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Best Medicare Supplemental Dental Plans

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Best Dental Supplement Plans of 2021

Upon turning 65, many people are surprised to discover that Medicare does not cover dental care. It’s important to invest in supplemental insurance, such as a Medicare Advantage plan.

Like Medigap plans, Medicare Advantage (or Part C) is regulated by the government and offered only by Medicare-approved private providers. Although Medigap policies (Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N) are designed to fill the gaps in your original plan, Medicare Advantage serves as an alternative to your original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage covers the typical Parts A and B, plus “advantages” such as prescription drugs, vision, hearing, and dental. Some plans even include perks such as fitness club memberships for continued health. The average cost of Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 is $21 — the lowest average since 2007. (Plans that include Part D prescription coverage cost slightly more.) It’s an excellent time to consider a Medicare Advantage policy.

Pro Tip: Although original Medicare doesn’t include dental coverage, it is important for older adults to remember that oral health is key to overall health. Poor oral health in seniors has been linked to malnutrition, loneliness, and illness — including chronic disease. When discussing Medicare, I always remind folks that finding dental coverage is a must.

How We Chose the Best Dental Insurance for Seniors on Medicare

Though Medicare Advantage plans are regulated by the government, you will find differences among specific policy plans. All the companies we included here offer great dental policies as part of their Advantage packages. We made our choices based on three qualities:

FYI: To learn more about the differences between Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, check out my comprehensive guide to Medicare Supplement Insurance.

1. Humana - Best Overall Dental Supplement Plans

4.0 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Coverage for root canals, oral surgery, and dentures
  • Plans with no coverage limits
  • No network restrictions
  • Plans with no waiting periods

Overview

Based in Louisville, Ky., Humana has been in the insurance business for nearly 60 years. Humana is available nationwide and offers all types of health-care coverage, including Medicare Advantage and Medigap policies — although plan details and options vary by state.

In addition to its Medicare Advantage plans, Humana offers optional supplemental benefits (OSBs) for extra dental coverage. OSBs add to your premium, but they will help cover more extensive procedures such as dentures and crowns. You can use Humana’s handy search tool to see what OSBs you can apply to your plan.

Humana Medicare Advantage Pricing: $0 to $120

Pros
  • 80% coverage for basic procedures
  • Yearly teeth whitening allowance
  • No waiting periods on some plans
  • Low deductibles
Cons
  • Higher costs for preventive plan
  • Enrollment fees in some states

2. Cigna - Best Dental and Vision Plans

Cigna dental saving plans for seniors.
4.5 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Three plan options to choose from
  • Deductibles and copays waived for preventive care
  • 24/7 customer service and simple claims management
  • Low-premium plans available

Overview

Cigna emerged in 1982 from the unification of CG (founded in 1865) and INA (founded in 1792) insurance companies. Since then, it has become a health insurance frontrunner, with both a national and international presence.

Cigna offers many affordable options for Medicare Advantage, including a dental savings plan, which supplies you with a discount card to use for immediate savings with no limits. Consider the Traditions, Total Care, Achieve, and Preferred Plus plans for bundled dental, hearing, vision, and prescription coverage.

Pros
  • Plans start at less than $20 per month
  • Copays and deductibles waived on preventive care
  • Simple, online claims process and 24/7 customer support
  • Brighter Score ratings help choose practitioners
  • Coverage for major procedures
Cons
  • $1000 and $1,500 maximums set for the 1000 and 1500 plans
  • Added restrictions and differing coverage in Maryland and New York

3. UnitedHealthcare - Best Bundled Savings

United Healthcare dental insurance for seniors
4.0 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • No waiting periods on many services
  • Hearing aid benefit included
  • Optional vision rider
  • High annual maximums

Overview

Founded in 1977, UnitedHealthcare is one of the top health-care companies in the nation. In addition to its other health insurance offerings, UnitedHealthcare offers Medicare plans endorsed by AARP.

These plans are available to both members and non-members, and they are specifically designed with retirees in mind. UnitedHealthcare touts the largest dentist provider network in the Medicare sector. You can use its online tool to see whether its plans cover your current dentist.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Pricing: $0 to $100

Pros
  • No waiting periods on many services
  • Vision rider availability
  • Partial hearing aid coverage included in plans
Cons
  • Partial hearing aid coverage included in plans
  • Higher premiums overall

4. Aetna - Lowest Premiums

Aetna is a top dental plan for seniors.
4.7 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Extensive network with more than 372,000 providers to choose from
  • Easy-to-use quote tool and provider look-up portal
  • No-cost preventive care
  • PPO plans

Overview

Aetna’s health insurance offerings provide longevity and reach. With its Medicare Advantage plans, you can either adhere to its dental-care network or opt out of network requirements and receive an allowance to use at your providers of choice. If you are using Aetna’s optional supplemental benefits, an HMO plan will require in-network usage and a PPO will allow out-of-network coverage with added cost.

Pricing: $0 to $100

Pros
  • Broad network coverage
  • Easy-to-navigate benefits and provider network
  • Routine, preventive care is fully covered
  • High coverage of basic procedures
Cons
  • High out-of-network costs
  • Longer waiting periods
  • Unavailable in Massachusetts

5. Anthem - Best App

Anthem Medicare Supplement Coverage
4.6 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Easy-to-use app to manage your account
  • Access to extras such as fitness programs
  • Wide range of plans
  • Optional drug, vision, and dental coverage

Overview

Anthem is a subsidiary of the extended Blue Cross Blue Shield group, and it represents the majority of BCBS’ Medicare portfolio. Most of Anthem’s Medicare Advantage plans come at zero premium with dental coverage. It also increases coverage with a dental or dental/vision supplemental package. Some plans allow you to go out of network with an increased copay. You also can’t beat the company’s handy mobile app, which lets you find a provider, access your ID card, review your health records, and calculate costs on the go.

Pricing: $0 to $50 for base premium, plus optional benefits ($14 for preventive dental, $24 for dental and vision, or $43 for enhanced dental and vision)

Pros
  • Intuitive and helpful app
  • Bundled discounts on insurance
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Nationwide coverage
Cons
  • Not available in every state
Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here