What dental options are available?
Medicare Advantage Dental Coverage
There is some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans that offer extra benefits, like dental, that Original Medicare does not cover. In addition to dental coverage, they also may cover vision and hearing as well. To review the Medicare Advantage plans in your area, be sure to talk to a licensed agent that understands the plans well and can help guide you.
Some Medicare Advantage plans only cover exams, cleanings, and x-rays, where others include full comprehensive coverage as well. Some plans require you to purchase an additional dental rider to get the coverage you are looking for.
Medicare Supplement Dental Discounts
It is not real common, but some Medicare Supplement policies may offer dental riders or special dental discounts. Check with your Medicare Supplement policy to determine if dental discounts are available.
Stand Alone Dental Plans
There are several different insurance carriers that offer a stand-alone dental plan in your area. And they vary in what they cover. They come with a monthly plan premium and then cover dental services at different levels. For example, you could get a basic dental plan that covers two exams/cleanings per year at 100%, and then covers only a percentage of the comprehensive (80 percent, 50 percent, etc.).
A good licensed agent will have two or three stand-alone dental carriers available for you to review and choose from. These plans are HMO or PPO plans, and what they cover varies from plan to plan.
Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans are not insurance plans. They work more like a membership program. They typically have an annual fee to join, and if you agree to use the dentists in the network, then you will enjoy pre-negotiated rates that the dentist has already agreed to charge. All the cost of dental care would be paid by you, but you will not have to worry about trying to negotiate a cash price. That work has been done for you by being a member of the program.