How Could Medicare Dental Coverage Change In 2022
In 2021, a bill was introduced in the House to add dental coverage to Medicare Part B.
Known as the Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act, the idea has support from the White House as part of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Specifically, the fiscal year 2022 budget proposal for the U.S. government indicates the intent for “improving access to dental, hearing, and vision coverage in Medicare.”
This is not the first time it has been proposed to offer dental coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, and it’s an important health care issue. About 47% of those on Medicare don’t have dental coverage.
The legislative process will determine if Medicare benefits are expanded in 2022 to include dental. However, there is political incentive because adding dental, vision and hearing is cheaper than other proposed Medicare extensions, such as adding nursing home coverage.
Find Dental Insurance Plans For You And Your Family
Dental health is an important part of your overall health. Dental plans can help you plan and budget for the costs of dental care. With a variety of plans available, you can find basic dental coverage for general dental care or choose coverage for major care, such as dental implants.
Dental insurance plans are underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, and include a range of options so you can find one that’s most affordable for you.
Will My Medicare Plan Cover Dental Treatments
Medicare does not cover services like dental fillings, cleanings, dentures, or other dental devices. However, if your oral health condition is deemed a medical necessity, you may be eligible for payment through Medicare. There are multiple Medicare insurance plans in Virginia and not every plan will cover dental services. The best way to find out if you will be covered is to contact our office for a personal consultation.
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There Are Alternatives That May Make More Financial Sense
Thinking about buying dental insurance because you don’t have an employer offering it as a benefit? It might not be worth the cost even if you need extensive dental work.
Its a concern for a lot of people. One in 4 Americans doesn’t have dental insurance, and of those over 65, half have no coverage, according to the National Association of Dental Plans .
About two-thirds of people who do have insurance get it through their job-. If it’s offered to you, it almost always makes sense to take it because employers subsidize the monthly premiums and can negotiate lower rates for dentists in their network. The employee contribution toward the premium is generally pretty low.
Of course, getting regular dental checkups is important for your health. Untreated conditions can lead to serious health problems or indicate an underlying medical issue. Getting routine care can prevent more serious and costly treatment down the road, says Dave Preble, D.D.S., senior vice president of the American Dental Association’s Practice Institute.
But when employer insurance isn’t an option, there are other ways you can get dental care that can be more affordable than paying the premiums for insurance on your own.
Other Dental Insurance Options For Seniors
As mentioned, unless you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes routine dental coverage, youll typically have to pay the full cost for routine dental care.
However, there are other ways to cover dental costs outside of whats covered by Medicare, including dental insurance and dental discount cards.
Please note that these types of dental coverage are not part of Medicare.
When And How To Enroll
The type of coverage you select will determine how and when you enroll.
Medicare Advantage plan: You have three options to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes dental coverage.
- Your Initial Enrollment Period is usually during the seven-month period between the three months prior to the month that you turn 65 and the three following.
- During open enrollment periods that happen each year, such as Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
- If you are eligible due to circumstances such as moving, becoming eligible for Medicaid, or receiving care in skilled nursing facilities, you can enroll during a special enrollment period.
Employer-provided dental insurance: If you or your spouse are still working, and it is possible to get coverage that way. However, you will need to wait until the open enrollment period in order to enroll in group dental coverage.
You should be prepared for any unexpected circumstances. You might want to consider denture coverage if your dentist has suggested dentures or your teeth are in bad shape.
According to the 2019 survey by Americas Health Insurance Plans, 83% of dental customers are satisfied with their coverage. It saves them hundreds of bucks in out-of pocket costs. 65% also feel it reduces the worry about unexpected expenses. Its a great investment.
Find A $0 Premium Medicare Advantage Plan Today
1 Wall, Thomas. M.A., M.B.A. Guay, Albert, D.M.D. The Per-Patient Cost of Dental Care, 2013: A Look Under the Hood. March 2016. Health Policy Institute. Retrieved from http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/HPI/Files/HPIBrief_0316_4.pdf.
2 CostHelper.com. Dental Work Cost. Retrieved June 28, 2018, from http://health.costhelper.com/dentistry.html.
3 Digiacomo, Robert. Is Dental Insurance Worth the Cost? May 25, 2017. Bankrate. Retrieved from https://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/dental-insurance-1.aspx.
4 MedicareAdvantage.com’s internal analysis of CMS Medicare Advantage landscape source files, May 2018. Data retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovGenIn.
5 Freed, Meredith Neuman, Tricia Jacobson, Gretchen. Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/drilling-down-on-dental-coverage-and-costs-for-medicare-beneficiaries.
MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.
Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE , 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
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Best For Special Needs: Cigna
If you have special dental needs as a senior on Medicare, then Cigna is a good choice. They offer special needs plans and an increased range of services for customers who need them.
Only available in 23 states
Dental coverage only available with some plans
We chose Cigna as best for special needs because of their personalized plan offerings. While other Medicare Advantage Plans limit coverage to individuals with special health conditions or care needs, Cigna offers special needs plans that include access to a wider range of specialists, along with regular health assessment .
Depending on your health care needs, Cigna offers an increased range of services, whether that is more intensive treatments, personalized care treatments, or more individual specialist attention.
Based on a review of Cignas Model of Care, the National Committee for Quality Assurance has approved Cigna to operate as a Special Needs Plan through 2021.
Cigna offers a health risk assessment that can be used to develop personalized care plans with Cigna Medicare Advantage Plan enrollees and their primary care doctor. The HRA also helps match each enrollee with the health and wellness services that best fit their needs.
Originally founded in 1792 as the Insurance Company of North America, Cigna is now an American worldwide health services organization. They have a full range of plans with premiums ranging from $0 to over $100 each month, depending on your needs and location.
Learn More About Medicare Dental Coverage
If youre interested in Medicare dental coverage, I can find Medicare Advantage plan options that may offer routine dental benefits. To learn more about me, see my photo below and click the View profile link read more about my background. You can schedule a one-on-one phone call or request an email from me with more plan information find both of those links below as well. If you want to compare plan options now, click the Compare Plans button on this page.
This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.
New To Medicare?
Becoming eligible for Medicare can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you understand Medicare in 15 minutes or less.
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Does Cigna Medicare Cover Dental
- Original Medicare only covers dental services if theyre needed as a result of an illness or injury.
- Many Medicare Advantage plans include dental coverage.
- Cigna Medicare dental coverage is part of many Cigna Medicare Advantage plans.
Routine dental checkups and cleanings are the best way to prevent painful or expensive oral health problems.
Cigna Medicare dental coverage is included in most Cigna Medicare Advantage plans. These plans offer the same options as original Medicare medical and hospital coverage as well as prescription drug plans. They also include hearing, vision, and dental coverage.
Many Cigna Advantage plans provide preventive dental care, including routine checkups, cleanings, and X-rays, with no copays or deductibles.
Restorative dental care coverage is included in most plans, as well, but youll have a copay. Cigna has a national network of over 90,000 dentists who provide dental care for their Medicare members.
Best National Coverage: Aetna
- Coverage Limit : $1,000 to $3,000
- Providers In Network: 700,000
With plans offered in all 50 states, Aetna is our top choice for national coverage. The insurer features a provider network of over 1.2 million health care professionals across the country.
Available in all 50 states
Large provider network
Not all plans offered in all areas
Not all plans come with dental coverage
We chose Aetna as best for national coverage for its operations in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Aetna has approximately 12.7 million dental members, and their network includes about 1.2 million health care professionals, with over 700,000 primary care doctors and specialists and over 5,700 hospitals.
With many of their Medicare Advantage plans, Aetna offers home delivery of most prescription drugs through their mail-order pharmacy: CVS Caremark. Aetna also offers a concierge program with many of its Medicare Advantage plans. An Aetna concierge can help you manage your health care expenses, understand your benefits, locate providers near you, and help plan for treatments.
Founded in 1853, Aetna, has a full range of plans with premiums ranging from $0 to over $100 each month, depending on your needs and location.
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What Is Medicare Part B Dental
Medicare Part A is designated as hospital insurance. It covers care you receive when you are admitted to the hospital, care you get in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and home health services. Dental care is rarely performed in these situations. That explains why you will turn to Medicare Part B for dental coverage.
Medicare Part B is your main source of medical coverage. This plan will cover most of your healthcare needs. Unfortunately, Medicare Part B does not cover preventive dental care like routine exams, cleanings, and X-rays.
What Medicare Part B does cover are dental procedures that directly affect your treatment for other conditions. For example, Part B will cover the removal of teeth if a clinician would otherwise have difficulty giving you radiation treatment for head and neck cancers.
Dental care may also be needed to prepare you for surgery, like a kidney transplant or major heart surgery, in which you might be at greater risk for bacteria from the mouth getting into your bloodstream. Part B may even cover reconstructive surgeries of the jaw.
The good news is that Medicare Part B dental coverage may be expanding. Legislation has been proposed that would add dental coverage to your Medicare Part B benefits.
