elderly adults. Every plan is different, and when you’re still battling it at a state level, each state has different rules, too. There’s a very good chance your mom only has emergency coverage, or coverage for work that needs to be done in the hospital right now, but please contact the company that provides her coverage to be sure.
With disability, there tends to be a 24-month waiting period while you wait for the transition from state to federal coverage, but when the higher coverage kicks in there should be some dental coverage. Again, you must talk to your mom’s case worker, social worker, or plan provider to find out what the process is and what’s available to her. If coverage will increase soon, it may be worth waiting a couple months before you start anything.
If she needs to find an affordable dentist now, you could try asking offices whether they do payment plans or financing. Many of them do. You may also have luck signing up for an inexpensive insurance plan. There are some PPO plans for as little as $35 from reputable companies that provide instant coverage. If you’re getting into an extensive treatment plan, like extractions and dentures, it’s worthwhile to research some of these to reduce your costs. Best of luck to you.
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