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Medicare Part B Dental Benefits

Does Medicare Cover Any Dental Procedures Ever

Dental, Vision, and Hearing coverage under Medicare

Yes, but in a roundabout way. Typically, Medicare Part A will pay for some emergency dental procedures when dental treatment is necessary as part of a procedure that Medicare does cover. For example, if tooth extractions are required to fix a facial injury such as a broken jaw, Medicare may pay for the extractions. Medicare will not, however, pay for dental treatment to restore the extacted teeth.

Additionally, Medicare may pay for dental procedures related to oral cancers, kidney transplants, heart valve replacements and similar chronic conditions. Note that here again Medicare will usually only pay for the initial procedure. Follow-up dental care is not covered.

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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.

Over 65 Dont Overlook Dental Benefits Shop Our Individual And Family Plans To Find The Coverage Thats Right For You

Medicare is a tricky topic to understand. Whats covered? What isnt? Whats the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage?According to a 2018 survey conducted by Nationwide and The Harris Poll, more than 70 percent of Medicare-eligible Americans wish they understood their coverage better.

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How Current Proposals Would Add A Dental Benefit To Medicare

In the 116th Congress, the House of Representatives passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act , which among many provisions, provided for dental coverage under Part B of the Medicare program, starting in 2025 if enacted into law. Medicare would cover 80% of the cost of preventive services and basic treatments, and would phase up coverage for more major treatments, covering 10% of the cost in 2025, increasing 10 percentage points per year to 50% in 2029 and thereafter. The Congressional Budget Office estimated this benefit would cost almost $238 billion over 10 years . The recently reintroduced version of H.R. 3 does not include coverage for a dental benefit.

Representative Doggett introduced the Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act in July 2021 that would provide dental coverage under Medicare Part B. In contrast to H.R.3, the proposal, according to a press release, would require no coinsurance for preventive services, and impose a 20% coinsurance for more extensive benefits, which is similar to how the Part B benefit is structured for physician and other outpatient services, and is lower than the 50% coinsurance typically charged by Medicare Advantage plans.

Best National Coverage: Aetna

The A, B, Cs  and Ds  of Medicare
  • Coverage Limit : $1,000 to $4,500
  • Providers In Network: 700,000

With plans offered in all 50 states, Aetna is our top choice for national coverage. The insurer features a provider network of over 1.2 million health care professionals across the country.

  • Available in all 50 states

  • Large provider network

  • Not all plans offered in all areas

  • Not all plans come with dental coverage

We chose Aetna as best for national coverage for its operations in all 50 states. Aetna has approximately 12.7 million dental members, and their network includes about 1.2 million health care professionals, with over 700,000 primary care doctors and specialists.

With many of their Medicare Advantage plans, Aetna offers home delivery of most prescription drugs through their mail-order pharmacy: CVS Caremark. Aetna also offers a concierge program with many of its Medicare Advantage plans. An Aetna concierge can help you manage your health care expenses, understand your benefits, locate providers near you, and help plan for treatments.

Founded in 1853, Aetna has a full range of plans with premiums ranging from $0 to nearly $100 each month, depending on your needs and location.

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Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Include Dental Care

Medicare Supplement insurance is available from private insurance companies. It works alongside your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits and generally pays at least some of your Part A and Part B coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans sold today donât include dental benefits with their standardized, basic benefits.

Read more about Medicare Supplement insurance.

Best Medicare Dental Coverage For Seniors

The best dental insurance for most seniors is a Medicare Advantage plan from AARP/UnitedHealthcare because of its large network of dentists. We also recommend Aetna for low-cost dental coverage. If you need dental care right away, a stand-alone plan from Humana can provide comprehensive benefits starting the first day of coverage.

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Does Medicaid Cover Dental Care

Medicaid dental coverage depends on the state in which you live, as well as your age. Medicaid is required to provide children with access to dental coverage, but each state determines which dental benefits adults enrolled in Medicaid receive. Most states do provide coverage for emergency dental services for adults, but fewer than half currently offer comprehensive dental coverage to adult Medicaid enrollees.

This list summarizes each states current Medicaid dental offerings for adults.

What Is Medicare Part B Dental

Does Medicare Cover Dental Care? | Understanding Medicare Dental Coverage

Unfortunately, Medicare Parts A and B do not cover preventive dental care like routine exams, cleanings, root canals, extractions, or X-rays. They will only cover specific dental services required for other medical procedures or conditions.

