The Wage and Coverage Gap
It seems those least able to pay for dental treatment out-of-pocket are also those who are least likely to have private health and dental insurance. In fact, 49.8% of those in the lowest income bracket do not have dental insurance, compared with 19.8% of those in the highest income bracket. This means those who can least afford it are the hardest hit by the rising costs of dental care. A trip to the dentist’s office for a routine visit can easily cost hundreds of dollars. It’s easy to see how dental treatment often ends up at the bottom of the household needs list when money is tight.
The Health Effects
The links between poor dental care and poor overall health are well established. The consequences of poor dental care options are broad and far-reaching for the health care system as a whole. As we know, dental care is not covered by provincial insurance plans, and neither are the prescription drugs to combat high blood pressure and diabetes. Poor oral health is known to contribute to both of these health conditions, among others. It’s clear that access to dental treatment is more than a cosmetic consideration – it’s a serious health issue.
Bridging the Coverage Gap
The safest way to guard against rapidly rising costs of dental care is to carry health and dental insurance. Over the long term, premiums for private dental insurance in Canada can be a much better value than paying out-of-pocket for these services. Those with dental insurance are more likely to keep up with regular dental visits, and to comply with treatment recommendations. Arranging to have comprehensive dental insurance coverage is the first step on the road to good oral health. Better still, packages are available to suit the budget and specific coverage needs of every family.
The language of insurance can seem complicated. When deciding between different carriers, it’s best to make an informed decision regarding the best, most affordable policy. The easiest way to navigate the complexity of insurance coverage is to work with an insurance broker. These highly trained professionals are available to help you define your needs, to work with different companies to get the best options for you, and to help you make the best possible choice. It’s important to remember that an insurance broker works for you, the client, not an insurance company. This unique relationship helps to bring a level of objectivity to the process of buying health and dental insurance.