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Medicare and Dental

Medicare and Dental

Dental care is not included in Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage. Therefore, routine checkups, fillings, cleanings, dentures and tooth extractions are all not covered by Medicare. Although Medicare does cover dental, maintaining good oral hygiene improves your overall health. It can help prevent gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, bad breath and more. Fortunately, there are numerous ways for seniors with Medicare to reduce the cost of their routine dental services with these four different dental plans.

Optional Dental Plans for Seniors

  • Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan: Most Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) include benefits such as routine dental, vision and prescription drug coverage. There are many coverage options and premiums to choose from. Make sure to always consider your current and future needs. For instance: Dentures
  • Add Medicare Supplement Insurance to Medicare: Medicare Supplement Plans (also known as Medigap) are the insurance plans that help cover costs on coinsurance and deductibles. Before buying a Medicare Supplement plan, you must have both Parts A and B of Original Medicare. Similar to other insurance plans, you pay a monthly premium for a specific supplement. Once Medicare pays, that is when you start to receive supplemental insurance.
  • Try to Enroll in Your Spouse’s Dental Plan: If your spouse is still working and covered by a group plan through his/her employer, you may also be eligible for coverage.
  • Join a Dental Discount Plan: You must pay a monthly or annual payment for the plan, and then pay a discounted rate (for services) to the dentist (similar to a shopping club).
  • Find a Stand-Alone Dental Insurance Plan: You have the opportunity to purchase a dental-only insurance plan. You must pay a monthly premium; however, you will have lower out-of-pocket fees. Most of these dental plans will recommend you to see a dentist that is in your network as opposed to out-of-network because there may be lower rates. Some plans may give you the opportunity to go to any dentist (in or out-of-network), but make sure that you are aware of the higher prices for services.

Medicare Dental Exceptions

Although Medicare will not pay for dental care needed for the health of your teeth, they do offer limited coverage for dental care needed to protect your overall health. For example, Medicare (Part A) may cover an oral exam in the hospital before a heart or kidney transplant, surgery to treat jaw or face fractures, dental splints and more.

  • For more information on Medicare Advantage Plans, click here.
  • For more information on Medicare Supplement Plans, click here.