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Aarp Medicare Advantage Dental Benefits

Does Medicare Cover Dental

Get Medicare with Dental Coverage from UnitedHealthcare

Original Medicare, referred to as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, only covers dental issues that happen in the hospital. This means it covers dental issues under emergency situations resulting from accidents or oral cancer-related problems. Traditional Medicare does not cover routine dental exams, cleanings, and X-rays. Older adults looking for dental coverage typically enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, also referred to as Medicare Part C.

Did You Know: Dental care is an essential part of maintaining your health as you age. View our guide to senior oral health and hygiene to learn ways to keep your smile bright and healthy.

How Can I Manage Co

Many dental offices offer financing and payment arrangements for their patients. One popular choice is CareCredit, a medical credit card you can apply for over the phone. Its different from a traditional credit card as it offers short-term financing with 0 percent interest as long as you make the monthly payments. If you do not pay the balance before the promotional period ends, the interest rate is comparable to other credit cards. Everyone isnt approved though.

Seniors with good credit can also find 0 percent interest introductory offers from major credit card issuers or other financing plans. If it isnt possible to find a low-interest card, it may still be worthwhile to finance the treatment. Even though this will significantly add to the cost of treatment, waiting can be just as costly. Talk to your dentist about how a condition may progress if it is not treated right away. You can treat a $50 cavity today or wait and possibly need a $300 root canal in a few months. Add the cost of a crown after the root canal and your total cost could easily exceed what you would pay in interest.

Seniors can consult AARP and other senior organizations about discounted credit and other options for handling out-of-pocket dental expenses.

Uhc Medicare Dentist Search

UnitedHealthcare has a large network of dentists across the U.S. who accept UHC Medicare plans. In fact, UnitedHealthcare networks include over 1.1 million physicians and other health care professionals across the U.S.1

To find a dentist in your area who accepts UnitedHealthcare dental insurance, you can use the UHC Find a Doctor or Dentist search tool.

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What Do Aarp Medicare Advantage Plans From Unitedhealthcare Offer

Many Medicare Advantage plans offer benefits not usually available through Original Medicare, and American Association of Retired Persons Medicare Advantage Plans from UnitedHealthcare are designed to help you make the most of your healthcare spending. While AARP Medicare Advantage Plans from UnitedHealthcare vary by service area, many of them offer both medical and non-medical benefits that help seniors save. Read on for important details about these plans.

Option : Standalone Dental Plan For Seniors

Aarp Unitedhealthcare Part D Drug Plans

Some health insurers offer dental coverage for seniors as standalone dental plans. These add-on plans are a great choice for dental coverage if you only have Original Medicare or if you have a Medicare Supplement plan.

When selecting a plan, compare coverage details and plan specifics because there is a broad range of policies on access and restrictions. Each plan will specify how much it covers for preventative dental care, basic services or major services. Most plans have a network of providers, and checking this list can make sure you have access to your preferred dentist.

The best dental insurance plans for seniors are from DentaQuest, Aetna and Humana.

DentaQuest: best customer satisfaction

Remember to compare plans based on the waiting period, and some policies may not cover major services until you’ve had the policy for several months. Humana is a great option if you need dental care immediately because most plans have no waiting period for major services like root canals, crowns and dentures.

Many providers may also offer an alternative to dental insurance called a dental discount program. These dental network programs aren’t the best fit for everyone, but we recommend them as one of the five ways to get a cheap dental cleaning without insurance.

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How Can I Manage My Dental Expenses

Keeping dental costs manageable is a concern for many seniors, and dental payment options can make large expenses more budget-friendly. One example, CareCredit, is accepted at more than 200,000 healthcare providers throughout the country. Many payment arrangements offer interest-free, short-term financing and long-term financing for larger expenses. Long-term financing can be up to 60 months. While a payment option may make sense if youre unable to pay the full balance upfront, financing does have some disadvantages to consider:

  • Like any form of credit, theres an application process not every person will be accepted.
  • Some payment options have interest rates between 15% and 20%, contributing to the total cost of care.

