Medicare and Dental Coverage: How to Choose a Supplemental Dental Plan


If you are new to Medicare, and dental coverage is important to you, then you will quickly discover that Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plans do not provide adequate coverage for routine dental care.  While Original Medicare does offer extremely limited coverage for dental injury and diseases of the mouth and jaw, it does not cover routine dental procedures such as cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions or dentures.

Many Medicare Advantage Plans, such as Secure Horizons, do provide limited coverage for preventive dentistry, including cleanings and exams; however, members often find that benefits for basic and major dentistry such as fillings, extractions, root canals, crowns, dentures and periodontal maintenance are inadequate.


Where to Find Medicare Dental Supplements

Fortunately, there are plenty of supplemental, standalone dental insurance plans and dental savings plans to choose from.

PPO dental insurance plans, such as the United Health One Dental Value Plan, offer traditional dental benefits at a surprisingly affordable rate, provided that a networked dentist is utilized for services rendered.   Consider a PPO dental insurance plan if you are willing to use a networked dentist.

If your favorite dentist does not network with any PPO dental insurance plans, an indemnity, or “any-dentist” plan is the next best option for dental insurance.  For immediate benefits with no waiting period, consider an Assurant Health dental insurance plan.

Affordable dental savings plans are another option for supplemental dental benefits.  Some dental savings plans, also referred to as discount dental plans, offer deeper discounts for major dental work, such as dentures and denture repairs, than others, so it is important to search for a dental plan that will provide the best discounts for the services you need most.  Avia Dental is a good choice for seniors looking for deep discounts on crowns, root canals and dentures.

Dental care is important for everyone, but locating affordable dental care can be particularly difficult for seniors living on a fixed income.  Many seniors unfortunately discover the limitations with their Medicare dental benefits after the dental work is already done.  A great time to review all of your health, dental and vision benefits is during the annual enrollment period for Medicare Advantage Plans.  The Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15th and ends December 7th.



Agent Advice” is a feature guest post from Lynne Erickson of Erickson Financial Services, Inc. Lynne has been assisting individuals and families with the purchase of personal health, dental and vision coverage for more than 10 years. Her primary objective is to help her clients procure suitable health benefits that offer the best value for the price. Lynne is a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU).

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