Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Does Medicaid Cover Dental Insurance

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Medicare Part B Dental Benefits

What You Need to Know about Medicaid Insurance and Dental Implants? | Dr. Parsa Zadeh

On the other hand, if the physician conducts the examination needed prior to kidney transplant or heart valve replacement, the CMS states that Part B benefits will apply.

However, when it comes to Medicare Part B, there are two specific sets of services that it will not cover.

The first involves services used to care, treat, remove, or replace teeth to structures supporting the teeth. For example, this can include pulling teeth prior to getting dentures.

The second set of services Medicare Part B wont cover also include those related to the teeth and their supporting structures, unless those services are needed to effectively treat a non-dental condition.

In this type of situation, the dental service must be performed at the same time as the covered service in order for Medicare to pay its portion. It must also be performed by the same healthcare professional who performed the covered service, whether that person is a physician or dentist.

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Many Medicare Advantage plans do offer dental coverage, according to, though the exact benefits provided varies based on the plan chosen.

Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants Regardless Of Your Plan

Original Medicare will not cover dental implants. Medicare Part A only covers hospital costs, and Part B only covers medical services. However, many Medicare Advantage plans do include dental insurance.

Medicare Part A will only cover your hospitalization if you need emergency dental surgery.

Also, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services state that Part A may cover an oral examination in preparation of a procedure like renal surgery or a heart valve replacement surgery. However, a dentist on the hospital staff must do the exam in such a case.

Part B will cover dental procedures you need in preparation for other medical procedures, like radiation or the removal of a tumor. Also, Part B will cover an oral examination related to renal or heart valve replacement surgery if a physician does the exam.

Also, if you are wondering, Can I get dental coverage from a Medigap policy? Medigap plans do not offer dental coverage. These plans only supplement Original Medicare to cover out-of-pocket costs.

Getting an implant is an elective dental procedure, so only advanced dental plans will help you cover the costs. You must choose the right dental plan through Medicare Advantage .

According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 94% of Medicare Advantage enrollees have plans that include some dental coverage. However, many dental insurance plans do not include dental implant services.

Medicare Advantage Dental Policies

One exception to the dental exclusions under Original Medicares parts A and B is Medicare Advantage. Commonly referred to as Part C, these types of policies are offered by private insurance companies and are intended to cover all of the same basic expenses participants receive under the Original Medicare plan.

Many Medicare Advantage plans do offer dental coverage, according to, though the exact benefits provided varies based on the plan chosen.

Additionally, these plans can be:

  • HMOs
  • PFFS Plans
  • SNP

The type of plan chosen depends on what benefits youd like to receive, the cost of the plan, and any coinsurance or copayments that would apply.

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How To Fill In The Coverage Gaps

Seniors may purchase additional insurance from private insurance companies to help pay for dental, vision and hearing services and materials Medicare does not cover. Options include:

Stand-alone dental, vision and hearing insurance plans. These are offered by private carriers and feature a wide variety of plan design options to fit your needs. They have their own provider networks, and there are no restrictions on networks or plan designs.

Medicare Advantage plans . These plans replace traditional Medicare and are government subsidized and restricted.

To decide whats right for you, compare the costs and benefit options. Ask your broker or financial advisor for help.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

What dental, vision and hearing services and materials might I need in the next year or two? What coverage do the plans available to me provide for those services and materials? Are my providers in the networks that are offered? Are there waiting periods for coverage?

People of retirement age will likely need dental, vision and hearing services that go beyond regular preventive exams. So compare costs and coverage for more expensive services and materials like crowns, dentures, progressive eyeglass lenses, eye surgeries, hearing aids and hearing aid maintenance.

Which States Have Limited Adult Dental Coverage

Does Medicaid Cover Dental Care?

When Medicaid has limited coverage for dental, this usually means one of two things. Either there is a financial cap to the dental care you can have covered, or there is a fixed list of services that will be covered.

If it is a financial cap, the range is usually somewhere between $500 to $1000. Once that amount is met, dental wont be covered unless it is an emergency.

If it is a fixed list, your Medicaid dental benefits will typically include preventative care such as cleanings and restorative care such as fillings, as well as emergency care.

States with limited adult dental care:

  • Arkansas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Something that is not typically covered even in comprehensive plans is adult orthodontic care or braces. If this is something that you require, you may need to pay out-of-pocket. Luckily, this is not something that would be an emergency, so you will still have all the care that you need to maintain good dental health.

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Will Medicaid Cover Dental Implants

In most cases, Medicaid will not cover dental implants. This is because Medicaid is a government program that is intended to provide added financial support for low-income families who might not otherwise be able to afford dental and medical care. Dental implants are usually considered to be cosmetic procedures that are not essential to the health and well-being of covered individuals. These elective procedures are usually denied for coverage by Medicaid. There are some exceptions, however.

