Many people wonder how to get vision and dental coverage while on Medicare. Surprising to some is that neither Part A or Part B covers most expenses associated with vision or dental and many struggle with the steep expenses. Medicare Parts A and B only help pay for medically-necessary inpatient and outpatient care. “Medically-necessary” is defined as care that’s required to diagnose or treat an illness or medical condition. Dental and vision care are not considered medically necessary, and so not covered by Original Medicare. There are, however, a few great options for those looking for broader coverage.
Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) is actually offered by private companies and includes the same coverage as Original Medicare Parts A and B, plus some extra benefits. Vision and dental are often included in Medicare Advantage plans and many plans also include prescription drug coverage. Most plans do charge a premium in addition to the Part B premium that is paid to Medicare. Remember that because Advantage plans are run privately, not all plans are available in every area and not all plans are equal.
How do I enroll in Medicare Advantage?
To enroll in Medicare Advantage (or Medicare Part C), you must first enroll in Part A and B. Part C supplements those plans is included as a completely separate premium. The cost however can be offset by benefits from the extended coverage and various services that are provided.
While Part C is more expensive that other plans, it can be a life-saver those hoping to receive dental, visual, and hearing tests. Part C also covers the resulting visits and treatments that could ensue. Medicare Part C or other Medicare Advantage plans could be a good match for those looking for a few extra benefits.