Medicare benefits for covering dental procedures and services is currently very limited. For instance, Medicare does not cover things such as fillings, tooth extractions, cleanings or even dentures. In addition, it does not cover dental plates and many other dental devices that are not considered medically necessary for patients. Medicare beneficiaries typically pay the entire cost of dental procedures and services, unless they elect to have a dental plan in addition to their Medicare coverage.
There are however, a few instances in which Medicare coverage exists for dental work. If for instance, you need to have your jaw restructured after an accident or injury, Medicare will pay for dental services that are associated with that injury. They will also pay for tooth extractions done to prepare for radiation treatments, oral exams that precede kidney transplants or heart valve replacements and hospital stays for instances in which dental procedures are complicated and require it.
Medicare often covers other surgical procedures and services, depending on the severity of the situation and whether or not it is deemed life threatening for the patient.
If covered, Medicare will make payment for the dental service or procedure to any licensed dental surgeon or specialist, no matter where they are located. Procedures are not accepted or denied on basis of hospitalization needs. Medicare may also cover services and supplies that are needed in addition to other services. For instance, if you need the service of a dental tech or a dental nurse and that person is under the supervision of your physician or direct dentist, Medicare may pay for their services as long as those services are charged along with the original physician’s bill.
Those who need dental coverage typically choose a dental plan in addition to their Medicare coverage. There are several plans in each state from which you can choose. Once you have determined the extent of the dental coverage that you need, you can begin to sort through the various plans to choose the one that will best suit your needs in terms of both coverage and price. You will be required to pay a monthly premium for your dental coverage and your coverage will likely vary from provider to provider. Be sure that you have a clear understanding of what is included in your dental coverage before you enroll in a policy. You should ask any questions before you enroll to ensure that you get the lowest monthly premium while still receiving the coverage that you need for dental services.
Coverage for dental expenses is typically available for seniors who are eligible for Medicare and who join a state regulated service plan that provides dental coverage. These plans are typically known as Medicare Advantage plans and are available in every state in the nation. You may find that some of these plans offer dental and vision coverage, depending on the insurance company you choose as well as the premium that you pay monthly. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated by Medicare and approved to provide lower cost services to seniors who are eligible for standard Medicare coverage.