Dental discount available through Humana Walmart Part D discontinued
In most States there are 30+ Medicare Part D plans to choose from. Needless to say the competition is fierce. Insurance companies authorized to offer Part D plans are pulling out all the stops to distinguish themselves from the competition.
The Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan has already earned the distinction of having the lowest Part D premium of any Medicare drug plan for the last two years. The monthly premium for 2017 plans is just $17 in most areas.
In addition to this distinction, Humana hopes to further set themselves apart from the competition by incorporating some value-added benefits into the the Humana Walmart drug plan.
Humana is not the only company to take this approach and other companies are having some success with this strategy as well. The Cigna Medicare Rx Healthy Rewards Program is one example of how a plan can incorporates wanted benefits to attract potential members.
Although there are more important features of a Part D plan than monthly premium and dental benefits for seniors, the extra benefits do add value for someone without additional dental benefits. After all, original Medicare’s dental benefits are virtually non-existent.
What follows is a brief overview of the dental discount program available for Humana Walmart Rx members. We’ll also look at some other options to obtain dental benefits when you are enrolled in Medicare.
Humana Walmart dental discount benefits
Humana has teamed up with Careington to make dental discounts available. It should be noted that you are not receiving dental insurance through your Part D membership. The program will afford you discounts on selected dental services.
You must also use dentists who participate in the Careington network. A phone number is provided so you can locate dentists that may be nearby.
Discounts from a general dentist may range between 20% – 60% and include the following services:
- Oral exams
- Routine cleanings
- Root Canals
Discounts for services received from a specialist will be limited to 20%.
The pros and cons
As with any program there will be both positive and negative points.
The main positive feature of the program is the program itself. You are being enrolled into a discount program that others often pay for. Also, given the cost of dentistry services a 20% to 60% discount is nothing to sneeze at.
You also have dedicated contact information for Careington and can avoid calling Humana Member Services which can (like most insurance companies) offer a sometimes frustrating experience.
The biggest draw back is having a choice when it comes to dentists. Some rural areas will not have any providers. Others will have one or two providers. This can be frustrating when you were counting on using the benefit. Additionally, 40% t0 80% of the bill is still out of reach for many seniors on a fixed budget.
Other options for senior dental coverage
Unless you have a close friend or family member who is a dentist, you really only have 4 other options barring doing nothing:
- Buy a stand-alone dental insurance policy
- Buy another discount plan with more providers available
- Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with a dental rider
- Break out your wallet!
Stand-alone dental insurance:
There are companies that sell stand-alone dental
insurance. The premiums are often high,
deductibles must be met and many procedures require that you meet a waiting period (Read:
pay premiums without benefit of using the policy!).
Plans typically include a maximum annual benefit amount and once you do the math, you may come to the realization that you are prepaying for your dental care…. that is if you even use the policy.
Dental Discount plan:
There are literally dozens of dental discount plans available. Plans range from a waste of money to credible plans that have been around for more than 40 years. Some of the more credible plans such as DentalDiscountPlans.com offer considerably more freedom when choosing a provider than the Careington Discount plan. There are often several plans to choose from.
Medicare Advantage plans are known for both including Part D coverage and extra value-added benefits such as dental and vision. Some plans include a small discount which is often less valuable than the Careington Discount option. Plans that include an optional dental rider, which requires an additional premium, are often your best bet if you are going to receive your dental benefits through an Advantage plan.
Many plans available from AARP MedicareComplete and others include this type of option. The additional premium required is often reasonable for the services provided. Be sure to check the dental network before you enroll. Also keep in mind that getting dental coverage is not the main reason to enroll in the plan.
If you are not interested in enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan with a dental rider, buying a stand-alone policy that may be little more than a prepaid arrangement or getting your benefits from a discount plan, you could always self insure. Paying cash for services may actually give you the opportunity to negotiate on the price of dental services. But if this is not feasible, choosing one of the other options is better than going with any coverage.