Medicare Part A is designated as hospital insurance. It covers care you receive when you are admitted to the hospital, care you get in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and home health services.

Dental coverage is rare under Part A however, it may cover certain situations if you are in the hospital for emergency or complicated dental proceduresfor example, tooth extractions as part of reconstructive jaw surgery after an accident.

Medicare Part B is optional and will cover your doctor visits, outpatient care, and other routine healthcare needs. It will only cover dental procedures that directly affect your treatment for other medical conditions.

For instance, dental care may be needed to prepare you for surgery, like a kidney transplant or major heart surgery, in which you might be at greater risk for bacteria from the mouth getting into your bloodstream. You may also need teeth removed if a clinician would otherwise have difficulty giving you radiation treatment for head and neck cancers.

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Medicare Supplement And Dental

Medicare Supplement can only help you save on Medicare Part A and B care. Since dental work isnt covered by Original Medicare, your Medicare Supplement plan cant add on extra benefits like dental coverage.

Some Medigap providers do offer separate discount programs or special offers on their own private coverage as an additional, optional benefit. Look to your Medicare Supplement provider for more details.

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Choose A Medicare Advantage Plan

Some include benefits like routine dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug coverage. There are quite a few plans to choose from with a wide range of premiums and coverage options.

Be sure to consider your current and future needs. For example, if you have dentures or think you may need them in the future, look for a Medicare Advantage plan that covers dentures.

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What Type Of Dental Care Is Not Covered By Original Medicare

Original Medicare doesnât cover most types of routine dental care, including:

  • Teeth cleanings
  • Dental plates or other devices

Thatâs because when Medicare was established in 1965, the goal was to cover higher-cost, rarer types of health services such as surgeries, says Shain. Low-cost, more routine care wasnât part of what Original Medicare was designed to do, he says.

And even though you can supplement your Medicare coverage with a Medigap policy, that policy doesnât usually cover dental services either.

Why Arent All Dental Procedures Covered By Medicare


First and foremost, it should be noted that Medicare is a federal health insurance scheme. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the insurance coverage cannot be used to pay for cosmetic treatments. So, if you are hoping to simply improve your smile through teeth whitening or alignment, you will be required to cover the full costs.

While Medicare is offered to over 70 million U.S. citizens, the service is designed to support individuals that meet certain criteria, such as

  • Senior citizens aged 65 or over,
  • Disabled individuals,
  • Pregnant women,

Naturally, then, all healthcare coverage offered under the Medicare scheme is built with eligible candidates in mind. Dental procedures that fall outside of the treatments commonly used by these demographics will not be included, which is vital to know before seeking a Medicare dentist near me.

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Medicare Advantage Dental Coverage

Some Medicare Advantage plans include dental insurance, and others dont. Dental benefits vary from plan to plan. Some plans cover only standard services, while others cover a wider range of dental procedures.

The easiest way to know what your plan covers is to do research beforehand. Every Medicare Advantage plan offers an outline of coverage available on Medicare.gov. Here, you can see what benefits your plan offers and where those benefits are accepted. You should never go into Medicare Advantage blind. Knowledge is key when enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Services Excluded Under Part B

The following two categories of services are excluded from coverage:

A primary service provided for the care, treatment, removal, or replacement of teeth or structures directly supporting teeth, e.g., preparation of the mouth for dentures, removal of diseased teeth in an infected jaw.

A secondary service that is related to the teeth or structures directly supporting the teeth unless it is incident to and an integral part of a covered primary service that is necessary to treat a non-dental condition and it is performed at the same time as the covered primary service and by the same physician/dentist. In those cases in which these requirements are met and the secondary services are covered, Medicare does not make payment for the cost of dental appliances, such as dentures, even though the covered service resulted in the need for the teeth to be replaced, the cost of preparing the mouth for dentures, or the cost of directly repairing teeth or structures directly supporting teeth .

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Buy A Separate Dental Insurance Plan

You can purchase a from a private insurance company. There are many types of dental insurance plans to choose from, usually with affordable monthly premiums. Basic dental plans may offer you coverage for preventive dental care with lower monthly premiums. Other plans may provide more dental coverage for a little higher premium. Standalone dental plans usually include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

Dental Vision And Hearing Insurance Options

How to Get Dental, Vision and Hearing Coverage with Medicare

As people enroll in Medicare, many forget to make note of its limits. While Medicare Part A covers emergency room situations, its a different story when it comes to covering vision and dental procedures. It is important to understand your options and what everything covers, so youre prepared when your doctor or dentist prescribes treatments or schedules procedures. Here is an overview of the various Medicare Plans, so you will know how youre covered for vision and dental treatments.

