There are many different types of health care, and one that is particularly important is not always covered by health insurance — dental care. Like many other medical health insurance plans, Medicare’s coverage of dental is scarce. In fact, the general rule is that you will pay one hundred percent of your dental services while under Medicare.
There are a few exceptions to the general rule. While dental care that isn’t covered includes fillings, cleanings, tooth extractions, and dentures, you will be able to get coverage for a couple of procedures with your Medicare plan. These procedures usually have more to do with an underlying health condition that will require medical treatment. For example, if you break your jaw and require your teeth to be wired, Medicare will pay in connection with the reduction of that jaw fracture. These exceptions are minute and very particular.
The exclusion of dental coverage isn’t new. In fact, it was a part of the original Medicare program. The Social Security Act, which governs Medicare, provides for the exclusion of dental coverage in connection with the care of teeth or structures supporting the teeth. That’s why treatment of the teeth or other dental areas related to another health problem may not be covered.
This exclusion is very broad, which leads to the general presumption that dental coverage is zero. Whether you are seeking a cavity filling, routine preventative care, or denture work, you can anticipate paying for everything unless you have supplemental coverage under a different plan.
Discount Dental Plans
Because Medicare does not pay for the vast majority of dental procedures, discount dental plans have been developed as an alternative. These plans are offered at a low cost to individuals who need them, and they often fill in this particular gap in Medicare coverage for those who are enrolled. You will need to be cautious, of course, just like you would be when signing onto any insurance plan. Read all your paperwork carefully and ask a lot of questions. Your covered services under your discount dental plan will vary from plan to plan. You’ll need to follow plan guidelines for choosing a dental provider and for the procedures covered under the plan. Choose your discount dental plan based on your budget and your annual dental needs.