An article in U.S. News & World Report discusses the importance of dental health for seniors and addresses whether Medicare covers dental services in 2024. It emphasizes the significance of oral health as we age and highlights the prevalence of periodontal disease among seniors. Despite the common occurrence of dental issues, nearly half of beneficiaries did not visit the dentist in 2019.
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover most dental services, and efforts to add dental benefits to the program have not been successful. Certain dental-related procedures are covered under Medicare Part A and Part B if they are integral to another Medicare-covered procedure or service. However, routine dental care, cleanings, fillings, extractions, implants, dentures, and root canals are not covered by Medicare.
The article explores the costs associated with dental treatments and advises individuals to pay attention to monthly premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing, annual maximums, and other out-of-pocket expenses when choosing a dental plan. A survey indicates that rising costs lead many Medicare-eligible individuals to forgo dental insurance.
Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are mentioned as an alternative, with most of them offering dental coverage. The article suggests checking the details of each plan, including networks and coverage of specific services, before making a selection. Medicare beneficiaries can find plans in their area using the Medicare Plan Finder.
For those seeking additional dental coverage, the article recommends exploring employer-sponsored retiree plans, Medicaid, or private dental insurance plans. Private dental insurance options include Dental HMOs, Dental PPOs, and discount dental plans, each with its own features and costs.
In conclusion, the article encourages seniors to prioritize dental health, acknowledges the limitations of original Medicare in covering routine dental care, and advises individuals to explore various dental plan options within and outside the Medicare system. It emphasizes the importance of consulting with dentists to find the most suitable plan for maintaining oral health.