Medicare is a federally funded healthcare coverage program designed to help people with the expense of essential medical treatment. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is aimed at people over 65 years old or who have a permanent disability. It is not necessary to be on a low income to qualify for Medicare. The program was brought into being to provide financial support to people who have greater than average medical expenses due to advanced age or disability.
Medicaid, on the other hand, targets people on a low income who may not be able to afford healthcare costs. If you qualify for Medicare and are also in the low-income bracket, you may be eligible for Medicaid benefits too.
Depending on the type of Medicare coverage you have, you may be able to use your plan to cover the cost of dental care.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Care?
Standard Medicare plans cannot be used to cover the cost of most dental care procedures, like tooth extractions, fillings, cleanings, dentures, orthodontic devices, or dental plates. However, Medicare Part A covers hospital treatment, which means that dental procedures carried out in a hospital — usually as a necessary aspect of treatment for another condition or injury — may be covered. For instance, if you require a dental examination prior to a transplant or a tooth extraction due to radiation treatment, this would likely be covered by Medicare.
Medicaid works a little differently. Depending on your state of residence and age, you may have some dental coverage on Medicaid. Every state is legally required to provide children from low-income families with dental coverage through Medicaid. However, adult coverage is usually patchy at best. As an adult on Medicaid, you may be able to get routine exams and other basic preventative treatments, but anything more than that will likely come out of your own pocket.