Are You Selling Dental Insurance to Seniors?
Selling dental insurance to seniors is a great way to grow your income. More and more people are aging into the senior market every day, and most people lose their dental benefits when they retire. In fact, according to a 2016 National Association of Dental Plans consumer survey, almost half of all seniors have no dental coverage. These consumers represent a fast-growing segment of the population, and reaching them could be a great boon to your sales.
Do Your Senior Clients Need Dental Insurance? Yes.
Dental care generally isn’t covered under Original Medicare (Parts A and B). This means that it doesn’t cover most dental care (cleanings), dental procedures (fillings, tooth extractions), or supplies (dentures, dental plates, and other dental devices), which will have to be paid for out of pocket by most seniors. There are exceptions to this: Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) will cover certain dental services, such as emergency or complicated dental procedures, if seniors get those services during a hospital stay. And most Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans include some dental coverage.
Without dental coverage, routine oral care can be cost-prohibitive for seniors, many of whom are on a limited budget. As such, many seniors choose to forgo regular preventive dental treatment until something becomes too big of a problem for them to avoid.
As seniors age, they’ll face unique challenges in regard to their oral health. Seniors have an increased risk of tooth decay for many reasons: gums recede, teeth wear down over time and with use, and many seniors are on medications that reduce the flow of saliva, which normally helps prevent tooth decay by clearing out food and plaque that cling to teeth. Avoiding dental treatment at this stage in their lives can be extremely dangerous for seniors.
Unfortunately, many seniors simply put up with the chronic pain and discomfort that stems from untreated tooth decay, which one in five seniors have, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Overlooking oral health care can have a serious impact on a person’s overall health. Poor oral health can increase the risk of and complicate diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia, and other infections at a time when the immune system may be already weakening due to aging. Without regular dental checkups, mouth cancers or other serious conditions can also go undetected.
Many seniors don’t have dental insurance, so they often skip their annual or semi-annual visits to the dentist because they don’t think their budget can handle the cost. With dental insurance, they are much better equipped to protect their teeth and their overall quality of life.
How to Sell Dental Insurance to Seniors
As a broker, when you’re discussing your senior customers’ coverage needs, you have the opportunity to help them understand the importance of maintaining their oral health.
You can talk with your senior clients about supplemental dental insurance and explain how it could help them afford access to professional dental care that their Medicare plan may not cover. Selling dental insurance to seniors is easier when you can show your customers that they don’t have to make sacrifices to their health for the sake of their finances.
Another way to reach out to your clients is by timing your communications around special awareness days and months throughout the year, such as:
- National Dental Hygiene Month in October
- National Toothache Day on February 9
- National Dentist’s Day on March 6
Leverage Our Robust Dental Product Portfolio
Excelsior’s expansive senior market product portfolio includes dental insurance plans and discount dental plans that can help clients who need immediate dental care. We also offer Medicare products, including Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Medicare Part D plans.
How Excelsior Can Help Brokers Grow
Are you ready to boost your senior market sales with ancillary products? Excelsior can offer solutions to help you compliantly cross-sell more senior market products, help nurture your Medicare marketing strategy, and provide ongoing training to improve your year-round sales. Engage with Excelsior today!
Sources: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/27/499189286/seniors-teeth-need-dental-care-but-insurance-coverage-is-rare | http://www.nadp.org/Dental_Benefits_Basics/Dental_BB_1.aspx | https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/medicare-health-plans/medicare-advantage-plans-cover-all-medicare-services.html | https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/symptoms-causes/syc-20352892 | https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/adult_older.htm | http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/lifestyle/sd-he-senior-dental-health-20170320-story.html