Still have questions about Medicare supplements, discount plans, or flexible financing? We recommend contacting your local seniors organization or the AARP, which will have resources about medical services. You can also contact our office if you have questions were always here to help!

How Do Dental Discount Plans Differ From Insurance

With discount dental plans, a person joins a plan and pays an enrollment and an annual or monthly fee. In return you can visit participating dental offices and receive services at a discounted rate by showing a membership card. Full coverage will start when a person receives their membership card in the mail. With plans like DentRite®, you may also receive discounted vision and hearing care. Since discount dental plans are not insurance, seniors will enjoy these advantages:

  • No age limitations everyone is approved
  • Theres no waiting period for major work
  • There are no pre-existing condition exclusions
  • No paperwork or claim forms
  • Theres no limit to the savings each year

Typical dental benefits in South Hampton Roads, discounted for plan members include:

  • Preventative care, including exams, x-rays and cleanings
  • Basic restorative care, including fillings, extractions and root canals
  • Major restorative care, including crowns and bridges
  • Some discount dental plans also offer savings on cosmetic work.

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Will My Dentist Accept My Unitedhealthcare Medicare Advantage Plan

If your dentist is part of your UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans network or has agreed to the terms and conditions of payment, you may use your UnitedHealthcare Medicare plan for dental care at that location.

UnitedHealthcare networks include 1.3 million physicians and other health care professionals across the U.S.2

When using your plan to receive covered dental care, you may be subject to a deductible and cost-sharing measures such as copayments or coinsurance. Some services, such as a routine exam, may be covered in full.

Dental coverage is an additional benefit that some, but not all, UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans offer. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan with dental coverage, your insurance provider will detail what dental services are included and what each service costs.

Dental And Vision Plans With Medicare Advantage

AARP® Dental Insurance Plan PPO Plan


I would appreciate advice re the following question:

My Medicare Advantage plan for 2021 offers Dental and Vision coverage. I can also buy separate Dental and Vision insurance. Should I buy the extra Dental/Vision coverage?

Thanks in advance for any guidance on this.

@fr8935 don’t buy/use either. You will be disappointed.

D& V is nothing more than window dressing for MAPD plans.

Yes, you can buy as many dental/vision plans as you like. Just don’t ask your dental provider to file claims for you.

Huh ? Are you saying all Advantage plans are going to rip us off in one way or another ?

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Dental Discounts Better Than Aarp

AARPs Prepaid plan offers excellent savings on dental, making it a good choice if you are comfortable with the restrictions and happy with the dentists who accept the plan near you.

Its difficult to beat the savings offered by AARPs DPPO plans, the coverage is extensive and the savings are significant. The only areas that might cause concern is the extended waiting period for restorative care, the annual limit and the relatively high cost of the plans.

If you dont want to or cant wait for dental care, you can opt instead to join a dental savings plan. These plans are an alternative to traditional dental insurance. You get discounts of 10%-60% on your dental care . You could use your dental savings plan to reduce the cost of restorative care within 72 hours of purchasing the plan. You pay the discounted rate directly to any of the 100,000+ participating dentists nationwide.

And there are no annual limits with a dental discount plan. The average yearly cost of a dental savings plan is $99 for an individual and $199 for a family. Yes, thats the annual cost not the monthly cost!

Find out more about the advantages of dental discount plans for seniors!

Medicare Advantage Dental Benefits In Virginia

Did you know that nearly two-thirds of seniors have no dental benefits in Virginia? Lack of affordable dental care has been a longstanding problem for Americans over 65, who often dont have employer-based medical insurance. Dental services are essential for seniors as they age since they are at risk for multiple dental health problems, yet theyre often the segment of the population without access to affordable care. With 10,000 people reaching age 65 each day, the number of seniors without dental coverage likely will increase.

