Although healthcare options for veterans continue to expand with programs like the Choice program, which allow veterans to get care in their area from civilian providers, little has been done to help veterans with dental care. Unless a veteran qualifies for the VA dental program, the only other option for many veterans is dental insurance. Unfortunately, for many veterans, this isn’t an option at all because many cannot afford dental insurance, particularly those transitioning from the military, reports VA.
The Veterans Administration does offer dental care programs for veterans, although the requirements for eligibility are more stringent than the requirements for healthcare. Even when a veteran qualifies for VA Healthcare, he may not qualify for VA Dental Care.
In order to determine eligibility for the program, a veteran must apply at his local VA facility to determine eligibility. For those who do not meet the eligibility requirements, the next option available is dental insurance. The Veterans Administration offers discount dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife. It requires that veterans pay discounted premiums each month and then whatever copays may be necessary under the dental insurance policy.
Even though these dental insurance policies are meant to be affordable, they leave veterans with limited options because of lack of choice unless the veteran has a job and dental insurance through an employer. There are options to dental insurance for veterans who want to be creative.
As reported in a previous article in Inquisitr, one option is to pay cash for dental procedures. This is a good option when a veteran doesn’t need a lot of care, just a cleaning.
For those who can’t afford a cleaning, the next option is to get a free cleaning. Recently Aspen Dental volunteers offered free cleanings to veterans. About 3,000 veterans across the country received free dental care from Aspen Dental. Three hundred dental practices in 31 states opened their doors to veterans to provide care, according to WNDU.
Veteran Brandon Bownman, 27, of Mississippi, told KWTX that it was something he could definitely benefit from.
“It makes me feel like I’m appreciated, makes me feel like not only was my time well served but that there are people that do understand that veterans or combat veterans like myself go through a lot and it feels good when there’s someone there.”
Veterans may also want to consider checking with local dentists to find out if free cleanings are available and ask if there are any special programs for veterans.
Other options to dental insurance for veterans include donated dental services. These free dental services are based on certain eligibility requirements the veterans may qualify for. Other alternatives include dental care through a local college that offers free dental care services. Care is provided by dental students and supervised by professional dentists, reports Dental Lifeline.
Have you tried any alternatives to dental insurance that aren’t on the list? If so, how did they work for you?
[Photo Credit Veterans Affairs]