Those who serve in the military put their lives at risk to protect and serve their country. The Veterans Administration’s responsibility is to ensure veterans access health care when they return home. Unfortunately, dental coverage is not always included as part of that coverage.
The private dental insurance plans available to veterans are also a good option for those veterans who need to maintain their dental coverage. The health care marketplace is another place veterans can shop for deals to help them afford health care.
You can still get dental grants for veterans even if you are not eligible for VA benefits or cannot afford a private plan. It is possible to obtain discounts and waived fees on dental services from non-profit organizations, dental specialists, and some companies.
Veterans can obtain assistance and dental grants for veterans through the following programs/organizations:
Dental Lifeline Network
A national charitable organization, Dental Lifeline Network, is dedicated to improving oral health and preventing dental disease in people with disabilities, who are elderly and medically fragile, as well as those who have no other means to seek treatment. Its mission is to serve the needs of direct service programs, particularly charitable care, by establishing and coordinating collaborative relationships that will provide them with the resources they need.
Programs offered by Dental Lifeline Network include:
Donated Dental Services (DDS)
Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program that provides free, comprehensive dental care as well as veterans dental care grants to some of the most vulnerable people in society, such as people with disabilities, the elderly, and those with medical needs. More than 15,000 dentists and 3,400 dental laboratories are part of the volunteer network that manages the program across the United States. The DDS program, founded in 1985, has donated more than $500 million in dental therapies since its inception, transforming the lives of 165,600 patients worldwide.
Will You See One Veteran (WYSOV)
In the WYSOV program, DDS volunteers are paired up with veterans who are eligible for the program. Veterans are more likely to have worse oral health outcomes than non-veterans, as they are more likely to show teeth decay, have a higher rate of periodontal disease and require more restorative dental care.
Colorado Campaign of Concern (COC)
Individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities, their family members, and support staff can receive oral hygiene training through the Colorado Campaign of Concern (COC) Program. A healthy mouth is ensured for these individuals by teaching them proper techniques and providing them with the materials needed. Family members, caregivers, and support staff are trained to identify and treat oral health diseases and use adaptive tools and behavior management techniques.
This dental outreach program was founded in 1976 and has helped staff members, families, and individuals maintain good oral health since then, and it has been in operation for over 40 years. As part of the COC service, the non-profit organization helps clients find dentists willing to provide dental care to those in need.
There is a wide range of harm caused by dental diseases, especially for individuals with additional medical problems like cancer or diabetes, in addition to their oral health. Many people are unaware of the connection between dental care and health care until they need dental treatment. These fact sheets may be downloaded and distributed by doctors to their patients. In addition to those sheets, they also provide you with a health checklist that you can use along with them. Various health issues can be checked off by the patient, as well as the family member, if they have one. Thus, they will know their patients’ specific needs from the beginning of their treatment process.
VA Dental Care
Veterans who qualify for VA dental benefits are entitled to comprehensive coverage. Over 500,000 veterans received veterans dental care grants in the course of Fiscal Year 2021. It may be possible for you to get some or all of your dental care through VA benefits if you qualify for VA dental care. It depends on your military service history, your current health and living situation, and whether you qualify for VA dental care benefits for some or all of your dental care. As a result of these factors, VA determines your benefits class — and provides you with the specific benefits corresponding to that class. You can apply online by filling out the 10-10EZ health care application.
Across the country, including Alaska and Puerto Rico, the VA operates more than 200 dental clinics for qualified veterans.
VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP)
If you meet at least one of the requirements below, you may be eligible to buy dental insurance for a reduced cost through VADIP:
The answer to at least one of these questions must be yes. You:
- Are you signed up for VA health care, or
- Are signed up for the VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), a health insurance program for dependents of Veterans
Delta Dental of California and MetLife have been selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offer private insurance coverage through the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP).
VA dental insurance will continue indefinitely due to legislation passed in 2021. Enrollment is open to veterans and their dependents covered by the VA health care system as well as beneficiaries of the CHAMPVA. As a member of VADIP, you can receive discounts on medical services, such as diagnostic and preventative services, endodontics and other restorative procedures, surgical services, and emergency treatments.
Dental insurance plans require each covered individual to pay the entire premium, along with any copays. Individuals are not affected by enrollment in this program if they already receive outpatient dental services and treatments from the VA. VADIP provides dental coverage in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. You can contact Delta Dental at 1-855-370-3303 or MetLife at 1-888-310-1681 for specific information regarding registration, rates, and services.
Local Community Health Centers
Every community in the country has been provided with a health center run by the government. Over the past decade, Community centers have provided top-quality healthcare to the needy due to being directed by ex-patients.
Besides providing healthcare to veterans, these community centers also provide oral health care to veterans, including the provision of free dental implants to veterans, especially those without health insurance. Free dental implants for veterans are one of the top benefits that your local community center can provide you with.
Experts in health and dental insurance recommend contacting nonprofit organizations to obtain free dental implants for veterans since their eligibility criteria are generally more lenient than those found in the private sector, increasing the likelihood of getting a free service. We should honor and value veterans whose service to our country has made them heroes.
Those who have fought wars for the nation have taken an immense psychological and physical toll. The government tries to provide the best care to war heroes through the US Veterans Affairs Department (VA) and numerous healthcare and social organizations. It may improve their quality of life to receive advanced dental care, but countless war veterans in the US lack access to it.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out this Gov Relations blog today!