Diabetes is a disease that doesn’t discriminate between age, gender or race, and effects about 1 in 10 Canadians. If you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, you need to take special precautions around your oral health.
Dental care is generally not covered under your provincial health plan, and it can be costly when you pay out of pocket. That’s why dental insurance should be part of your diabetes management plan.
How Diabetes impacts your oral health
Good oral health is an important part of overall health, including managing your diabetes.
Your dentist can’t diagnose your diabetes simply by doing an oral examination, so it is important to inform your dentist about your diabetes. Here are some of the issues they will monitor, and that you find will make you seek out a dental appointment:
- Uncontrolled gum disease that affects different teeth at different times is an alarm bell that your diabetes is not in control, and the gum surrounding a tooth can become infected leading to cavities and eventual tooth loss
- A recent development of dry mouth, with no medications to cause the condition can be a symptom of high blood sugar and can also increase blood sugar levels
- Thrush (an oral fungal infection) can be more prevalent in a person with poorly controlled diabetes and with diabetes, you are less able to fight off infection and heal
- Swollen gums, particularly for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- A burning or tingling sensation in your mouth can be damage to nerves due to unmanaged diabetes.
If your oral health is poor, tooth loss does occur, and the impact is huge. Aside from the cost of extractions, the cost of replacing these teeth can be expensive. Because of your diabetes it will take you longer to heal from a procedure too.
Treating either gum disease or diabetes can lead to improvements in the other
If you have diabetes, you are three to four times more likely to develop periodontal disease, which, like any other infection in the body, can impair your body’s ability to process and use insulin.
When your gum disease is under control, the inflammation of the gums is gone, and with no inflammation, your blood sugar levels are lower. That lowers your risk of diabetic complications associated with high blood sugar levels.
Regular maintenance visits to a dentist can keep gum disease in check since the gums and bone are assessed at every visit.
You can qualify for dental insurance if you are Diabetic
People with diabetes often believe they will have a difficult time finding a health insurance plan that is affordable and covers the costs of diabetic testing equipment and medical supplies.
The good news is that dental insurance plans are affordable, have no medical questions asked and acceptance is guaranteed. You can apply for coverage if you are between 18 years of age and 80, and your coverage is renewable for life. Plans can cover just you or you and your family; children under age 21 can are considered dependents.
Individual dental and health plans offer from 70%–80% reimbursement for basic dental services like fillings, cleaning, scaling, examinations, polishing, and select extractions. You will be able to schedule recall visits every six to nine months. Enhanced plans can offer up to 60-80% reimbursement for restorative services like oral surgery, periodontics, and root canal. Major services including orthodontics, bridges, crowns, and dentures are covered at 50-60% reimbursement (and plans have a waiting period for these services).
Dental plans include more than just dental coverage
Your individual dental plan will provide a great range of other coverage for healthcare expenses such as
- durable medical equipment including 100% coverage for diabetic medical supplies like, needles and syringes, up to the yearly maximum benefit level (typically from $1000 to $3000 each year)
- vision care
- registered specialists and therapists including chiropractors, chiropodists, naturopaths, registered massage therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists and registered psychologist or psychotherapists
- homecare and nursing or personal support workers, therapists, and dieticians
- prosthetic appliances
- accidental dental and accidental death and dismemberment
- hearing aids
- travel medical insurance.
Some individual dental plans also offer add-on benefits like:
- additional medical travel so you won’t need to buy any other coverage
- extra vision care benefits to increase coverage
- semi-private or private hospital coverage.
Together, the comprehensive range of benefits makes individual dental insurance a strong foundation for managing your healthcare expenses.
And more good news is that most dentists submit claims directly to the insurer for reimbursement. This means you will only have to show their benefit card to confirm coverage for the services provided — and won’t have to pay out of pocket for those services.
You can also get a health plan that covers prescription drugs
If you want benefits that cover diabetic medications you can purchase an individual health and dental insurance plan to cover yourself, and your family.
SBIS offers great plan options if you have diabetes:
- GMS Personal Health insurance will be issued without exclusions related to your diabetes (premiums will be rated). When you apply for one of these health insurance plans, you will need to answer a medical questionnaire.
- Manulife, Green Shield and GMS guaranteed-acceptance (also known as a guaranteed-issue) plans will be issued with no medical questions asked (and no exclusions or ratings).
Insulin and other diabetic medication may be covered under your plan’s drug coverage. There is usually a percentage that you need to pay out of pocket, and a yearly dollar maximum for claims.
Health insurance provides diabetes preventative support too
Did you know that pre-diabetics who don’t take steps to improve their health face up to a 30% chance of developing diabetes in five years? On the bright side, you have a good chance of preventing Type 2 diabetes with testing and a focus on good health practices.
SBIS offers health insurance plans that have support tools built in to help you manage or avoid diabetes:
- Green Shield Prism health insurance plans include support for cardiovascular health, as well as dietician health coaching to support you by promoting and encourage healthier food choices. They also assist with achieving and/or maintaining a healthy weight.
- Manulife Vitality is available to new applicants on FlexCare and FollowMe plans and offers an interactive, personalized wellness program that rewards you with savings up to 10% on your (and your family’s) health insurance premiums, and gives you discounts on services like hotel bookings and gym memberships and gift cards!
- GMS Personal Health plans offer LifeWorks, an award-winning total wellness program that can help you improve your mental, physical, financial, and social wellbeing using a wealth of resources and tools through an app, by phone, or on your desktop.
Don’t manage your diabetes alone. Let your health insurance help.
SBIS has a proven track record of providing dental insurance. We understand that purchasing a dental insurance plan can be intimidating. Our customer service representatives put in the extra time and effort, working closely with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate coverage. There is no frustrating automated system when you call SBIS. A live representative is there to take your call at 1-800-667-0429 Monday to Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. eastern time.
Or is do-it-yourself insurance selection your style? Go to SBIS Dental Insurance for a no-obligation quote or to buy online. You’ll find everything you need.