Medicare and Dental Insurance
Medicare has restricted dental coverage that protects your overall health so that another Medicare-covered health service can run smoothly. It does not cover teeth cleanings, fillings, dentures (full or partial), routine checkups, or most tooth extractions. You can only gain this type of coverage through a standalone dental insurance plan or through a Medicare Advantage plan that may offer these benefits. Among stand-alone dental insurance plans, beneficiaries can also purchase dental, vision, and hearing plans altogether to get covered for all three major services that aren’t normally covered under Original Medicare.
Stand-alone dental insurance coverage provides benefits like:
- regular checkups and cleanings: usually twice a year and out-of-pocket coinsurance may be required
- tooth extractions
- cavity cleanings
- root canals and other repair network work
- bridges, crowns, and implants
- complex dental procedures like oral surgery
However, dental insurance plans usually don’t provide coverage for orthodontics (braces), any dental care that is related to pre-existing conditions, or any dental procedures that are considered cosmetic.
Also, the range of coverage you get may depend on which type of dental insurance plan you choose, and from which company, you are choosing. You can typically choose plans with preventive, basic, or major coverage. Preventive coverage includes routine checkups and cleanings, and also may exclude deductibles from their plans. Basic coverage includes fillings and some repair work, whilst major coverage includes more complex work like surgeries, bridges, crowns, dentures, etc.
The dental insurance plan costs depend on which range of coverage you like to choose. If you only want to get routine checkups and preventative services your monthly premiums may be as low as 20$ per month. However, if you would like the widest range of coverage which includes preventive, basic, and major dental services, your costs can go up to 80$ per month.