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Medicare Supplemental Dental Insurance

Medicare supplemental dental insurance is a necessary part of many seniors' overall health care plan. Medicare offers very limited dental services, and most seniors cannot fully cover their dental and orthodontic expenses on their own, and This makes a supplemental form of coverage one of the only options available for making oral care affordable. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of independent Medicare supplemental dental insurance providers with a range of insurance plans to fit any dental need and budget. Some thorough online research can help seniors find the best Medicare supplemental plan for them at the right price.

Medicare and Dental Care

Before choosing Medicare supplemental dental insurance, it is wise to understand what your regular insurance plan covers. As noted, Medicare covers very limited services related to dentistry and orthodontics. However, some seniors might not realize the extent of these limitations, mistakenly believing that their plan includes some minimal care. The truth is that this Medicare-related oral services extend only to major medical issues and include no regular dental or orthodontic services. Medicare-covered services must be tied to an already covered ailment, often related to complex procedures needed for other health issues.

Consider a few examples. Your Medicare plan would cover an oral exam preceding kidney surgery or a tooth extraction related to radiation treatment, but it would not cover a non-medical cavity filling or root canal, let alone a routine cleaning. The line might become blurred when your oral health begins to affect your overall medical needs, but most tooth-related ailments will not fall under the umbrella of your regular insurance. For this reason, a supplemental plan is typically needed to make your routine and emergency oral care more affordable.

Understanding Your Supplemental Insurance

Medicare supplemental dental insurance is different from regular supplement policies for Medicare. Supplemental Medicare policies, known as Medigap, do not cover any dental services. Also, unlike Medigap, Medicare supplemental dental insurance policies are not standardized with a set number of plans like Medigap. Rather than choosing from a set number of policies, Medicare supplemental dental insurance providers determine their own services and set their own rates. This independent nature makes diligent research necessary for finding the best rates and most comprehensive coverage.

A supplement insurance policy for dentistry and orthodontics can help you cover many services. These might include your semi-annual cleaning, diagnostic exams, X-rays, fillings, crowns, partial and full dentures, and veneers. Most supplemental insurance plans cover 80 to 100 percent of your exams and cleanings, depending on the policy style that you choose. Services like denture repair, restorations or veneers are typically covered at 50 percent. Researching providers near you can help you compare the rates and benefits of local companies.

Choosing a Provider

With so many companies to choose from, finding the best Medicare supplemental dental insurance company for you can take some time. Price and benefits are important factors, but there are several other considerations that can determine your decision. Finding a provider that covers your regular dentist, or at least a wide variety in your area is one factor to keep in mind as you search for providers. An exceptional policy can quickly become outweighed by a long drive for care. Customer service is another important factor. Finding a company that shows a willingness to answer your questions and explain their policies while you are shopping for coverage will likely be just as helpful in ensuring your expectations are met once you become a policy holder.

The type of provider you choose is another important decision. Some seniors opt for independent plans that cater to all types of people who cannot get coverage through an employer, either because they are self-employed or because a policy is not available through their line of work. Others choose plans that are specific to retirees or seniors. These niche plans might have higher monthly rates but are more likely to offer care that is more relevant to seniors, including implant services and prosthodontics. Since your oral health is one of the most important parts of your overall health, and one that requires regular attention, finding a dentist that you are comfortable with and an insurer that covers all the services you need should be a thoughtful process.

Medicare supplemental dental insurance has helped many seniors of all financial backgrounds enjoy affordable coverage after retiring. Understanding what your original and medical supplement policies cover in relation to your oral health can help you determine what services you need and what the best options are for both your health and your budget. Fortunately, a large number of dentists accept Medicare supplemental dental insurance plans for seniors, so you are sure to find a good match in both your coverage and your medical provider.


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