Does Medicare Cover Dental?
The world of Medicare can be confusing in general. When it comes to Medicare dental coverage, it can be difficult to know what options are available to you.
If you’re focused on oral care, then it’s important to know if Medicare covers dental. Take a look at the types of Medicare and how they may or may cover dental costs.
Does Medicare cover dental care services?
Yes and no. Original Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care, and there are not Medicare dental plans to purchase. If you’re shopping for coverage for routine dental services, such as teeth cleaning and X-rays, and more specialized treatments for fillings, extractions, dentures, and more, then Original Medicare doesn’t cover those dental services. However, there are ways to obtain dental coverage under some types of
What are some types of Medicare dental coverage?
There are many types of Medicare and they differ in what kind (if any) dental coverage they offer.
Dental coverage with Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage Plans work similarly to traditional health plans in cost and coverage. For example, there are HMOs, PPOs, POS plans, and more. They can include
But not all Medicare Advantage Plans cover dental care. So before you sign up, make sure to read the details of what the plan covers. If you want Medicare dental coverage, then make sure the Medicare Advantage Plan you choose covers the dental care services that you need.
Dental coverage with original Medicare, Part A and Part B
Original Medicare is composed of Part A, which is hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance. The only instance in which Original Medicare might cover any dental services is if you suffered a traumatic injury that also affected your jaw, teeth, or mouth and had to be hospitalized. Then, Original Medicare may cover some of that dental care.
Understanding exactly what your Medicare plan would cover is important to know before accidents occur.
Dental coverage with Medicare Supplement Insurance Policies
Need dental coverage?Cigna offers a variety of affordable dental plans, from basic plans that cover preventive care to plans that help cover major dental care.
Comparing dental coverage under Medicare
In summary, here are the types of Medicare, what they cover, and if dental coverage is available:
Type of Medicare
Dental Coverage Available?
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)
(exception: may be covered if hospitalized due to a serious accident that also affects mouth, jaw, face)
Medicare Advantage (Part C)
May also include:
(Not all Medicare Advantage Plans include dental, however; check plan details before enrolling)
Medicare Supplement Insurance
Costs not covered by Original Medicare (copays, deductibles, coinsurance)
What dental care services are covered by Medicare?
When it comes to Medicare and dental coverage, only Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) may offer dental coverage and not all of them do. This coverage is typically basic and could include:
- Teeth cleaning
- Routine X-rays
- And possibly more
Make sure to review all details of any Medicare Advantage Plan before you enroll. Plans may differ based on the insurance company and even your location. Dental coverage often comes with limits on how many dental care services are covered in a plan year, maximum cost allowances, and more.
How do you get dental coverage if Medicare doesn’t include it?
If you’re on a Medicare plan that’s working for you and doesn’t offer dental coverage, there are other options you may consider.
Buy a separate dental insurance plan
You can purchase a
Find a walk-in dental clinic
Many cities have walk-in dental clinics that are relatively affordable. Depending on where you live and what kind of dental services you need, you may be able to find affordable dental care even if it means paying out-of-pocket.
Check with your state department of health
Your state department of health may have an oral health page that includes information on where you can get low-cost dental care in your region.
Visit a local dental school
If you have a dental school or dental university program nearby, you can contact them to see if they offer any free or low-cost dental clinics to members of the community.
Consider an HSA if you have a high deductible plan
Before age 65, you may consider opening a Health Savings Account (HSA) if you have a high deductible health plan. Once you enroll in Medicare you can no longer contribute to the fund, but you can certainly use what you’ve saved to help pay for covered expenses, including eligible dental care.
Why is dental coverage important?
Oral health is an important part of living a healthy life. If you’re looking for Medicare dental coverage, some kinds of Medicare Advantage Plans may offer basic dental coverage, but not all. Original Medicare doesn’t include dental.
There are also plenty of standalone dental plans to consider. Shop carefully and make sure to read the details of any plan before you enroll.
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This information is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations.
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