Patients who can demonstrate that they have a significant and documented medical need for dental implants may be approved for these procedures. This will generally require detailed paperwork completed by your physician or dentist, including a letter that explains why dental implants are the only feasible method for correcting your dental condition. Your doctor or dentist will also need to provide dental X-rays and a comprehensive treatment plan to your Medicaid provider. In most cases, however, your application for dental implants will still be denied by Medicaid.

Dental Benefits For Adults In Medicaid

States have flexibility to determine what dental benefits are provided to adult Medicaid enrollees. While most states provide at least emergency dental services for adults, less than half of the states currently provide comprehensive dental care. There are no minimum requirements for adult dental coverage.

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Changes To Medicaid Dental By State

Arizona cut its already limited dental benefit for elderly and developmentally or physically disabled adults enrolled in its Arizona Long Term Care System program in 2006, leaving only the emergency dental benefit offered to the non-elderly, non-disabled population. In 2009, this benefit was also eliminated. It took two phases to restore all these benefits, the first in 2016 with funding included in the FY2017 state budget, which limited the per-member, per-year benefit for ALTCS members to $1,000. The second phase came in 2017 with the same $1,000 per-member, per-year emergency benefit restored for all adults.

California and Hawaii eliminated Medicaid coverage of non-emergency dental services for adults in 2009. Like Arizona, California also restored benefits in two phases: in 2014 a limited benefit that included preventive and restorative care and full dentures was restored. In 2018, additional services, including periodontal treatment, root canals, and partial dentures were restored. In Hawaii, however, advocates are currently pursuing the restoration of a limited benefit.

Under a restructuring of their Medicaid adult dental benefits in 2018, both Connecticut and Idaho capped benefits at $1,000 per-member, per-year.

The Final Word On Medicare Dental Implants

Does Medicare Cover Dental?

Lets review:

  • Medicare will not directly cover dental implant procedures or materials.
  • There are a limited number of Medicare Advantage plans that cover dental implants.
  • Regardless of your dental plan, you will need to shoulder much of the cost.

Check with your primary dental care provider to know if any discounts are available. Some dental offices offer discounted prices for Medicare recipients. You may also enroll in separate discount programs or receive coverage from Medicaid if you live in a state that allows it.

Now that you know whether Medicare Advantage covers dental implants, are you ready to see rates from insurance companies that work with Medicare? Just enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool below to get started.

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Procedures Not Covered By Medicaid

Dental implants fall into the category of treatments not generally covered by Medicaid. Other excluded dental procedures include:

  • Dental appliances, which include dentures and dental retainers
  • Extractions
  • Routine examinations
  • Fillings

These treatment options are available only if they are medically necessary to protect your health and well-being.

What States Offer Dental Care As A Part Of Medicaid

Though the Affordable Care Act offered federal funds to states to expand plan options to include dental services, many did not accept the money. In 2021, forty-six provide coverage for dental services in some capacity. The CHCS undertook a project to understand the dental benefits offered to Medicaid members across the US and divided the types of benefits into three categories: extensive, limited, and emergency.

The CHCS describes extensive benefits as a comprehensive mix of services, including more than 100 diagnostic, preventive, and minor and major restorative procedures approved by the ADA per-person annual expenditure cap is at least $1,000.

Limited benefits refer to programs that only cover less than 100 diagnostic, preventive, and minor restorative procedures, approved by the ADA.

While emergency coverage, will only cover the costs of urgent dental needs to provide relief from pain, but the procedures covered tend to vary from state to state.

According to the CHCS, nineteen states and the District of Colombia offer extensive benefits to those on Medicaid:

  • California

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Medicaid Dental Coverage And Other Assistance For Disadvantaged People

If you do not have dental insurance, you are not alone. The lack of dental insurance coverage is a nationwide problem that is emerging as one of the most serious challenges facing American healthcare today.

If you are under age 65, but disabled or without dental insurance and sufficient income, there are federal/state programs and non-profit/charitable organizations available to help you receive necessary dental care. You will need to do some research to identify the appropriate local agency or contact through which to apply for assistance.

Does Medicaid Cover The Cost Of Dental Care

Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare ...

Each state has different qualifications and requirements that must be met for dental care to be covered by Medicaid. You will need to do some research to find out what the specific requirements are for your state.

About less than half the states will provide comprehensive dental benefits. On the other hand, in thirty-two states, Medicaid will cover dental care for certain categories, such as emergency dental services and medically necessary dental work.

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Dental Benefits For Children In Chip

States that provide CHIP coverage to children through a Medicaid expansion program are required to provide the EPSDT benefit. Dental coverage in separate CHIP programs is required to include coverage for dental services “necessary to prevent disease and promote oral health, restore oral structures to health and function, and treat emergency conditions.”

