Does Kaiser Cover Dental Implants?
- While Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn't typically cover dental implants, some Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may help pay for dental implants. Plan benefits and costs may vary, so it's helpful to check out all of the dental benefits that may be offered with many Kaiser Medicare plans.
Nearly 1 out of every 5 adults age 65 and over have lost all of their teeth, including 1 out of every 4 over the age of 75. A weakening of the teeth and gums is a normal part of the aging process, and it often leads many older adults to wonder if Medicare or their private insurance plan from a carrier like Kaiser Permanente covers dental implants.
While Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide any coverage for dental implants, a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan like those offered by Kaiser Permanente can offer coverage for routine and advanced dental care, sometimes including dental implants. If a plan doesn’t cover dental implants themselves, it may help pay for other aspects of the procedure, such as a dental crown, anesthesia or other items.
You can compare Medicare plans online or speak with a licensed insurance agent to find out whether there are Kaiser Medicare Advantage plans – or plans from other providers – available in your area that cover dental implants.
How Do Kaiser Medicare Advantage Plans Work?
Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies like Kaiser Permanente. Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for all of the same services and items included under Medicare Part A and Part B while also typically adding coverage for things not found in Original Medicare, such as dental care.
Many Medicare Advantage plans with dental coverage have a $0 monthly premium. These plans work at the dentist just like traditional dental plans, with a network of participating providers and copayments for certain visits. Preventive dental care like exams and cleanings are generally covered in full.
Some Medicare Advantage plans may also offer an annual allowance for things like denture cream and related over the counter (OTC) health products and items.
When Do Kaiser Medicare Advantage Plans Pay for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are often considered to be a cosmetic procedure and are thus not often covered by many insurance plans. But there are some Medicare Advantage plans that may help pay for dental implants.
Even if in some cases the implant itself is not covered, some other aspect of the procedure might be. That may include the artificial tooth, crown or bridge supported by the implant along with the related anesthesia, exams and X-rays. And if a prescription medication is needed either before or after the surgery, it may be covered by a Kaiser Medicare Advantage plan that includes Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
One type of Kaiser Permanente Medicare plan that may include dental benefits is the Senior Advantage Plus plan. Senior Advantage Plus is the optional upgrade to the more standard Senior Advantage plan and contains more supplementary coverage for dental and other types of care.
The Senior Advantage Plus package may cover for removable and fixed prosthetics including artificial teeth, dentures, bridges and crowns. The plan may also include many other dental benefits for oral surgery, extractions, treatment of gum disease, root canals and much more in addition to a range of routine and preventive services.
However, the plan’s exclusions specifically list dental implants as non-covered care. Detailed information about the plan’s dental benefits, including the exclusion of dental implants, can be found on pages 9-16 of the Senior Advantage Plus brochure.
Do Any Kaiser Permanente Insurance Plans Cover Dental Implants?
While some Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage plans may not cover dental implants, other types of Kaiser insurance can provide such a benefit.
For example, the Kaiser Permanente employer-based Oregon Public Employees’ Benefit Board plan offers 50% coverage of dental implants up to the benefit maximum. And the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest offers coverage of dental implants on a fee-for-service basis.
These are just some examples of Kaiser Permanente coverage that include coverage of dental implants. Contact Kaiser directly for information about plans available in your area that may include dental implant benefits.
How Can I Get Medicare Coverage of Dental Implants?
Contact an insurance agent who is licensed to sell Medicare Advantage plans on behalf of multiple carriers in your area and tell them you’re interested in finding coverage for dental implants. An agent will be able to gather up the plan options available to you and review the dental benefits of each one.
There are also Medicare Advantage plans that use a dental discount card that you might be able to use for discounted rates on dental implants. Again, a licensed agent can help you find a plan with such a feature if one is available in your area.
You can get started today by comparing plan benefits and costs online, for free, with no obligation to enroll. You can also call to speak with a licensed insurance agent for assistance comparing plans. If you’re ready to sign up for a plan, a licensed agent can help you.