Do teeth need fixing? Don’t call Medicare.
How many times did your mother say to you “did you brush your teeth?” Was there ever a dentist visit when you didn’t get the question “are you flossing?”
Most of us have been brought up with the idea that we need to take care of our teeth. This directive is not misplaced, especially when we get older. Here are a few of the problems that seniors can experience, according to the National Institutes of Health:
- Tooth loss
- Gum disease
- Oral cancer
- Facial pain
This list doesn’t even cover the disease than can be caused by dental problems, such as the increased risk of cancer or heart disease, or the embarrassment and heartache from missing teeth that spoil a perfect smile.
But, while Medicare covers a lot of healthcare issues, it does not cover most dental care. Yes, Medicare will cover the reconstruction of a broken jaw if you are in an accident, but not cleaning or extraction. It will also not pay for dentures or dental plates. What to do?
How to get dental coverage
There are two alternatives to securing dental services coverage: Medicare Advantage plans or stand-alone private company policies. The latter has nothing to do with Medicare.
If you are already getting Medicare through a Medicare Advantage plan, you will probably be better off adding on dental coverage. Every plan differs, however, so here are some of the questions you should ask:
- What services are covered?
- Is there an out-of-pocket maximum?
- Is there an annual maximum benefit?
- What is the waiting period for services?
You will want to know:
- What is the monthly premium?
- Is there a deductible? How much?
- Is there co-insurance (i.e., the cost of a procedure)?
- What is the co-pay?
The question of dental coverage under Medicare comes up in Congress every now and then, but so far only “medically necessary” services and covered. And, if truth be told, not all of those are included in the coverage. They are at the discretion of the plan sponsor. So, if you need services before radiation treatment for oral cancer, you may qualify. Otherwise, your options under Medicare are limited.
Need a Dental Plan? We Can Help
Don’t let your teeth become a problem Add dental coverage to your regular Medicare plan. Make your mother happy.
Here is a great video on How to Get Dental Coverage: