Hidalgo Co. Woman Seeks Help to Cover Dentures Cost

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MCALLEN - A Rio Grande Valley woman said she’s living in pain and can’t afford dentures after her teeth were removed.

McAllen resident Maria Alvarado, 80, said she lives alone on a fixed income. She retired after working in the fields as a migrant worker for more than 40 years.

Alvarado said the pain in her teeth makes it hard to eat.

“Well, I have a lot of pain in my gums because I have rotten teeth. I’ve had it for a long time,” she said.

The elderly woman said her Medicare plan covered her visit to a dentist and the extraction procedure.

“The day that I went, they saw me immediately. They took X-rays of my mouth, a lot of x-rays, and I was sent to get my teeth extracted. All teeth were bad,” she said.

Alvarado’s insurance does not cover dentures. She said she can’t imagine living with no teeth at all.

“The doctor told me, ‘Yes, you need your molars to eat.’ Now I would like to get help,” she said.

Dentures cost about $2,000 each. Alvarado said even though her dentist offered to put her on a payment plan, she won’t be able to afford the payments.

The Area Agency on Aging said the payment plan is likely her best and only option. They said they’re searching for other solutions.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Alvarado’s insurance to find out if there were any alternatives. We have not heard back from them.

Alvarado said she hopes to find a solution soon before the pain becomes unbearable. 


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