As we get older, one of the most common expenses we have is dental work. Dental work and surgeries can become expensive, especially the more extensive the work becomes. In fact, oral expenses can be a significant portion of many retirees’ budgets. Unless you have a plan for paying for these bills, it can really harm your retirement accounts.
One of the most common misconceptions about Medicare is that it pays for dental care and dental work. Since it’s beginning, Medicare has never paid for any dental procedures, but in 1980, it did make an amendment for inpatient hospital services that includes dental services. Traditional Medicare, and just about every supplemental plan will not pay for any cleanings, fillings, checkups, dentures, and most other dental health procedures. Just about any oral health service isn’t going to be covered under your Medicare plan.
Many Medicare enrollees are forced to buy dentures later in life. While they may not know it, dentures can quickly drain a retirement savings account. The average cost of a full set of dentures is around $1,500. Some dentures can go up into the $10,000 range. None of these expenses will be covered by any original Medicare plans.
Problems you’re having inside your mouth is going to impact your overall health. There are several situations that this could happen; such as you have oral cancer, or you a fracture in your jaw that requires oral surgery. In these cases, Medicare will pay their part of the procedures, and Part A will pay for the hospital portions. Some of the other exemptions are if you end up with an infection after you have a tooth pull, or you require some observation because of a serious condition that can inflict your health.
One thing to be noted is if you have any of these procedures, Medicare will pay for the services, but will not pay for any follow-up visits for the surgeries. Many enrollees have been left with expensive bills because they assumed that Medicare would also pay for the follow-up visits to the doctor.
Dental Coverage Under Medicare
If you want dental coverage under a Medicare plan, there are a few options. The first is to enroll into a Medicare Advantage plan. Advantage plans, also called Medicare Part C, can include benefits like dental checkups or some dental services. Unlike Medigap insurance plans, Advantage plans aren’t standardized across the nation, meaning that each one is going to offer different benefits. For example, Humana has a MyOption Dental High PPO, which offers excellent benefits such as X-rays, fillings, and cleanings that will be covered, and some dental work will be partially covered. If you would like dental coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact a Medicare expert for more information.
Another way that you can have dental coverage is through a dental insurance plan. This is one of the more common ways to ensure that you aren’t left with an expensive fee because of getting dentures or oral surgery. If you expect to have extensive oral surgery or work was done as you age, the purchasing a dental insurance policy could be worth the monthly premiums.
If you’ve ever been told that Medicare will cover the cost of dental health, like getting dentures, don’t believe it. Medicare rarely will ever pay for any oral health services. Unless you fall under particular circumstances, just assume that you will be left paying the bill for any oral health services, unless you decide to buy some supplemental policy.