Many are shocked when they find out they are not covered for routine dental procedures, and that could leave a beneficiary with astronomical out of pocket costs if they do not have a thorough understanding of what Medicare does and does not cover.
Even practicing good dental hygiene cannot safeguard you from an emergency trip to the dentist office. As we get older our teeth are more susceptible to fracture and decay, and that can lead to discomfort and pain.
A 2016 survey of Medicare beneficiaries revealed that 75 percent of dental costs are paid out of pocket by patients, leaving many people on a fixed income to cover the average cost of $929 per year without help. Employer-based plans paid 12 percent of costs, and Medicare Advantage paid 4 percent. Medicaid paid less than 1 percent of patient costs.
How to Cover Routine Dental Services for Medicare Beneficiaries
Medicare beneficiaries have these basic choices to get help paying for most dental services:
- Some Medicare Advantage plans to bundle in dental benefits that might be helpful.
- Private insurance companies sell stand-alone dental insurance policies to Medicare beneficiaries.
- Some companies offer dental discounts plans that can help members save money but are not actually insurance.
In addition, local foundations and governments often offer discounted dental clinics for seniors, disabled people, and others with low incomes. You might be able to get or receive help at a local senior center or other organization.
If you do not have dental coverage, give us a call for a free consultation where we can go over all of your options with you. Your oral health is an important aspect of your health and well being. Let us help you make your smile a top priority!