Dental Coverage for Seniors on Medicare

Medicare Enrollment Period

Dental Coverage for Seniors on Medicare

What type of dental coverage is available for seniors on Medicare? If you are approaching retirement age and new to Medicare you may be shocked to learn that Medicare does not cover most dental care such as cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, or dentures. Original Medicare has two parts: Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (doctors and outpatient care). Part A may cover dental work if you suffer a traumatic injury that affects your jaw, teeth, or mouth and had to be hospitalized, but otherwise Medicare does NOT cover dental care.


Oral care is a major issue for many seniors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 1 in 5 adults over the age of 65 has untreated tooth decay. An estimated 68% of seniors have gum disease and nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Older Americans with the poorest oral health tend to be those who are economically disadvantaged and lack insurance. If you’re a senior and you want to keep up to date on regular checkups and preventative procedures without breaking the bank, here are some options:


1. Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan

Only Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) offer dental coverage. However, it is important to note that not all of them do. The dental coverage offered by Medicare Advantage Plans is typically for routine services such as Teeth Cleaning, Routine X-rays, Extractions, or Fillings. In addition to basic dental care, some Medicare Advantage Plans also cover extra benefits like vision and hearing. You’ll want to get help from a licensed agent to confirm the plan details before enrolling.


2. Choose a Standalone Dental Insurance Plan

There are many affordable dental plans available from private insurance companies. Plans include HMO, PPO, Indemnity, and Discount Plans. Some plans even combine Dental, Vision, and Hearing into a single policy.  You will usually have a monthly premium, deductible or copay with these plans, however, that cost is offset by lower out-of-pocket fees. Most of these plans will also require you to see an in-network dentist. Talk to an agent to see if a standalone dental plan is right for you.


3. How else can I get low-cost dental care?

Other ways of getting Free or reduced-Cost dental care include:

  • Checking with your state’s Department of Health for programs in your area that offer free or reduced-cost dental care. For example, here is a list of Low-Cost Dental Options from Texas’s Dept of Health.
  • According to HHS (health and human services) accredited Dental Schools are a good source of quality, low-cost dental treatment.
  • Before turning 65 you can open a Health Savings Account (HSA) and use what you have saved to help pay for expenses, including eligible dental care. However, once you enroll in Medicare you can no longer contribute to the fund.


Medicare Questions?

Shop carefully and make sure to read the details of any dental plan before you enroll. If you have Medicare questions call Empower today. Let us help with your Medicare questions so you can get back to the activities you enjoy the most. 1-888-446-9157 or click here to get an INSTANT QUOTE

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