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:
- Plan options and add-ons: All Medicare Advantage plans cover Plan A and Plan B, but they vary in their extent of dental coverage (as well as hearing, vision, and prescription coverage).
- Affordable premiums: These companies offer competitive rates or bundled savings. Many offer multiple plan options, so you can get a dental plan with a premium you’re comfortable with.
- Special perks and benefits: Who doesn’t like a bonus? Many of these plans come with access to special services and programs such as fitness clubs.