Choosing the Medicare health plan that's right for you can be a chore, and you may be tempted to quit after selecting your medical plan. But don't forget your dental health!
Maintaining oral health may be more challenging for seniors and people with certain disabilities. This may be due to an inability to brush their teeth properly, as well as an increased use of medications.
Unfortunately, Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not include coverage for dental services like dental exams, cleanings, fillings, crowns, bridges, plates or dentures. There are some exceptions, such as when a hospital stay is involved, but otherwise you would have to pay out of pocket for any routine dental services. For some of us, those expenses could add up quickly.1
Thankfully, there are several options for dental insurance for seniors and those who are Medicare eligible.
Choose a Medicare Advantage plan
Some Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) include benefits like routine dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug coverage. There are quite a few plans to choose from with a wide range of premiums and coverage options.
Be sure to consider your current and future needs. For example, if you have dentures or think you may need them in the future, look for a Medicare Advantage plan that covers dentures.
Get extra dental coverage with a stand-alone dental plan
If you are eligible, some Medicare Advantage plans can be paired with a dental insurance plan. You'll have to pay a monthly premium, but the cost may be offset by lower out-of-pocket fees.
Some services that may be fully or partially covered by a dental plan include:
- Root canals
Most of these dental plans require you see an in-network dentist who may offer lower rates than out-of-network providers. Some plans let you go to any dentist (in or out of network), but you may have to pay more for their services.
Whether you choose a Medicare Advantage plan or pair a dental plan with your Medicare Advantage plan, take the time to find a plan that fits your needs and helps protect your dental health.