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:
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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 Cinics
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.
All commentsGo to the last comment
I feel your pain ... I was in tears the other day after a conversation with a second Medicare specialist (the first didn’t seem so bad, but I was never told what plan it was. At least if you’re at retirement age you get other breaks like taxes ... I’m disabled and there are no breaks unless at poverty (however I have the option of turning over all assets to what’s called a pooled trust which charges a small fortune to manage your money, but then you qualify for Medicaid which is like gold ... you pay for nothing (no dental or vision however and I have eye issues) ... the whole healthcare industry is disgusting ...
ok, now my rant is over.
@Healym19590401 thank you for the helpful information.
@Gordon I feel your struggle and pain. It would be nice if they would tell you what is not covered before doing the procedure, right? I have dealt with this and even before when doctors would see me and then tell me after the care that they do not accept my insurance and I needed to pay like $600 for a 30-minute visit!
@LynndMS I agree! The whole healthcare is disgusting! Insurance should be for all... call me crazy, but I think healthcare in this country was heading the right way with the Affordable Care Act.... the only problem was it did not go far enough! We should all be taken care of and not be required to go into poverty for healthcare!
@nomorenomore I agree wholeheartedly. We are the only (not to mention wealthiest) nation that’s a democracy without healthcare for all. Years ago I lived and worked in Canada for a short time .. I had to go to the doctor and was floored .. it was free. Everything.
thank you all for the helpful information! Dental coverage is something so important to all of us.
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