Dental Insurance for Seniors
Finding a Medicare Dental Insurance Plan
There's no doubt that dental insurance can be expensive. Many people on Original Medicare don't have dental care coverage at all. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, around 24 million people don't have dental coverage through Medicare.
Original Medicare doesn't include dental coverage for most routine dental procedures to help with your oral health. That's why it's important to look for secondary dental insurance and have dental health options available to you.
We've put together some simple information to help you understand how to access network dentists, preventive dental services, and other dental services through Medicare and supplemental dental insurance coverage. Here's what you should know as you begin to look for coverage.
What Should You Look for in a Dental Insurance Plan?
Many seniors looking to protect their oral health shop for Medicare Advantage plans that include dental coverage. When shopping for this kind of plan, you need to make sure that the plan covers the dental care that's most important to you.
Some of the dental care that Medicare Advantage plans may cover include:
Routine dental examinations
Gum disease treatments
When choosing a plan, find one that offers a large network of providers and competitive pricing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while Medicare Advantage plans are often the best way to get dental coverage as a senior, you may also want to look for a supplemental plan offered through a private insurance company. Your choice will depend on the plans available in your area, what they cover, and the premiums you'll be expected to pay.
Which Dental Services Are Covered by Medicare?
The dental services covered by Medicare will depend on the kind of Medicare policy you have. If you have Original Medicare, you pay 100% of the costs for all non-covered services. Non-covered services usually include dental care.
Medicare Part A
There's an exception to the dental exclusion, though. Medicare Part A, which is known as Hospital Insurance, will cover dental care and services provided when you're in the hospital. For example, if your jaw is broken, and dental work must be performed as a part of surgery, then that will usually be covered by Medicare Part A. Routine dental care, however, is not included in Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers dental work that's medically necessary and performed during another service. For instance, if you go to the hospital for a broken jaw, but a physician does dental work for you instead of the surgeon, Medicare Part B may kick in to cover the cost of that care. Medicare Part B does not cover routine procedures.
Does Medicare Part C Include Dental Coverage?
Medicare Part C is also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Part C may cover extra benefits that aren't available through Original Medicare. These benefits may include hearing, vision, and preventive dental coverage.
Not all Medicare Advantage plans provide dental coverage beyond what's available with Original Medicare, but most do. In fact, in 2021, 94% of all Medicare Advantage enrollees had some kind of dental coverage available to them. Around 14% had coverage only for preventative services, but the majority (86%) had more expansive coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans may offer several kinds of dental coverage. These could include:
Network coverage, which may provide coverage for preventative services, like X-rays or dental cleanings
Reimbursement allowances, which reimburse you for payments made up-front at the time of a service
Supplemental benefits, which allow you to buy additional dental benefits if you pay a premium on top of the base coverage costs
Determining which kind of dental services you need is the first step. Then, work with our Medicare advisors to look for a Medicare Advantage plan that fits into your healthcare budget and meets your individual dental needs. Schedule a no-cost initial consultation with a member of the Delta Medicare Benefits group team by filling out our secure online form or calling 901-460-7220.
How Much Do Medicare Dental Insurance Plans Cost?
Medicare dental insurance for seniors has a yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for both Part A and Part B services. Medicare Advantage plans can cost different amounts depending on your circumstances. As of 2022, Medicare Advantage Plan premiums range between $0 and $189 monthly in Shelby County, TN, for example, but they decrease to between $0 and $109 per month in DeSoto County, MS.
Low-cost Medicare Advantage plans without extra premiums based on age or where you live may still provide dental coverage, but it could be basic. More expensive plans tend to include more advanced dental services.
How Can I Get Dental Coverage With Medicare?
To get coverage through Medicare, you'll want to look for Medicare dental coverage insurance plans when you're first eligible for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period. You may also enroll in Medicare dental coverage during the Open Enrollment Period runs from October 15 to December 7. Depending on your individual circumstances, there may be other opportunities throughout the year to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Be sure to speak with one of our Medicare advisors if you have specific questions about your Medicare benefits.
Getting Dental Insurance Gives You More Dental Health Options
Seniors may need more dental health options. You may need to look into dentures or want to keep up on regular cleanings to maintain your oral health. If you compare plans for the best deal, you'll find that there are many Medicare Advantage plans and supplemental options that can fit within your budget. We explain Advantage plans more in detail here, but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (901) 460-7220 or send us a message.
This checklist will give you all the information you need for a smooth transition on to the Medicare program.