Does Medicare cover dental care?
Your dental health is an important part of your overall wellness, but most standard Medicare health insurance plans do not include dental services. Instead, dental insurance is often sold separately, so you can customize your insurance to suit your needs. If you use Medicare, you should be aware that certain dental services are not automatically covered. Review your options to make sure that you get total health care coverage.
What dental services are covered by Medicare?
When people talk about standard Medicare, they are usually referring to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. Medicare Part A covers hospital care while Medicare Part B covers preventative medicine and regular doctor’s visits. Neither of these coverage types include dental work, such as routine cleanings, dentures and small cavity fillings.
However, basic Medicare will cover any health emergencies, including dental ones. For example, if a cavity turns into a dental abscess requiring you to visit the hospital, Part A will often help pay for the hospital care to treat the problem.
How Medicare Part D and Part C help with dental coverage
Medicare Part C is a type of Medicare plan that often bundles coverage together. A large amount of Part C plans include some kind of dental coverage. However, because these plans are subject to provider networks, you’ll need to make sure that your preferred dentist is part of the insurance carrier’s network before you purchase a Part C plan.
Part D plans only cover prescription drugs. So if you have a dental procedure which requires a prescription for after-care, that may be covered by your Part D plan.
Other ways to get Medicare coverage for dental work
If you want to get as much coverage as possible, there are a few things you can do to further boost the coverage you get from Medicare.
Get a standalone Dental, Vision, and Hearing plan
If you don’t want to bundle everything together, a standalone Dental, Vision, and Hearing (DVH) plan is another option you may want to consider. With this, you’ll get coverage for common services like dental cleanings and X-rays. The plans are relatively inexpensive, usually costing between $35 and $75 per month depending on the plan and provider.
Medicare does not dictate what dental, vision, and hearing plans must cover. As a result, the items covered by different policies can vary significantly. Depending on the plan, your costs can include some or all the following: premiums, deductibles, and copays. If you will be making several doctor visits throughout the year, you may prefer to pay a higher premium in exchange for lower copays and deductibles. A lower premium could be the way to go if your eyes, ears, and teeth are in relatively good shape.
Medigap dental coverage
Medicare Supplement plans mostly help cover out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare Part A and Part B, but will not cover services like dental cleanings. Their main benefit is covering the deductibles, copay, or coinsurance you would have to pay if you needed emergency dental services.
Enroll in a health savings account before you start Medicare coverage
Enrolling in a health savings account (HSA) before the age of 65 provides tax-free funds that can be used toward your future medical bills. You are allowed to use your HSA funds to cover most dental care and even your Medicare deductible.
Discuss your dental needs with a Medicare Insurance Advisor
Ultimately, it is possible to get very affordable dental insurance, even if Original Medicare does not cover most dental services. There are all sorts of programs and insurance plans designed to help you get affordable dental care.
A Medicare Advisor can help you navigate your options; they know the local programs in your area that can benefit you. To get the health care you need, call United Medicare Advisors at 1-855-665-9200. We’re happy to explore your options and help you compare Medicare Supplement plans. With our help, finding dental and medical plans that save you money has never been easier.