Along with medical care, dental care becomes increasingly important as we age. Dental problems can become more pronounced or lead to serious health complications. If you are eligible for Medicare, you may be wondering what dental benefits you may qualify for. Original Medicare Part A and Part B covers many healthcare expenses, but it doesn’t cover all of your costs. Many Medicare beneficiaries choose to enroll in supplemental insurance to help cover some of the costs Original Medicare does not. Unfortunately, Medigap policies do not include dental care services.
Just as you’re more likely to experience health problems as you age, you’re also more likely to experience dental issues as you age. One of the most common issues is simply tooth decay. Decades of use, combined with acidic or sugary foods, start taking a toll. Other common problems include gum disease, receding gums, and even oral cancer. If you are eligible for Medicare, you have options when it comes to dental care coverage.
What Is Medigap Coverage?
Medigap coverage is a private insurance policy that you buy in addition to your Medicare coverage. It comes with a monthly premium like other private insurance policies. That premium is in addition to your standard Medicare premiums. The function of a Medigap policy is covering costs that Medicare Part A and Part B don’t normally cover, such as:
Some Medigap policies also provide coverage for emergency medical services while you travel abroad.
Getting Medigap coverage requires prior enrollment in Part A and Part B of Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage coverage automatically disqualifies you from getting a Medigap policy.
Medigap policies do not provide coverage for routine dental care, but may help cover the costs of coinsurance if you require emergency dental procedures you get that fall under Part A coverage. Some insurers that offer Medigap policies may sell ancillary products, including stand-alone dental care insurance plans.
Options for Dental Coverage
While Original Medicare and Medigap policies do not cover routine dental care, you do have other options. Many Medicare beneficiaries choose to get their Part A and Part B through a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage, including dental care services. It’s important to compare Medicare Advantage plans before enrolling as benefits and costs vary.
Many insurance companies offer stand-alone vision and dental policies, but plans restrict the procedures or services they cover. As with other types of insurance policies, better coverage often comes with a higher monthly premium. Compare your options to find the coverage that is right for you.