All about dental insurance for seniors under Medicare

Dental insurance seniors’ Medicare plan is often explained as ‘none’ by a majority of dentists. This is, for the most part, true. Medicare offers very little dental coverage for senior citizens above the age of 65 years. In fact, dental coverage for most people, including those with disabilities and chronic illnesses, is nonexistent under Medicare.

What does dental insurance seniors’ Medicare plan cover?
Medicare covers dental procedures that occur simultaneously with other procedures. For example, if a patient has to undergo a dental examination before having a kidney transplant, this would be covered under Medicare. Other instances may include tooth extractions before a radiation treatment or a dental screening before a heart transplant. In other words, the dental procedure is covered by Medicare only if the procedure is deemed “medically necessary.”

Medicare now also covers hospitalization due to dental related problems. For example, hospitalization due to the contraction of an infection after tooth extraction will be covered under Medicare.

What does dental insurance seniors’ Medicare plan not cover?
Medicare does not cover any procedure that is not deemed “medically necessary.” This includes routine oral procedures including dental exams, cleaning, fillings, and checkups. In addition, any procedure that was not included in the Original Medicare will not be covered. This, unfortunately, includes primary tooth removal, dentures, and tooth replacement.

In short, Medicare covers very little in terms of dental procedures. One is thus likely to be made to pay in full for routine oral health procedures.

The two main alternatives to paying in full for dental procedures are dental insurance plans and dental savings plans. These offer partial or full coverage for dental procedures. Thus, they serve as a means of ensuring that routine dental procedures do not burn a hole in an individual’s pocket.

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