States with a program may choose from two options for providing dental coverage: a package of dental benefits that meets the CHIP requirements, or a benchmark dental benefit package. The benchmark dental package must be substantially equal to the the most popular federal employee dental plan for dependents, the most popular plan selected for dependents in the state’s employee dental plan, or dental coverage offered through the most popular commercial insurer in the state.

States are also required to post a listing of all participating Medicaid and CHIP dental providers and benefit packages on

How Does Medicaid Dental Coverage Work

In all of the United States, each state is required to have a Medicaid program that meets mandatory criteria set by the federal government. In all of the states, these minimum requirements do not include dental for adults, only for those who are under the age of 21.

However, after the passing of the Affordable Care Act, states can now extend those original benefits to offer more healthcare to a larger group of its residents. Many extensions include at least some adult dental coverage, and some even have full coverage. However, there are a few states which have no adult dental benefits added to their Medicaid program.

Depending on your state of residence, the type of care available to you is one of the following: none, emergency, limited, and comprehensive.

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Will Medicaid Cover Dental For My Kids

The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility so that the program could cover more low-income Americans.¹ In addition to making more people eligible for coverage, this expansion provided funds that many states used to improve their dental coverage. Some states increased the Medicaid reimbursements for childrens dentistry as well as expanded the number of services covered¹.

Medicaid covers dental services for children, but covered dental services for children may vary from state to state.

At a minimum, states must provide dental services for children through the Medicaid program that covers the following¹:

  • Pain relief and infections

  • Teeth restorations (such as fillings and some types of crowns

  • Maintenance of dental health ¹

Dental services for Medicaid-eligible children cannot be limited to only emergency services. Medically necessary care must be provided. Each state determines its own definition of which dental services fall into the medically necessary category.

Medicare And A Lack Of Dental Coverage

Medicaid Dental Changes

Unfortunately, having Medicare doesnt always help with this issue. According to, this federal health insurance program typically does not cover dental care, procedures, or supplies.

Medicare doesnt provide benefits toward regular cleanings or services designed to treat and/or correct problematic oral issues, such as fillings or tooth extractions.

Medicare also does not generally offer benefits for dental devices, including dentures and dental plates.

So, what does Medicare cover when it comes to dental health care?

Medicare will also contribute toward oral examinations needed before kidney transplants or heart valve replacements in certain situations.

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Medicare Does Not Cover Most Dental Vision Or Hearing Expenses

While it may be tempting to pay for dental, vision and hearing exams out of pocket, purchasing supplemental insurance will help you pay for procedures and materials youre likely to need. Dental, vision and hearing benefits help you manage costs, and that gives you peace of mind.

To help plan for future expenses, think about your current health needs and consider these common conditions that occur as we age.

Dental. Many older Americans take prescription and over-the-counter medications that can cause dry mouth, and that increases the risk of cavities. Also, people who have chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease are more likely to develop gum disease. Its important to visit the dentist regularly to monitor these conditions and seek necessary treatment.

Vision. As we age, our eyes are more prone to diseases and conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, dry eyes and retinal or corneal disease. Regular visits to the eye doctor are key to diagnosing and treating these conditions to maintain good eye health and vision.

Hearing. According to the National Health Interview Survey, 6.9 million people aged 60 and older use hearing aids. But 26% of people with hearing difficulty say they dont use hearing aids because theyre too expensive. And those with hearing loss who dont use hearing aids are twice as likely to report symptoms of depression.

How Does Original Medicare Cover Dental

The short answer is that Original Medicare doesnt cover most dental care, including cleanings and fillings. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries dont have dental coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But Medicare Part A will cover some dental services that are performed as part of an inpatient stay in a hospital.

For instance, Medicare would pay for reconstruction of your jaw after an accidental injury, or for tooth extractions that were required before radiation treatment involving the jaw. You would also be covered for an oral exam before a procedure like a kidney transplant or heart valve replacement, but you wouldnt be covered for any dental treatment resulting from the exam.

Part A would also cover the cost of your hospital care if you needed emergency or complex dental treatment, but the dental care itself would not be covered. Similarly, Medicare Supplement Insurance plans will not cover routine dental care.

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Does Medicaid Cover Dental

There is a common misconception that dental care and hygiene are less important than general health and medical needs. However, having a clean bill of dental health is a vital part of overall health and wellbeing.

This misconception of the importance of dental care has led healthcare programs, including Medicaid, to have a separation between general benefits and adult dental benefits. Instead of incorporating dental into the physical health coverage, it is added as a bonus or not at all.

If you have been wondering if your state of residences Medicaid program has dental benefits included, read on to find out what is available in your state. If you live in a place without Medicaid dental care, there are also resources included in this article to give you the tools to take care of all aspects of your health.

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