Does Medicare Cover Dental? Why You Might Not Be Covered

When you retire and move over to Medicare health insurance, you’ll need to review the care you need, the medications you’ll need covered, your dental care needs, and your choice of physician. Continued coverage of your current care can be arranged, but you may need to purchase a supplemental policy.

Is dental covered by Original Medicare?

Original Medicare, also known as Medicare A & B, does not cover dental care. Medicare Part A covers hospitalizations and Medicare Part B covers doctor visits. You can find a Medicare Part C to cover your dental needs.

What Medicare plans cover dental?

Medicare part C plans can be found to provide you with dental coverage. It is a combination of

  • Medicare part A
  • Medicare part B
  • Additional coverage features, including vision, hearing and dental coverage

However, part C plans vary from provider to provider. Carefully review your part C choices before purchasing, and review any plan changes that come up as the coverage you need may get dropped during the plan change period.

You can also purchase a high deductible Medicare plan. This plan includes a high deductible Medicare part C with a required savings account. Your medical savings account may provide you with tax breaks. These dollars can roll over from year to year. Once you pay the deductible from this account, Medicare will pick up the other expense.

Again, you will need to purchase a Medicare part C plan that will cover the care that you specifically need. If you need vision coverage for new glasses, dental insurance or a hearing test, make sure your Medicare part C plan covers those requirements.

Depending on the Medicare coverage you purchase, there may be age limits on your health savings account contributions, and there are differences between a medical savings account and a health savings account. Carefully study the rules before you set up your healthcare coverage vehicle.

How do you get dental coverage if Medicare doesn’t include it?

Talk to your dentist about the insurance they accept and consider buying a standalone plan dedicated for Medicare receivers. If there’s a dentistry school in your area, you may be able to get basic services either free or on a reduced plan as students learn their craft.

Contact local senior service organizations to see what is available for seniors on a fixed income. In fact, if you’re not on the Silver Sneakers program, now is the time. Not only will you have access to discounted gym memberships, but you will be able to socialize and connect with other seniors in classes scaled to your physical capabilities and needs. Best of all, you can build social connections with other senior citizens and find out which dentists in the area accept your insurance or meet your financial needs.

Dental care is critically important to your comfort and overall health. If you have a good relationship with your dentist, discuss your concerns with them prior to retirement. Talk to their billing personnel or office manager about insurance plans that are accepted in their office and seek out a Medicare part C or a Medical Savings Account vehicle that will allow you to keep your dentist.