Dental and Eye Care on Medicare

I have the traditional Medicare Parts A and B. United Healthcare chips in as my supplemental insurance. I am not covered for dental or vission care on either, although I have a great prescription service (Silver Script) through the supplemental. Payment for Medicare is taken from my SSI and I do not have to pay anything for my supplemental - it is covered by my former employer.

As has likely been mentioned in other posts about this - the premiums for dental and vision would most likely exceed what one would spend OOP unless they had a catastrophic need. I pay OOP for dental. This year cost me $346 - a 50% increase from last year for the same service and no take home goodie bag, either.

Thankfully, I have not needed glasses so far since retirement. I would only be interested in dental and vision coverage if there was no premium and I get the idea from all the blurbs on TV lately about Medicare plans that to get dental and vision, one would have to bundle with their prescription plan and none are really at no cost. I do not know if I am understanding this correctly, though. I don't want to give up what I already have.
 

Last edited:

GreenSky

Member
Location
Las Vegas
The only plans that include dental for free typically would be Medicare Advantage, usually an HMO but sometimes a PPO. I'm not a fan of dental as they generally have 18 month waiting periods for major work meaning at best you trade your premium dollars with the insurance company. I am a fan of dental discount plans. This is what my wife and I have. For about $120/yr we see great dentists and save about 1/3. Since "true" dental insurance usually only covers 50% for major services I'm happy saving $500/yr and only paying a bit more if we need crowns.

Your Silver Script was indeed great (my wife has them) however they are making a dramatic change for 2020 by adding a deductible of $435 ! In previous years it was worth paying a bit more to avoid the deductible but those days are gone. I'm moving my clients out of Silver Script into plans with lower premiums and drug costs.

But a great supplement paid for by an employer is an amazing blessing.

Rick
 

GeorgiaXplant

Well-known Member
Location
Georgia
My dental/vision/hearing adds a small premium of $15/month. So far this year it's saved me thousands. Yes, thousands. Many thousands on dental and more than $500 on vision. Without it I'd be near toothless and legally blind.
 

Kaila

Well-known Member
Medicare part B, doesn't pay for eyeglasses (except one pair after cataract surgery)
and doesn't pay for routine eye vision exams for prescribing glasses,

but they do pay a large portion of the rest of my eye related office visits, for any temporary or long-term medical eye problems that arise.
(after yearly overall medical visits deductible has been counted)
Not ideal, but does pay large chunks.
 

Sunny

SF VIP
Location
Maryland
Georgia, are you talking about Medicare? You say you had to add $15 a month to your premium, but to what? I have a dental plan that I hate. If I could put dental coverage on my Medicare plan, I'd be delighted.
 

GreenSky

Member
Location
Las Vegas
Georgia, are you talking about Medicare? You say you had to add $15 a month to your premium, but to what? I have a dental plan that I hate. If I could put dental coverage on my Medicare plan, I'd be delighted.
I'm 99.999% sure Georgia has a Medicare Advantage plan (probably an HMO) and has added a dental plan to that. Generally the coverage is a dental HMO with low costs and usually, but obviously not in this case, marginal dental work.

Rick
 

GreenSky

Member
Location
Las Vegas
Medicare part B, doesn't pay for eyeglasses (except one pair after cataract surgery)
and doesn't pay for routine eye vision exams for prescribing glasses,

but they do pay a large portion of the rest of my eye related office visits, for any temporary or long-term medical eye problems that arise.
(after yearly overall medical visits deductible has been counted)
Not ideal, but does pay large chunks.
Medicare pays for medical related eye problems, not routine refraction nor glasses. And like you, I know all about this from personal experience (unfortunately).

Rick
 

terry123

Well-known Member
Location
Houston, Tx.
I have an advantage Medicare plan that is a PPO. It includes the drug plan, basic dental and vision. All of my current doctors are on the plan. Last year the plan was $15.00 a month and has gone up to $18.00 for 2020. It is cheaper for me than buying a supplement that would cost around 200.00 a month and keeping regular Medicare.
 

