Best Dental Insurance for Seniors on Medicare of 2021

Eufemia Didonato

Company Plans (#)  Coverage Limit  No. States Available  Providers In-Network 
United Healthcare

Best Overall
3 $1,000 to $3,000 34 1,300,000
Kaiser Permanenter

Best Customer Service 
$1,250  300,000 
Humana

Best Online Tools 
15  $1,000  50  270,000 
Aetna

Best National Coverage 
$1,000 to $3,000  50  700,000 
WellCare

Best for Potential New Offerings 
3 $750  27  Not stated 
Cigna

Best for Special Needs
$1,000  23  89,000


Guide to Getting Dental Insurance with Medicare 

Signing up for Medicare can be a complicated process, so we have outlined the basic steps below. Here are some tips to help you sign up for the best dental plan for you from the Medicare Advantage plan options.

Find Dental Plans for Medicare Near You 

To find a dental plan near you, you should visit the websites of the companies offering Medicare Advantage plans to view the details of each plan. Many company websites also allow you to see if your dentist accepts the plan. If you’re not sure where to start, consider talking to a broker or consultant. Good resources include the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs at 877-839-2675 or call Medicare at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) to get answers to questions not answered in your research.

Compare Medicare Advantage Dental Plans 

Using Medicare’s Find a Medicare Plan tool, you can log in without an account, choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, type in your ZIP code, and follow the simple instructions to get a list of the available plans. The “Plan Details” button helps you learn more about the coverage offered, such as preventative dental (exam, cleaning, X-rays) or comprehensive dental (extractions, periodontics, restorative services).

Medicare Advantage Enrollment 

If you’re wondering how to join the Medicare Advantage program, Medicare provides excellent online resources including details about enrollment periods for Medicare Advantage Plans. The Medicare Advantage enrollment period depends on your age as well as any qualifying life changes, such as moves or income changes. You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan under the following circumstances:

  • When you become eligible for Medicare: If you turn 65 or have a qualifying disability, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • During yearly enrollment periods: From October 15 to December 7 you can change from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
  • After qualifying life events: If you experience a life event such as a move or loss of income, you may be able to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.


Plans and Pricing

Signing up for Medicare can be a complicated process, so we have outlined the basic steps below. Here are some tips to help you sign up for the best dental plan for you from the Medicare Advantage plan options.

Step 1: Find a list of Medicare Advantage plans available in your area. 

Using Medicare’s Find a Medicare Plan tool, you can log in without an account, choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, type in your ZIP code, and follow the simple instructions to get a list of the available plans.

Step 2: Review the plans available in your area. 

Under “Plan Benefits,” a green checkmark next to “Dental” indicates plans that include dental coverage.

Along with benefits, you will see other useful information, such as monthly premiums, the yearly maximum you pay for health costs, and the type of plan, such as:

·    HMO (health maintenance organization)

·    HMO-POS (health maintenance organization—point of service)

·    PPO (preferred provider organization)

·    PFFS (private fee-for-service)

·    SNPs (special needs plans)

Step 3: Find the plans with features that fit your needs.

The “Plan Details” button helps you learn more about the coverage offered, such as preventative dental (exam, cleaning, X-rays) or comprehensive dental (extractions, periodontics, restorative services).

Step 4: Visit the websites of the companies offering the plans.

You can look at the details of each plan, and many company websites allow you to see if your dentist accepts the plan.

Step 5: Consider talking to a broker or consultant.

Good resources include the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs at 877-839-2675 or call Medicare at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) to get answers to questions not answered in your research.

Step 6: Sign up.

Medicare provides excellent online resources including details about enrollment periods for Medicare Advantage Plans.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does a Medicare Advantage Plan With Dental Coverage Cost Out-of-Pocket Over the Monthly Premium?

Typically, copayment or coinsurance for most Medicare Advantage Plan dental coverage, such as 50% coinsurance or a $50 copayment. Also, many plans cap the annual coverage amount. That being said, plans are different between providers and even between plans offered by the same provider. You should check the costs associated with your dental coverage before committing to a plan.

Is a Medicare Advantage Plan the Only Way to Get Dental Coverage With Medicare?

No, no matter what type of Medicare coverage you have you can purchase a dental-only insurance plan. There are a variety of plans available offering different levels of coverage, premiums, copays, and spending caps. Examples include Delta Dental, Humana, and others.

What Are the Benefits of Buying a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Some people prefer a Medicare Advantage Plan because it bundles all coverage under one plan that often includes a prescription drug program and added benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing care. Also, many prefer a lower monthly premium (sometimes $0) based on how they feel they will access the coverage.

How Much Does a Medicare Advantage Plan Typically Cost?

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the average Medicare Advantage monthly premium for 2021 is $21, although the monthly premiums for a Medicare Advantage Plan can range from $0 to over $100. There are also out-of-pocket costs such as copayments and coinsurance. For some plans, out-of-pocket costs can also be impacted by going to doctors who are out of network.

Some plans have a yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for all medical services. For example, if you live in Dallas, Texas:

  • The United Healthcare AARP Medicare Advantage (HMO-POS) has a $0 monthly premium and a $3,900 out-of-pocket maximum
  • The HumanaChoice PPO has a $10 monthly premium and a $6,700 out-of-pocket maximum ($10,000 combined in- and out-of-network)
  •  The Cigna-HealthSpring (HMO) Preferred has a $0 monthly premium and a $5,500 out-of-pocket maximum (applies to in-network Medicare-covered benefits)

While you might be attracted to the perceived lower price, be sure to check the coverage to make sure that you are getting the care you want and need, without incurring additional costs that may offset the upfront savings.

Can My Coverage Change?

Every January Medicare Advantage Plans can change their costs and their coverage for the new calendar year. You should review your coverage and compare your plan with other available plans to make sure you have the coverage you need at the best possible price.


Methodology

For this ranking, we looked at over two dozen Medicare Advantage Plan providers and almost 100 individual plans. Key considerations included Medicare’s CMS Star Rating, J.D. Power customer service ratings for Medicare Advantage Plan providers, and geographic availability (number of states plan is available), as well as website interface, navigation, and usability. We also considered any additional benefits providers offer upon enrolling, such as health and wellness plans or home delivery for prescriptions.

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