While millions of seniors lack dental insurance, dental spending among this demographic is on the rise. Last year, over $28 billion was spent on dental services for seniors and adults over 65 represent the highest growth rate in dental spending across all segments. The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute reported that in 2016, 6 million more seniors visited the dentist than in the previous decade.

Despite the fact that more seniors are visiting the dentist overall, those on Medicare are still lacking in dental benefits. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that more than half of recipients didnt see a dentist in 2016, and of those who did, 19% spent at least $1,000 out of pocket. The list below reveals some of the typical prices of dental procedures:

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Find Dental Plans For Medicare Near You

To find a dental plan near you, you should visit the websites of the companies offering Medicare Advantage plans to view the details of each plan. Many company websites also allow you to see if your dentist accepts the plan. If youre not sure where to start, consider talking to a broker or consultant. Good resources include the State Health Insurance Assistance Program at 877-839-2675 or call Medicare at 800-MEDICARE to get answers to questions not answered in your research.

Other Options For Dental Coverage Or Discounts

Medicare PPO as low as $0 Premium Per Month

First, look to your company or spouses employer if either of you is still working. Half the people 65 or older who had dental coverage were employees, spouses of employees or retirees, according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging. In some cases, employers may offer retirees access to a dental benefits plan or provide a referral to a company that offers benefits, says Richards of Delta Dental.

Second, you may be able to get dental coverage or a dental discount program through a Medigap policy. In 2020, about 1 in 8 Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medigap plans with additional dental, vision or hearing benefits, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a century-old foundation that focuses on better health care. Some dental programs offer 30 percent to 40 percent discounts for services such as cleanings, crowns, exams and fillings using eligible dentists and have no copays, coverage limits or waiting periods.


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Does Medicare Cover Dental Health

En español | Original Medicare has no dental plan. It does not cover most routine dental services such as exams, cleanings and X-rays procedures related to dental health, such as fillings, extractions and root canals or dentures and other dental devices.

However, original Medicare can pay some costs associated with emergency or medically necessary dental care.

For example, Medicare Part A, which includes hospital insurance, could cover having teeth pulled in preparation for radiation treatment of jaw cancer, or inpatient care if you need a complicated or emergency dental procedure while in the hospital, such as jaw reconstruction after an accident.

If you rely on Medicare and want coverage for regular oral care, look into Medicare Advantage plans. These policies, offered by private insurance companies, include all original Medicare coverage and often have extra benefits such as dental services .

Another option is Medicare Supplemental Insurance, better known as Medigap. These plans, also sold by private insurers, cover some out-of-pocket costs for Medicare treatment. They do not specifically include extra benefits, but some Medigap providers offer clients options for dental coverage, or discounts on out-of-pocket costs for oral care. If you have Medigap, ask if your provider offers related dental benefits.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 15, 2015. It has been updated with the latest information regarding Medicare coverage in 2020.

Where Can I Get Standalone Dental Insurance

Standalone dental insurance is sold by insurance companies, brokers and agents as a policy which is separate from a health insurance policy. Many retirees lose the employer-funded insurance when they will need it the most. Gums naturally recede so root decay becomes a problem. Blood pressure medicines cause dry mouth which leads to cavities. Not being able to see a dentist regularly can have long-term consequences. People over age 65 who have untreated oral problems have difficulty eating a balanced diet and difficulty speaking, which can limit social interactions.

Common types of dental insurance include Dental Health Managed Organizations , indemnity plans and Preferred Provider Networks . When choosing insurance plans, seniors should consider annual benefit limits, waiting periods and restrictions on treatment for pre-existing conditions. HMOs offer the least benefits and the most restrictions on providers however, they are also the most affordable.

Basic, or bare bones, dental plans cover preventative services and may partially cover common procedures such as dental fillings and root canals. Mid-level plans cover the same procedures as basic plans but they may offer coverage for more services, such as emergency treatment and orthodontics. The premium plans often cover crowns, gum disease treatment and oral surgery.

