AARP Dental Insurance is offered by the American Association of Retired Persons, an organization that offers numerous benefits for people aged 50 and over who sign up to become members. The dental insurance plans are administered by Delta Dental Insurance, our top pick for the best dental insurance (opens in new tab), and are specifically geared towards the needs of older people.
As such, the benefits and expenses differ from those you'll find with Delta Dental (opens in new tab) direct. Enrollment for AARP Dental Insurance takes place via the website, as well as by phone or mail, with an Enrollment Grace Period of 30 days if you change your mind. In our review, we look at the various plan options, what is and what isn't covered, and alternative oral coverage that may be better suited to you.
In addition to securing dental insurance, other ways to protect your teeth and gum health at home include using the best electric toothbrush (opens in new tab) for your smile twice a day, brushing for two minutes at a time. This is the dentist-recommended brushing time to ensure plaque control and gum health. To brighten your smile, consider using one of the best teeth whiteners (opens in new tab).
AARP dental insurance review: Overview
As mentioned above, AARP Dental Insurance is for people aged 50 and over, so it's ideally placed for covering treatment related to normal wear and tear and aging. The minimum enrollment period is for 12 months, but you can opt out within the first 30 days of enrolling if you change your mind about the plan.
PPO plans and a dental HMO plan are offered, with coverage available in most States. AARP members are guaranteed acceptance into the dental plans on offer, with coverage for a wide range of dental procedures.
AARP dental insurance review: Plans and cost
AARP offers two plans: PPO Plan A and PPO Plan B. According to Delta Dental, Plan A is the 'most comprehensive plan with the highest coverage for services at a moderate rate'.
PPO Plan A
Annual deductible: $40
Annual maximum: $1,500
Dentist network: Visit any licensed dentist
Plan A offers comprehensive coverage and additional benefits, with lower out-of-pocket costs, no-cost preventive care, optional accident coverage, veneers and teeth whitening.
Plan B includes coverage for checkups, cleanings and standard procedures like fillings or root canals. This plan has lower monthly premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs.
PPO Plan B
Annual deductible: $90
Annual maximum: $1,000
Dentist network: Visit any licensed dentist
With both plans, there's no waiting period for fillings and root canals. Regardless of which plan you choose, you'll find benefits cater to the special needs of seniors. For example, this dental insurance company allows not two but three cleanings a year.
This is important, because not only do older teeth need more care, but many medications that keep our bodies healthy can cause dry mouth, which can exacerbate tooth decay. The plans also cover a percentage of the cost of implants and denture repair to keep your smile looking healthy.
AARP dental insurance: Features
The network of available dentists is slightly larger than the average of the ten insurance companies we reviewed. In addition, you can use an out-of-network dentist if you prefer. AARP will reimburse you what it would pay an in-network dentist, and you are responsible for the copay, deductible and the difference between what AARP pays and what the dentist charges.
It could mean greater expense for you, but it lets you keep your dentist, even if he or she is not on the AARP network.
The website is very easy to use and the information is presented clearly, so you can decide which plan works best for you. One convenient feature of the website is that it immediately asks your location. Dental insurance plans vary in price and availability by location, so this simple step ensures you get the most accurate information right off the bat.
The coverage is comprehensive too. If you have minimal dental needs, you may be better off choosing a more simple dental insurance plan such as Humana Dental Insurance (opens in new tab). Or if you are looking to include family members on your plan, read our MetLife Dental Insurance review (opens in new tab).
Should I choose AARP dental insurance?
AARP Dental Insurance is only available to AARP members. Its premiums are often higher than those of other dental insurance providers we've reviewed, but coverage is very comprehensive, including no charges for up to three cleanings and exams annually.
The coverage also extends to a significant portion of dental work, such as fillings, implants and dentures. So if you're older and your teeth require more care, AARP Dental Insurance could be worth the higher monthly outlay for you. To enjoy generous in-network savings on dental treatment, also look at our Guardian Direct Dental Insurance review (opens in new tab).