Pros / This service allows for three cleanings a year.
Cons / The plans overall, are, more expensive.
Verdict / AARP's dental plans are for members only, and overall premiums are more expensive; however, its coverage is more comprehensive and focuses on the dental needs of older people.
The American Association of Retired Persons, AARP, offers numerous benefits for people over 50 who join the organization. One of those benefits is dental insurance plans. Although administered by Delta Dental, our Gold Award winner, these plans are specifically geared toward the needs of older people. As such, the benefit and expenses differ from those you find with Delta Dental.
AARP offers two plans: Plan A has more extensive benefits, but the premiums are more expensive than Plan B's. 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 beautiful.
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.
One disadvantage to AARP's plans is that the premiums are higher than those of the other companies we reviewed. However, the coverage is also more comprehensive. If you still have minimal dental needs, it might not be worth the trade, but if you find your teeth need extra attention, this insurance may cover you better.
AARP dental insurance is only available to AARP members – people over the age of 50. Its premiums are higher than those of other dental insurance companies we reviewed, but the coverage is more comprehensive, including no charges for up to three cleanings and exams annually, and it covers a significant portion of dental work such as implants and dentures. If you are older and your teeth require more care, this insurance could be worth the price.