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Can I get dental insurance with Medicare?

Modified on: 2018/07/12
A:

Medicare does not offer dental insurance that will cover dental care and medical supplies, such as cleanings, sealants, extractions, fillings, plates and other dental procedures. Congress established a blanket exclusion for dental services as part of the Medicare program. However, the Medicare makes exceptions for certain dental procedures if they are performed in association with certain diseases and as part of inpatient hospital care.

Medicare

Medicare is a national insurance program established and administered by the U.S. federal government. Medicare is designed for U.S. citizens and legal residents who have resided in the United States for at least five years. Medicare participants must be 65 years or above and have worked and made contributions through Medicare tax. Medicare also provides insurance to younger Americans who have certain disabilities. Medicare's primary sources of financing come from payroll tax and premiums paid by Medicare participants.

Dental Services Exclusion

While Medicare insurance does not cover dental services, it covers certain dental procedures when they are performed due to the general hospitalization of a patient. Medicare Part A pays for dental expenses incurred in a hospital, if a patient is in emergency or has a complicated dental problem that is dangerous to his life and requires immediate medical intervention.

Under Medicare Part B, coverage of dental services is determined based on the type of dental procedure and the anatomical structure for which dental service is provided. Part B essentially disallows all regular types of dental procedures. However, Part B has an exception when tooth extraction is performed in preparation of a patient's jaw for radiation treatment of neoplastic disease. Also, Medicare Part B covers services related to a doctor's oral and dental examination for renal transplant surgery or heart valve replacement.


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