Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage

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Does Medicare Cover Dental?

Medicare doesn't cover most dental care, dental procedures, or supplies, like cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, dental plates, or other dental devices. However, there are some exceptions, such as Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) will pay for certain dental services that you get when you're in a hospital. Part A can pay for inpatient hospital care if you need to have emergency or complicated dental procedures, even though the dental care isn't covered.

What Are Traditional Options To Get Dental Coverage?

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans are a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans provide all of your Part A and Part B benefits. 

You may be able to get dental coverage under some Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) can include extra benefits like routine dental, routine vision, and Medicare prescription drug coverage. 

To read more information about Medicare Advantage Plans, check out the following links:

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan

How to join a Medicare Advantage Plan

Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance is dental insurance through a private company. Plans vary by company and within a company; however, they typically cover preventive and basic dental care. 

To find out more information on dental insurance plans, you can search through the various private insurance companies that offer dental insurance. 

Some companies (neither of which Carenity has any relation to) are mentioned below, but a simple Google search will reveal many more options.

E-health Insurance

United Health Care Insurance

Delta Dental Insurance

Dental Discount Plans (Dental Discount Cards)

Dental discount plans are different from dental insurance. They are a type of membership that offers discounted prices on dental services. 

Dental discount plans vary and are dependent on the network of dentists who have agreed to take part in the plan. Basically, a network of dental profressionals have agreed to be part of a network and offer discounted rates for various dental services to members. The services that are discounted also vary, but often include dental exams, cleanings, fillings, and more.

You often pay an annual fee or monthly fee to join the discount plan network and then can use the card, which grants you the discounts, at any dental professional in the network. Thus, the membership fee is basically the premium you pay for insurance.

To read more information, check out the following links

Dental Insurance v Dental Discount Plans 1

Dental Insurance v Dental Discount Plans 2

Find a Dental Discount Plan

Some dental care provider organizations offer dental discount cards. This is neither Medicare nor dental coverage, and there are no dental benefits payable to you or the dentist.

You basically have to pay the total cost of your dental care, but with a dental discount card, you get access to a network of dental professionals who agree to discounted rates for dental exams, cleanings, fillings, and more. You pay one annual fee to be in the program and then use the card whenever you receive dental care. Ask your dental care provider if he or she offers these discount cards.

Can't Afford Traditional Options? What Are Other Options?

Local Hospitals

Often hopsital have/offer dental clinics which offer free or low cost services. Call your local hospital and ask if they have any such dental clinics, how you become a patient, and what services are offered and at what cost (if any). If there is a cost, make sure to ask about a payment plan.

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)

FQHCs,are outpatient centers that are located in medically underserved areas that qualify for specific reimbursement systems under medicare and medicais. If you have medicare, you are eligible to receive services from a FQHC health center, and some may offer dental care.

Call around and ask.

Locate a FQHC near you.

Donated Dental Services (DDS)

The Donated Dental Services program provides free, comprehnsive, dental treatment to the elderly, medically fragile, and to those with disabilities. DDS often offers such services to those who cannot afford the neccessary treatment, but cannot get public aid. The program is a network of more than 15,000 dentists across the United States.

Learn more about DDS

Discover the Qualifications and Locations of DDS

Dental Schools

Dental schools often provide low-cost dental care. Dental students perform the dental care under the supervision of experienced, licensed dentists.

Call your local dental school and ask about such services, costs, and payment plans.

Reduced-Cost Or Free Dental Clinics

There exists many such clinics across the United States that provide resources of reduced-cost or free dental care and service.

Below you will find some links for more information and services, but a further Google search including your city and/or state may yield better results.

Needy Medical: Find Free or Reduced-Cost/Sliding Scale Dental Clinics

Free Cliics: Find Free or Reduced-Cost/Sliding Scale Dental Clinics

United Way or call 211 from your phone which will transfer you to a trained resource and referall specialist in your area.

HHS.Gov Resources

Beginning of the discussion - 9/19/18

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage

• Community manager
Posted on

Was this helpful? Please comment and let me know.

Do you have any other resources or information that you feel should be added? Please comment or message me to let me know.

Thank you.

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage


Posted on

Thank you ... I’ve researched options and Dental schools are pretty much the only option in my area for anything other than routine cleaning under an advantage plan.  In my area the wait list is long ... probably because there are no clinics or other options.  

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage

• Community manager
Posted on

@LynndMS I am sorry that the wait list is long at the clinics in your area. Unfortunately, I have found that this seems to be the case with any school, even for barber schools.

Did you not find any luck with the links for Reduced-Cost Or Free Dental Clinics?

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage


Posted on

Hi @Lee__R‍ I didn’t see a link ...

Happy Thanksgiving 

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage

• Community manager
Posted on

@LynndMS I hope your Thanksgiving was well and you enjoyed some relaxing time.

Here are the links below for Reduced-Cost or Free Dental Clinics, please let me know if any of them provide any good resources for you:

https://www.freeclinics.com/

https://www.needymeds.org/dental-clinics

https://www.unitedway.org/contact-us ( or call 211 from your phone which will transfer you to a trained resource and referall specialist in your area.)

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage


Posted on

Hi @Lee__R‍ I cooked so it feels like quite the undertaking lately, but well worth it, and I’m thankful I have the resources to make that dinner and I’m still able. 

Thank you for the list. 

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage


Posted on

Recently retired (August) and currently paying a small fortune in Medicare parts A-B-D-G and Dental-Vision.  My premiums total over $400 per month.  The Dental-Vision plan is with Mutual of Omaha.  

Last weekend I broke a porcelain crown, went in Monday to have it replaced.  Prior to retiring we had dual insurances through work and never payed a co-pay for most medical or any dental.  After the crown was repaired I was hit with the bill for $1,000.  They told me that the coverage does not include crowns for the first year of the plan.  

I also have Humana Enhanced for part D since I take about 10 prescriptions.  Each month since retiring, my co-pay has increased.  This month the co-pay will be about $450.00 and since I am in the "Donut hole" (whatever the f**k that is) I have about $4,000 more co-pay to pay until I get past the $5,000 threshold for this "Donut hole".

In addition to all of this, the SSA announced last week that since I made too much money up to and until August, 2018 they have cut off all SSA benefits now and until March, 2019 to "pay back" the overpayments made August - November, 2018.  The most irritating part of this is that the money in SSA is MY MONEY, PAID OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS OF WORKING!  

Enough ranting for one day.  Happy Hump Day folks.   

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage


Posted on

@Gordon Hi Cordon,  Just wanted to let you know I just switched my prescription plan to Silver Script.  The premium is about 56$ per month and there is no deductible before it begins to cover perscriptions.  The drug costs are as follows Tier 1=1.00,  Tier II = 5.00, Tier III = 35.00, Tier IV = 50$.  I am afraid you are correct on the Dental.  I also have huge dental issues and I just switched plans and now major dental work will not be covered for a year.  I believe most dental plans operate this way.  I am not due for glasses till next year so by then my new plan should give me at 20% off on my glasses.  Hope the info on the prescription plan helps.  Have a blessed Christmas and new year.

Medicare: Solutions for Dental Coverage


Posted on

@Healym19590401 Thank you for the information, however since I am in the "donut hole" on the prescriptions, my copay costs will be about $400/month until I get past the $5000 mark.  

Is this any different with Silver Script?