How To Get Medicare Dental & Vision Coverage

By Health Plans of NC Staff

It is possible to get coverage. To understand how, it is useful to review the different parts of Medicare. Medicare coverage is broken down into Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

Original Medicare provides coverage for care that is medically necessary. Medicare Part A provides benefits for hospital treatments and stays. Part A also covers hospice care, stays in skilled living facilities, and certain home health care services.

Medicare Part B provides coverage for normal medical treatments and care. This includes outpatient visits and services, medical supplies, and preventative care.

There is also Medicare Part D. This can be combined with Part A and Part B. Part D covers necessary vaccines, shots, and prescription drugs.

Medicare Advantage Part C plans are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare.  Most include Part D coverage.

Most Dental and Vision Services Are Not Covered by Original Medicare

Because dental and vision services are not considered necessary medical procedures, they are not fully covered by Original Medicare Parts A or B. Dental exams and supplies are not included. If you are in the hospital, a limited number of dental services may be covered under Part A Hospital Insurance.

Eye exams, eyeglasses, and other vision services are not part of Original Medicare benefits either. Medicare Part B may provide coverage for a limited amount of vision services such as glaucoma screening, cataract surgery, testing for diabetic retinopathy, tests for macular degeneration, diagnostic eye exams, and sometimes prescription eyeglasses or lenses.

The coverage for dental and vision is limited in Original Medicare. For more comprehensive coverage, you have options.

SEE ALSO: What’s The Difference Between Medicare & Medicaid?, Answers To 10 Common Medicare Questions, Get More Benefits With Dual Medicaid-Medicare, D-SNP Plans

Medicare Advantage Part C Plans

Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, offers all the benefits included in Original Medicare plus more. Dental coverage, vision coverage, and prescription drug coverage are all included in most Medicare Advantage Part C plans. Additional benefits include hearing coverage and gym memberships.

Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans. Available plans and costs vary and are based on your location. To find out the exact cost of the plan you’re interested in, and the exact dental and vision services included, contact your local insurance company to learn about the available plans in your area.

Private Dental and Vision Plans

If you want to stick with Original Medicare, then consider a private dental and vision plan for purchase.  They range in price, coverage, and network.  If you already have a provider, reach out to find out which insurance plans they accept.  You will generally want to choose an insurance plan where your provider will file your claim, versus you paying your provider and getting reimbursed by the insurance company.

Medicare Supplement Value Ad

Some Medicare Supplement carriers will offer “value added” benefits to their Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plans.  These value added benefits may include dental and vision discounts.  Each carrier is different and add ons may increase the price of your supplement.