A large number of people over the age of 65 enroll themselves in one of Medicare’s many health insurance plans that provide members with cost benefits by making health care services available to them at a lower cost through a network of participating medical practitioners and hospitals. If a member wants to avail services of a non-participating hospital or doctor, he would have to pay more despite having health insurance because they do not fall within Medicare’s network and as such their costs are not covered by Medicare.
While Medicare provides a wide range of services and covers a large number of health benefits, it does not cover dental expenses very well under its original plan. This means that the Original Medicare Plan i.e. Plan A and/ or Plan B does not cover all dental expenses that a member may incur. Medicare original plan usually does not cover dental expenses like checkups, cleanings, fillings and other regular costs.
If a member wants his health insurance to cover those dental costs as well, he can do one of two things;
- He can discontinue the original Medicare plan and instead enroll in Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Part C plan which would provide him with benefits covered under Part A and Part B plus Additional benefits that are not covered under these plans. Or,
- If he does not want to give up the original plan as well, he can enroll in the Medicare Supplemental Plan which is also commonly known as Medigap which would allow him to keep his original plan and in addition to those add more benefits as supplemental benefits. If he chooses to take the Supplemental Plan, he can have access to dental coverage that is not otherwise available under only the Original Medicare Plan.
However, Medicare Original plan or the Medigap plans do not cover dentures. If dentures are needed, a member would need to either enroll in the Advantage plan that Medicare offers or he may want to take dental insurance that covers dentures separately.