OneEyedDiva

Senior Member
Location
Nrw Jersey
The dental plan with our N.J. retiree benefits group plan was not only too expensive, it was confusing. The first year we'd be on one tier, with certain procedures covered, then move to the next with added procedures. I couldn't get through to get information on which procedures were included in which tiers. I've had a dental plan for several years now. A couple of years ago, I thought I'd drop it because I only go in for cleanings now. One cleaning is about the same price as the annual cost (between $129 & $134 if I wait for Dental Plans "sale"). I'm glad I kept it because I wound up needing a root canal and crown. I saved over $1,500 because I had the plan. I chose Aetna.
https://www.dentalplans.com/lp-ppc/dentalsavingsplans?affid=201112&mkwid=ON9WSdU3|pcrid|77378188881741|pkw|DentalPlans com|pmt|be|pdv|c|pgrid|1238050208244732|ptaid|kwd-77378234556922:loc-190&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Desktop+-+Top+Keywords:+Syndicated&utm_term=DentalPlans com
 
Original Poster
Seems you have to pay no matter what. No such thing as free dental or vision coverage. I looked into it a while back and the cost of dental and vision insurance would exceed what I pay OOP. So I just do that if I can find providers that take personal checks.
 

OneEyedDiva

Senior Member
Location
Nrw Jersey
Seems you have to pay no matter what. No such thing as free dental or vision coverage. I looked into it a while back and the cost of dental and vision insurance would exceed what I pay OOP. So I just do that if I can find providers that take personal checks.
What you say is only true if you don't wind up needing any major dental work, like in my example above. I would have kicked myself if I had to pay another $1,500+ for the procedure because I didn't have the plan.
 

justinbrock

New Member
A lot of times, Medicare Advantage plans include coverages for things like this, but often times you are giving up freedom of doctor or hospital selection and even some medical coverage to get these "Extra Benefits". There are stand alone Dental, Vision and Hearing plans that you can pay an additional premium for that are often good. Cash paying sometimes gets you a discount too. We have Manhattan Life's Dental, Vision and Hearing plan on ourselves, and we pay cash and file for reimbursement. This seems to be one of the best setups.
 

Myquest55

Member
Location
Happily in MAINE
We are about to lose our corporate dental plan through Delta Dental. We asked the Rep about dental through Medicare Advantage with Anthem and they do offer it - however - there are NO dentists in the area that will take it. I hope to talk to my dentist this week about that when I go in for a crown. We want to keep going to the local guy. Not sure what we'll do about that.
 
There is no such thing as a "free lunch" when it comes to insurance. They're going to get you one way or another.

I'm currently snarling at my Rx policy providers because there are a couple of my prescriptions I can get cheaper through GoodRx (which doesn't have a membership fee), than through my insurance (which I pay plenty for). My insurance's explanation for that: "Well, the pharmacy chain gives GoodRx a better price than they give us." My snarl at them: "Why don't you negotiate a better price, then? Don't I pay you to look after my best interests?" I'm waiting to hear the answer on that......
 

Liberty

Senior Member
Location
Texas
There is no such thing as a "free lunch" when it comes to insurance. They're going to get you one way or another.

I'm currently snarling at my Rx policy providers because there are a couple of my prescriptions I can get cheaper through GoodRx (which doesn't have a membership fee), than through my insurance (which I pay plenty for). My insurance's explanation for that: "Well, the pharmacy chain gives GoodRx a better price than they give us." My snarl at them: "Why don't you negotiate a better price, then? Don't I pay you to look after my best interests?" I'm waiting to hear the answer on that......
If you can use generics I'd try checking Well Care for supplement D pricing - we have them and they are really economical. Like 10 or 12 bucks a month.
 

Don M.

Well-known Member
Location
central Missouri
Dental Insurance is "marginal" at best. Most dental insurance covers little more than a couple of annual cleanings, and minor fillings....beyond that, most policies pay only about 50%, at best. Most Vision Insurance also covers little more than the basics. If you need something like a root canal, or dentures, or if you want progressive polymer lens glasses, with quality frames, the co-pays can be fairly high.

However, like any other type of insurance, it's always a waste of money....Unless/Until you need it.
 
I pay 12.45 a month for the VSP vision insurance.
I just used it about 3 weeks ago and I was very pleased.
I have the basic plan and they allowed 159.00 towards a frame and lenses,I added the no glare coating because my night vision is awful so that was an extra 25.00.
I used Visionworks and I was totally satisfied with the Covid precautions they were using.
 

Don M.

Well-known Member
Location
central Missouri
We, too, have VSP, and it is probably the best vision insurance available. I get a real thorough exam every year, and between VSP, and the Medicare Advantage plan, the out of pocket costs are reasonable. My old Dad had macular degeneration, so I try to take every precaution regarding my vision.
 
All of this information was helpful to me as I will be getting Medicare, Part A, B effective July 1, 2020. I will be looking for a supplemental insurance plan. It all seems so complicated. Wish me luck.
 

Top