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Medicare Dental Insurance for Seniors (65+)

Oral healthcare is pricey, and it is only getting pricier. The average spending on dental care per person increased by 81 percent from 1990 to 2016.

Today, the average cost of a dental cleaning is about $90 to $120. That number goes up depending on your oral health needs.

Cleaning excessive plaque and tartar can easily tack on another $100.

Many Americans (59 percent) don’t visit the dentist for checkups as often as they’d like or should. This is because of the toll it can take on their wallets.

But dental health is critical. Skipping routine dental care can lead to more expensive and more painful dental procedures down the line.

Did you know dental savings plans are an affordable insurance alternative? Learn everything you need to know about dental savings plans.

What Dental Services Are Covered By Medicare?

Original Medicare health insurance doesn’t typically cover dental care, procedures, or supplies such as:

  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • X-rays
  • Dentures
  • Dental plates

That’s largely why nearly two-thirds of Medicare enrollees don’t have any dental insurance at all. Plus, it's why one in five haven’t seen a dentist in the last five years.

Nearly all (88 percent) of Medicare Advantage health plans provide at least some dental coverage.

Many government-approved, private insurance companies offer Medicare coverage with dental services. They are available through these types of dental plans:

Original Medicare (Part A)

Original Medicare includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).

The Part A portion of the Original Medicare plan covers certain dental services you may need while you’re in a hospital.

This includes any emergency or complicated dental procedures you may need while in inpatient hospital care.

For example, in:

  • An acute care hospital
  • A critical access hospital
  • An inpatient rehab facility
  • A long-term care hospital
  • Mental health care
  • Inpatient care as part of a research study

The dental services must be an essential part of a covered procedure, such as:

  • Jaw reconstruction surgery following an injury
  • Tooth extractions to prepare for radiation treatment for conditions causing tumors that involve the jaw
  • Oral examinations (but not treatment) before kidney transplants or heart valve replacements

Medicare Advantage Plans (also known as Medicare
Part C)

This insurance plan combines both Medicare Part A and Part B into one comprehensive plan.

The plan may also include:

  • Dental coverage
  • Vision benefits
  • Prescription drug benefits 

Not all Part C Plans include medicare dental coverage. It’s important to check each plans’ details before enrolling.

It’s also important to confirm exactly what dental services are included in your plan’s coverage since dental benefits vary. For example, dentures or extractions. 

Medicare supplemental dental insurance also falls under Medicare. However, it does not include dental care.

Find out if a dental savings plan from DentalPlans can save you money on your next dental procedure. Visit DentalPlans.

Who Qualifies For Medicare Dental Coverage?

Medicare is generally available for anyone who is 65 of age or older. It is also available to some younger people with certain disabilities and those with End-Stage Renal Disease.

Almost all Medicare beneficiaries (97 percent) have access to a Medicare Advantage plan that provides dental coverage that traditional Medicare doesn’t cover.

Why Should Seniors Get Medicare?

Seniors (65 years old and up) are adversely affected by oral healthcare bills. About 20 percent of seniors have untreated dental cavities. A quarter are missing all of their natural teeth. But elderly Americans report that high cost is a major barrier to getting routine dental services. This is more so than other groups.

If you’re a senior, financial assistance is available. You may qualify for certain Medicare dental plans that can save you serious money.

How Do I Get Dental Coverage with Medicare?

To get dental coverage with Medicare, you can follow two simple steps:

  1. Decide what Medicare dental coverage is important to you. Not all plans have the same offerings. Make a list of your musts and the benefits you could do without.
  2. Shop around for affordable Medicare dental insurance that meets your needs. There are tons of providers that offer Medicare dental plans. It’s wise to compare your coverage options.

Best Medicare Dental Plans (Coverage Options)

Here are three top Medicare dental providers out there.

It’s up to you to decide what specific dental insurance plan makes the most sense for your oral healthcare needs and budget.

Humana 

Humana boasts the most Medicare Advantage enrollees. It offers 83 plans in most counties across the country. Eighty-five percent of Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one Humana plan.

UnitedHealthcare 

UnitedHealthcare is up there with Humana with the most Medicare Advantage enrollees. It offers plans in 60 percent of counties across the country. Eighty-two percent of Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one UnitedHealthcare plan.

Anthem 

Anthem provides all kinds of plans. These plans include HMOs that save you money on doctor visits (some with a free monthly premium) to PPOs that allow you to visit both network dentists and doctors outside your network for a fee. Each plan comes with preventive care benefits.

How Do You Receive Dental Coverage if Medicare Does Not Include It?

If you are on a Medicare plan that works for you and does not cover dental coverage, you may consider several other options.

Purchase a separate or standalone dental plan

You can choose a separate or standalone dental plan from a private insurance company. There are various types of dental plans to select. They typically come with affordable monthly premiums.

Look for an affordable walk-in dental clinic

Depending on where you live and what type of dental services you require, you may be able to find affordable treatment. This is even if it involves paying out-of-pocket.

Check with your state department of health

Your state department of health may have information on where you can receive affordable dental services.

Visit a local dental school

If you have a dental school or university program nearby, you can contact them to see if they provide free or low-cost dental services.

Open a Health Savings Account (HAS)

Before 65, you can consider opening a HAS if you have a high deductible health plan. Once you enroll in Medicare, you can no longer add to the fund. However, you can use what you have saved for covered expenses like eligible dental care.

What’s Next?

DentalPlans is the best site for dental savings plans because it compares all the best plans in your area. You know exactly how much every procedure will cost and which dentists are available.

Last updated on April 22, 2022
15 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 22, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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  15. Shop Medicare Plans
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