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Best For Potential New Offerings: Wellcare


WellCare is our top choice for a newcomer to the field of Medicare Advantage plans. Founded in 1985, it’s an up-and-coming provider.

  • Access to a personal emergency response system

  • Easy to navigate website

  • Only available in 36 states

  • Not as established as some other providers

Founded in 1985, WellCare is a relative newcomer compared to other insurers. We picked them as one to watch for potential new offerings in their Medicare Advantage Plans for two reasons: In 2018, WellCare acquired Aetnas Part D prescription drug plan , and in 2020, they were acquired by Centene, one of the largest providers of Medicaid. This deal-making activity could result in new Medicare Advantage Plan offerings that address specific pricing or feature needs.

Benefits offered with some WellCare Medicare Advantage Plans include over-the-counter coverage and access to a personal emergency response system. The OTC benefit is a fixed dollar amount for non-prescription medications and wellness-oriented items that can be shipped directly to you. The personal emergency response system, for people who live alone or are left alone for long periods, is connected to your phone and allows you to get emergency help with the push of a button.

WellCare has greatly expanded its Medicare Advantage offerings since merging with Centene plans are available in 36 states for 2022. The companies offer a full range of plans .

Dental Coverage Utilization And Out

Medicare Advantage Choices Including AARP MedicareComplete Plans

Nearly 24 million people, or about half of all Medicare beneficiaries , did not have any form of dental coverage in 2019 .

Figure 1: Nearly half of all people on Medicare have no dental coverage

The remaining Medicare beneficiaries have access to dental coverage through Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid, and private plans, including employer-sponsored retiree plans and individually purchased plans.

In 2019, 29% of all Medicare beneficiaries had access to some dental coverage through Medicare Advantage plans . Another 16% had coverage through private plans. About 11% of Medicare beneficiaries had access to dental coverage through Medicaid . With the rise of Medicare Advantage enrollment, a growing share of Medicare beneficiaries have access to some dental coverage through their Medicare Advantage plan, so the share of all Medicare beneficiaries with some dental coverage would likely be higher in 2021.

Lack of dental care can exacerbate chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, contribute to delayed diagnosis of serious medical conditions, and lead to preventable complications that sometimes result in costly emergency room visits.1 Limited or no dental coverage and cost concerns contribute to Medicare beneficiaries foregoing routine and other dental procedures.

Utilization. In 2018, half of Medicare beneficiaries did not have a dental visit with even higher rates reported among those who are Black or Hispanic .

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How Medicare Advantage Dental Coverage Compares To Affordable Care Act Marketplace Coverage

As context for assessing the scope of dental benefits offered to Medicare Advantage enrollees, we reviewed dental coverage available to those who purchase dental coverage through the ACA Marketplaces. Adults purchasing plans through the ACA Marketplace may have dental coverage as part of their medical plan, or may choose to purchase separate stand-alone dental coverage. Among stand-alone dental plans available to adults on HealthCare.gov in 2021 , 100% cover routine preventive dental services , 97% cover basic dental care , and 81% cover major dental care . Unlike the analysis of Medicare Advantage plans, the data on the ACA Marketplace is not enrollment-weighted.

Like Medicare Advantage plans, most plans have little to no cost sharing for preventive services. For adult routine dental coverage, most plans charge no coinsurance , followed by no coinsurance after meeting the dental deductible . The median dental deductible for an individual is $50. For adult basic dental care, the most common cost sharing amount is 50% coinsurance after meeting the dental deductible .

Most plans on the ACA Marketplace have an annual limit the plan will pay toward covered services, typically ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. For stand-alone dental coverage, premiums vary slightly depending on the age of the enrollee. For an adult age 40, the average premium in 2021 is $290 per year, and ranges from $97 per year to $780 per year.

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