For millions of Americans, a toothache has become a nightmare. Although Obamacare was developed to make sure all Americans had health insurance, it didn’t cover the reform of dental insurance. Even when Americans have healthcare, they may not have dental insurance, or they may not have adequate coverage when they do.
Georgia is one of the many states where dental coverage lags behind. The state can barely afford to pay for Medicaid for those who need health benefits, much less those who need dental benefits. There is another problem because many dentists don’t accept Medicaid as payment because of lower payments. Although several other states have expanded Medicaid payments to include dental care, the problem is the same: lower payments to dentists mean they are less likely to accept Medicaid, and patients may not find a dentist, reports Kaiser Health News.
Although children are the most vulnerable group affected by lack of dental coverage, veterans suffer too. Many veterans have delayed dental visits, and dental care through Veterans Affairs is not automatic. Although veterans may purchase dental insurance at a reduced rate through a deal the VA has made with several insurance companies, the benefits are still not free and veterans often go without the proper care.
Over 150 million Americans did not go to the dentist last year. Patients often wait until the problem is more serious, resulting in a higher cost. The key to cost effective dental care is preventative care, reports Lexington Herald Leader.
For those who cannot afford dental insurance, there are still ways to get affordable dental care. Many diseases like heart disease are linked to poor dental care because of decay, so it’s important to use preventative measures like getting teeth properly cleaned on a regular basis to identify potential problems before they become expensive.
One way to get affordable care is to consider medical studies. If there is a medical university in your area, then find out if they have any programs available. Dental schools also need patients so they can learn. Although it may take longer to get the appropriate work done, it’s far more cost effective and students are supervised by licensed dentists, according to the Daily Insight.
If there isn’t a medical or dental school in your area, consider contacting local dentists to find out if any provide free or low cost dental services. Some may agree to accept a patient on a sliding scale fee. If you have cash available it may be possible to get discounts on the services you receive by paying up front. Inexpensive dental plans with discounts may be an option instead of more expensive dental insurance if you don’t need a lot of care.
Do you have dental insurance? If not, how do you pay for care?