Medicare Coverage and What the Extra Coverage Is

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
May 8, 2020

Senior couple looking at paperwork

Medicare: it can provide great health insurance, but it can also be confusing to figure it all out, especially if you’re turning 65 and you’ll be applying for it for the first time.

To help clear things up, here’s some information on what Medicare coverage provides, along with some info on the extra coverage options that are available, and why they are available.

With a better understanding of what you’re actually going to be getting through Medicare, you can make a smarter decision when it comes to purchasing supplemental plans that you think you’ll need.

Medicare Coverage: The Basics

When you start getting to know Medicare better, you’ll notice that there are different versions, referred to as “parts.”

  • Part A is hospital insurance. This means it will cover inpatient hospital stays, care you receive in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.
  • Part B is medical insurance. This will cover certain doctors’ services, along with medical supplies, preventive services, and outpatient care.
  • Part D is prescription drug coverage. You can add this coverage to your Medicare plan if you want. But you need to get these plans from insurance companies and private companies that have Medicare approval.

But, wait, what about Part C?

  • Part C is referred to as Medicare Advantage. You’ve probably heard of it. This is an alternative option to Original Medicare, as it’s an all-in-one solution that bundles Parts A and B. Part D is usually included as well, so you can get prescription drug coverage too.

As you can see, if you don’t have Medicare Part C (even if you have both Parts A and B), you’re going to have some gaps in coverage. Scary when you’re a senior who might need to see the doctor more often!

And Dental Coverage? Is It Part of Medicare?

One thing you might have observed while reading through the info on Medicare above is that dental and vision aren’t mentioned. Unfortunately, Original Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care, and it doesn’t cover dentures or eye exams related to prescription glasses.

Part A might step in and help if you need to receive dental care in a hospital or during an emergency, but the dental care itself might not be covered. Yeah, it’s complicated.

To get those extra levels of coverage, you’d need to get a Medicare Advantage Plan. With this type of plan, you would be able to receive coverage for dental, vision, hearing, and prescriptions.

But with this extra coverage also comes an extra monthly premium, so that’s something to consider for your budget. And there might be limitations to think about as well. For example, dental benefits may only cover things like exams, cleanings, and bitewing X-rays, leaving you with the financial burden of more expensive treatments.

Side note: It’s also worth mentioning that, if a service isn’t deemed medically necessary by Medicare, you’ll likely need to pay for it yourself. And that can get expensive!

A Wise Alternative Option for Seniors: Stand-Alone Dental Insurance

When Medicare falls short, don’t fret. You still have other options! Signing up for a stand-alone dental or vision insurance plan, like those offered by Spirit, can put you in control and give you more choices.

Let’s face it: seniors have a lot to think about when it comes to their oral health. The risk for problems like cavities and gum disease, as well as mouth cancer, increases with age. You might end up needing expensive procedures like root canals or extractions, and you may decide to get dentures, bridges, or implants.

This all adds up, but the right insurance can help you rest easy, knowing that the costs are covered and you don’t have to break the bank to maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile.

Here are a few things you can expect from Spirit’s senior dental insurance:

Don’t Let Medicare Hold You Back!

While Medicare has its perks, it can be lacking when it comes to covering important dental care for seniors. Remember, your oral health can impact your overall health, and certain medical conditions can put your teeth and gums at risk as well. So, having a comprehensive dental plan that will allow you to see the dentist you want and receive high-quality treatments is definitely a step that every senior should consider taking.


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