South Carolina is a senior-friendly state. Any retiree will be comfortable living in the state due to its low living costs, low taxes, and affordable rent. The breathtaking beauty of the state and the perfect weather condition create a peaceful environment for older adults to relax and enjoy retirement. The state’s economy is also promising, so investing in your long-term goals is smart. On the flip side, the state is among the top 10 poorest states in the USA. In 2021, 14.6% of citizens in the state lived below the poverty line. The state has 67 medically underserved areas. Ninety-five percent of the population lives in Primary Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA), 61% stay in Dental Care HPSA, and 66% in Mental Health HPSA.
The poverty levels and the shortage of health providers have created a gap in the healthcare system. Senior South Carolinians are delaying or avoiding dental care services due to cost, while those who can afford them are not receiving care because of the long waiting lists in dental clinics. The relevant organizations and authorities have put in place strategies and resources to fill the gap in the system. Seniors in South Carolina can benefit from many resources set up by the government and other agencies to ensure they live better lives. Strategic plans should be developed to maintain the good oral health of the citizens of South Carolina.
Are There Grants For Dental In South Carolina?
Yes, there are dental grants in South Carolina. The Department of Health and Human Resources funds programs offering public insurance to low-income individuals. Moreover, upcoming policies ensure no citizen is turned back without receiving dental services due to cost. Community health centers have been built to serve the homeless, seniors, children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities struggling financially.
Dental Lifeline Network is also spearheading projects that aim to increase access to dental services in ignored areas. It has programs targeting veterans, seniors, and children most likely to suffer from dental conditions.
The Delta Dental of South Carolina also awards oral health grants to private dentists running free, non-profit, affordable, and sliding-scale dental clinics. These funds are used to purchase equipment needed in the dental practice, fund programs run in the dental clinics, and employ more dental care providers to assist in the day-to-day in the clinics.
How To Get a Dental Grant In South Carolina
You can visit the Delta Dental of South Carolina’s website to learn more about its grant programs when to make applications, the eligibility criteria, purposes for the dental grants, the amount being awarded, and the application process.
The Donated Dental Services accepts applicants who are disabled, above 65, and those who can’t afford dental care treatments. Visit the DDS website to learn more about their program and the application process.
The dental grants offered in South Carolina include,
- Dental grants: They are awarded by non-profit organizations, charities, and government agencies to increase the accessibility of dental care services to ignored areas.
- Cosmetic Dental Grants: These settle dental costs from elective cosmetic dentistry.
- Dental Implant Grants: Dental implants can be too costly for someone depending on social security benefits. For this reason, dental implants are awarded to cover up to 30% of implant costs. Seniors opt for this help to afford the durable and better tooth replacement option.
- Free Dental Implant Clinical Trials: Clinical trials provide an opportunity to study innovations in dental practice to ensure they are safer and more efficient than the older methods. Participation in these trials is voluntary, and free or discounted dental implants are one benefit you can receive from them.
Are There Charities/Local Organizations That Help With Dental Costs?
Delta Dental of South Carolina: Delta Dental is a non-profit organization that awards grants to programs that have promising interventions for improving the oral health of South Carolinians. The goals of these dental grants are to:
- Ensure South Carolina is one of the states with the highest oral health indicators.
- Promote access to timely, high-quality, and affordable dental care
- Carry out mass education on dental hygiene methods that can reduce the manifestation of oral diseases
- Raise awareness on dental-related matters in marginalized areas
- Maintain the upward trajectory of improving the oral health of South Carolinians, especially the undeserving
- Fund research that promotes the discovery of innovative dental practices
- Workforce development
Are There Free Or Low-cost Dental Clinics In South Carolina?
Here is a small list of dental clinics offering free or low-cost services:
- Anderson Free Clinic- Anderson
- North Charleston Dental Outreach- North Charleston
- Affordable Dentistry-Columbia
- Greenville Free Medical Clinic- Greenville
- East Cooper Community Outreach- Mt Pleasant
- Mercy Medicine Clinic- Florence
You may do a web search like “Free or low-cost dental care near me” to find the nearest dental clinic that best suits your financial and medical needs.
Will Medicare Pay For Dental Implants?
Dental implants cost from $3,000 to $4,500 per implant. Although they are the better tooth replacement option because of their durability and aestheticism, these prices are expensive. Most insurance companies have complicated dental covers because of the costs of these treatments. Medicare does not cover dental costs, including dental implants. However, seniors have options to help them settle their dental costs. First, you can get a dental discount plan, which costs approximately $10 per month. Another option is pairing your Original Medicare plans (Part A and B) with a standalone dental cover.
Finally, you can opt for Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) that cover dental, hearing, and vision costs. Dental coverage by these plans is provided by private companies but regulated by the government. Seniors with MA plans interested in dental implants will pay out-of-pocket to cover part of the expenses. This is because the plans follow a cost-sharing approach for costly dental treatments. In addition, MA plans have a maximum dental benefit amount and do not cover all dental treatments.
Are There Grants/Programs For Helping With Teeth Cleaning, Fillings, Decay And Root Canals Cost?
Medicaid: Medicaid is a state program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to cover medical expenses for the less fortunate South Carolinians. The dental services it pays for adults 21 and over include x-rays, sealants, fillings, examinations, and extractions. The maximum dental benefit amount is $750.
ElderCare Trust Fund is disbursed by the South Carolina Department of Aging to seniors to settle their living expenses. The amount given depends on an individual’s situation. These funds reduce the movement of seniors to nursing homes.