Dental Insurance – Medicare Guidelines
TIPS TO CONSIDER IN THE NEW YEAR . . . . .
If you are now 65 years of age and under Medicare, you are probably already aware that Medicare’ coverage of dental care is extremely limited. Hopefully, your secondary insurance coverage can be helpful. As for Medicare, however, routine dental care checkup, cleanings, fillings, dentures – none of those are covered.
Medicare will, however, cover some dental services if they are required to protect your general health, or if you need dental care in order for another health service that Medicare covers to be successful. Example: Cancer patients in need of dental services that are necessary for radiation treatment, or if you need surgery to treat fractures of the jaw, or face – Medicare will pay for these dental services.
Although Medicare’ dental coverage is limited, there are other ways you can get coverage and care affordable: check the Medicare Advantage plans – some provide routine dental care, and it is worth making sure you become aware of what dental services will be covered, in addition to making sure that the plan you are considering covers the doctors and hospitals you prefer to use and the medications you take at a cost you can afford. See Medicare.gov/find-a-
To Find dental savings plans – contact Dental Plans.com or 888 632-5353 where you can reach for plans and participating dentists as well as get a breakdown of the discounts offered. Such plans involve an annual membership fee – around $80 – $200 a year in exchange for 10 – 60% discounts on service and treatments from participating dentists.
Check Veterans’ benefits: If you are a veteran enrolled in the VA health care program or are a beneficiary of the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMP-VA), the VA offers a dental insurance plan that gives you the option to buy dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost. The VA also provides free dental care to vets who have dental problems resulting from service. To learn more about these options, call 877-222-8767 or visit: VA.gov/dental.
Shop around – FAIR HEALTH CONSUMER.ORG and HEALTHCARE BLUEBOOK.COM are resources to research the cost of different dental procedures in your area, to facilitate comparison shopping or ask your regular dentist for a discount!
Try Community Health Centers or dental schools – all university dental schools and college dental hygiene programs offer dental care and cleanings for less than half of what you would pay at a dentist’s office. Students are supervised by their professors in providing care. See ToothWisdom.org search for a center, clinic, or school near you.