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Medicare Coverage For Dental Vision And Hearing Faces Roadblock

Traditional Medicare has historically excluded coverage for dental, vision, and hearing. While this might seem absurdconsidering that over 60 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare and a majority of them are seniorsmany Medicare enrollees dont get the care they need because buying separate dental, vision, and hearing coverage is expensive. Private Medicare Advantage plans may provide these as supplemental benefits, but coverage may vary. While the Biden Administration announced plans to extend Medicare coverage for these services, that goal post might move again.

Is Dental Covered By Medicare

A Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental benefits is the most common way of getting dental coverage while on Medicare. Original Medicare plans don’t cover dental care, but you can sign up for standalone dental insurance plan or get dental coverage through Medicaid if you qualify for dual enrollment.

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Eyeglasses And Contact Lenses

Generally, Medicare doesn’t cover eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, following cataract surgery that implants an intraocular lens, Medicare Part B helps pay for corrective lenses .

Note: Medicare will only pay for contact lenses or eyeglasses provided by a supplier enrolled in Medicare, no matter who submits the claim .

All people with Part B are covered. Your costs in Original Medicare are:

  • You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for one pair of eyeglasses or one set of contact lenses after each cataract surgery with an intraocular lens.
  • Medicare will only pay for contact lenses or eyeglasses from a supplier enrolled in Medicare, no matter who submits the claim .
  • You pay any additional costs for upgraded frames.
  • You pay 100% for non-covered services, including most eyeglasses or contact lenses. The Part B deductible applies.

Note: Some Medicare Advantage plans offer extra vision benefits. Be sure to contact the plan for more information.

What Is The Medicare Dental Vision And Hearing Benefit Act

Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Chemotherapy

In , the house introduced an amendment to the Social Security Act to provide coverage for dental, vision, and hearing care under traditional Medicare.

Of course, the bill would include special payment limitations, coinsurance requirements, and rules. Although, a simplified version of coverage would be more likely.

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Options For Dental Coverage

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesnt cover. That may include coverage for preventive dental exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings, anesthesia, dentures and crowns. Usually, these plans will require you to visit an in-network dentist to be covered. These added benefits will vary by plan and most likely require deductibles and copays, so be sure to check out the details before you decide.

You can also purchase a dental-only insurance plan. Youll have to pay a monthly premium and satisfy deductibles and copays, but the cost may be offset by lower out-of-pocket fees. Most of these dental plans require that you see an in-network dentist. Some plans let you go to any dentist , but you may have to pay more for their services.

A dental discount plan may be worth considering if you dont have dental insurance. These discount plans arent dental insurance. They are a type of membership, similar to a warehouse club, but rather than getting bargains on food or clothing, you get discounted prices on dental services.

Explore Medicare

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult your doctor to determine what is right for you.

Some links on this page may take you to Humana non-Medicare product or service pages or to a different website.


Congress Should Expand Medicares Dental Vision And Hearing Benefits

Analysts have identified a range of options for expanding dental, hearing, and vision coverage under Medicare. The most straightforward and comprehensive approach for beneficiaries would be to add these benefits to Part B of Medicare. Another would create a new voluntary benefit under a separate part of Medicare, similar to the prescription drug benefit under Part D. Each of these approaches would require decisions about covered benefits, cost sharing, premiums, payment rates, provider participation, and assistance for low-income beneficiaries. Other more limited options include broadening the coverage of medically necessary dental care, testing alternative models of coverage under the CMS demonstration authority, and offering discount cards or other cash assistance to help cover the cost of services.

The hearing benefit in H.R. 3 would cover aural rehabilitation services and one set of hearing aids every five years for people with profound or severe hearing loss starting in 2023. It would also designate audiologists as practitioners under Medicare. The vision benefit would cover routine eye examinations and contact lens fitting services, but no more than once every two years, starting in 2023. It would cover eyeglasses and contact lenses starting in 2024, up to $85 for frames and $85 for eyeglass lenses once every two years, and up to $85 for a two-year supply of contact lenses.

Licensing All Qualified Providers Would Expand Access to Needed Dental Care


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