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Does Medicare Cover Dental and Vision Services?

Posted by David Ghiorso, CPA, January 26, 2022

After paying into the program for years, most people expect that Medicare will cover all of their medical expenses in retirement. But you might be surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. You will still pay out of pocket for some services, depending upon the type of plan you choose.

In particular, you might be wondering how Medicare treats dental and vision services. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your teeth and eyes (and the bills for those services).

If you opt into Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B), most of your routine dental and vision care will not be covered. Only in certain emergency situations will Original Medicare cover dental or vision care.

If you opt for a Medicare Advantage plan, however, you might be able to receive coverage for dental and vision care. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies who contract with Medicare. These plans cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers and might offer additional benefits. You will pay a premium for an Advantage plan, although sometimes $0 premiums are available.

Depending upon the exact plan, Medicare Advantage might include prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, and even more.

If your Advantage plan does offer dental services, it might pay for routine care such as:

  • Routine dental exams
  • Dental X-rays
  • Routine teeth cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Root canals
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Dentures
  • Dental implants
  • Bridges
  • Crowns

As for vision care, an Advantage plan might cover routine eye exams, preventive screenings, and corrective lenses.

Coverage varies from plan to plan, so it is always best to consult your Medicare representative to learn what types of care you can receive. But for those worried about the cost of vision or dental bills, it can be reassuring to know that it is possible to find a Medicare Advantage plan that does cover those expenses.

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