Dental and Medicare!

By David S Edge

 

Most of you know by now that Medicare plans do not cover dental. But there are some ads on TV and in print that advertise “Includes Dental” with this plan! Wow, that’s great! But we need to read the fine print.

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer dental coverage at an extra monthly premium. You must use dentists on their network and some even offer out-of-network coverage. This is where it can get a bit confusing. There are deductibles that may have to be met, there are also co-pays for services, and most of these plans have a maximum amount they will cover in a calendar year.

Many of these dental plans cover a basic x-ray and cleaning, but after that is when it can get complicated. For example, some dental plans require you to be on the plan for 12-18 months before they will cover any major dental issues.

These dental plans need careful review before you commit, and we recommend that you do the math. Example:A dental plan has a $39 monthly premium. Multiply that by 12 months = $468 and it has a $100 deductible you pay before the plan pays. Now the total is $568 before you get any dental coverage. Some of these plans offer 80/20 co-pay and some are 50/50. You pay half and the plan pays half.
Original Medicare would cover serious medical conditions for something like a broken jaw that included rebuilding your mouth due to an accident, but not items like fillings, crowns, dentures, or implants.

Alternatives are to check with local dental universities that offer discount dental services (we have several good ones in Maricopa County). Discuss dental coverage with your current dentist as many dentists offer their own in-house dental plans that give you discounts on their services. Some people go to other countries like Mexico or Canada to get dental services, as many dental procedures are much less expensive in other countries due to the dentist not having to pay expensive insurance premiums that is required in the USA.

Other folks just put $30-$50 bucks a month in a savings account so that if something comes up they have the cash from their piggy bank to pay for dental services.

Main thing is to do your research before committing to any dental coverage. You’ll find there are pros and cons to each plan.

Confused or need more info? Call us! We can help!