How Cigna Dental Coverage Works
Cigna Medicare dental coverage varies between plans, but most Advantage policies offer preventive dental coverage. When you visit an in-network dentist, they will automatically submit your insurance claim, and you wont have to worry about the paperwork.
Before selecting a policy, check the deductibles and copays, and find out if you need to choose a primary dentist or see in-network dentists. For most plans, youll receive better benefits by visiting in-network dentists.
You can get dental coverage through several different plans. A basic dental plan will provide cleanings, routine exams, and X-rays.
Dental services covered by Cigna plans may include:
- routine dental checkups every 6 months
- cleanings every 6 months
- emergency treatment
- oral surgery
Extra coverage will handle dental services, such as crowns, fillings, and root canals. You can even find plans that cover braces.
Plans may differ from state to state, so before choosing a Cigna Advantage plan with dental, compare all the plans available in your area. You can find all the options in your area using the Medicare plan finder tool. Just enter your ZIP code.
Costs for Medicare Advantage plans are based on your ZIP code and the plan you choose. Here is a sample of the costs for Cigna Medicare Advantage plans that include dental.
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Dental Care And Health Are Intertwined
More recently, however, dentists have stressed the link between oral and overall health. Most infamously, the 2007 death of a 12-year-old boy that might have been prevented by an $80 tooth extraction prompted changes to Maryland’s version of Medicaid, the federal-state public insurance program for people with low incomes. But researchers have also, for example, linked dental care with reduced health care spending among patients with Type 2 diabetes.
When the World Health Organization suggested delaying nonurgent oral health visits last year to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the American Dental Association pushed back, with Dr. Chad Gehani, the organization’s president at the time, saying, “Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry is essential health care.”
Find Dental Plans For Medicare Near You
To find a dental plan near you, you should visit the websites of the companies offering Medicare Advantage plans to view the details of each plan. Many company websites also allow you to see if your dentist accepts the plan. If youre not sure where to start, consider talking to a broker or consultant. Good resources include theState Health Insurance Assistance Programs at 877-839-2675 or call Medicare at 800-MEDICARE to get answers to questions not answered in your research.
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How Do You Get Dental Coverage If Medicare Doesnt Include It
If youre on a Medicare plan thats working for you and doesnt offer dental coverage, there are other options you may consider:
- Buy a separate or standalone dental plan from a private insurance company. There are many types of dental plans to choose from, usually with affordable monthly premiums. Basic dental plans may offer you coverage for preventive dental care with lower monthly premiums. Other plans may provide more dental coverage for a little higher premium. Standalone dental plans usually include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
- Look for an affordable walk-in dental clinic in your area. Depending on where you live and what kind of dental services you need, you may be able to find affordable dental care even if it means paying out-of-pocket.
- Check with your state department of health. They may have information on where you can get low-cost dental services.
- Have a local dental school or university program nearby? You can contact them to see if they offer any free or low-cost dental clinics.
- Before age 65, you can consider opening a Health Savings Account if you have a high deductible health plan. Once you enroll in Medicare you can no longer contribute to the fund, but you can certainly use what youve saved to help pay for covered expenses, including eligible dental care.
Option : Medicare Advantage Plans With Dental Coverage
Dental coverage varies widely by Medicare Advantage plan. In some cases, you have to pay extra to have dental care included in your plan. There could also be options for basic or premium coverage, letting you choose the dental plan that works for you.
Look for plans that offer low-cost or free preventative services. If you need more expensive treatments, pay attention to the plan’s cost-sharing percentage and the cap on how much the plan will cover each year.
AARP: largest network of dentists
Among our picks for the best Medicare Advantage plans, Aetna has the cheapest monthly costs. The company reimburses policyholders for in-network dental coverage, and it provides the option for expanded dental benefits at an additional monthly cost. This can be a great way to manage your expenses if you need significant dental services in the upcoming policy year.
If you’re signing up for a new Medicare Advantage plan, you can choose your dental coverage options during the plan selection process. If you’re already enrolled in Medicare Advantage, talk to your provider about what dental coverage options are available to you, and if there is no add-on coverage available, you may be able to enroll in a standalone dental policy.
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Dental Coverage With Medicare Advantage
Regular dental care is important for your teeth and overall health, but routine visits to your dentist for exams, cleanings and other basic and major dental services aren’t covered by Original Medicare Part A or Part B. The good news is that many UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans do include these benefits.
Does Medicare Cover Oral Surgery
Some dental plans cover gum surgery. If you have one of these plans, youll probably have to pay a percentage of the bill. Most dental plans also will only pay up to a certain amount in claims each year. If youre having dental surgery because of an accident or jaw cancer, Medicare may cover your surgery.
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