Does Medicare cover orthodontics?

Medicare doesn't cover orthodontics and has no dental care coverage included. Medicare Advantage plans often include some basic dental coverage, but orthodontics is not always included. You can buy a dental insurance plan to supplement your Medicare coverage and help pay for orthodontics, either standalone or as an add-on to Medicare Advantage for orthodontics.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2021

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The Highlights

  • Original Medicare doesn’t cover orthodontics
  • Medicare Advantage plans may include some dental coverage, including orthodontic
  • Dental insurance plans can be purchased separately to cover orthodontics

Does Medicare cover orthodontics? Medicare generally doesn’t cover orthodontics, and in fact, there is very little coverage for dental work included with Original Medicare. You may have some coverage for orthodontics if you have a Medicare Advantage health insurance plan that includes dental coverage, but those with Original Medicare will need to purchase a separate dental plan.

To compare rates on Medicare plans that include orthodontics and other dental coverage, enter your ZIP code above.

Does Medicare cover dental care and orthodontics?

Medicare does not include routine dental services, nor does it cover braces or other orthodontic work. In rare situations, Medicare Part A may cover the hospitalization portion of an emergency that requires dental care, but the dental work itself will be out-of-pocket.

Another exception to the rule is that coverage may be available for dental care that is part of the treatment of a condition such as a cleft palate and is considered to be medically necessary.

If you choose to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have dental included at no additional cost. Otherwise, dental insurance plans are available as an add-on to Medicare Advantage or as standalone policies. Dental plans are generally very affordable.

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What is the cost of orthodontics with Medicare?

You will pay the full amount of your orthodontic treatments if you have Original Medicare. As noted, some Medicare Advantage plans do include dental coverage, but it is generally for basic services. Some plans may have partial coverage for orthodontics.

Dental plans don’t always cover orthodontics, but when they do it’s generally a portion of the cost, commonly 50 percent, and up to a yearly limit.

Does Medicare cover orthodontics? The Bottom Line

Original Medicare doesn’t include dental coverage and has no coverage for orthodontics. There may be a few exceptions to this rule, but generally, braces are not covered. Some Medicare Advantage plans do include dental care, and the plans are also available for purchase. Orthodontic coverage on dental insurance is generally limited.

To find a Medicare plan that includes orthodontics coverage, enter your ZIP code now.

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