Yes, it’s true that Medicare Parts A and B, also known as Original Medicare, don’t cover dental services. And while some Medicare Part C plans, also known as Medicare Advantage, do offer dental coverage, they generally require you to pay coinsurance, meaning that you are on the hook for as much as 50% of the bill, pay a copay for each service, or have a cap on how much they’ll cover. Want better coverage than that? Expect to pay much more for it — if it’s even available in your area.
But there is one Medicare plan that covers dental services, and it does so without demanding any coinsurance or copays, without any dollar limit on what is covered, and without any extra premiums.
That plan is PACE.
PACE stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and it covers every type of medical care a person might need. That doesn’t only include dental care, but also prescription medication, audiology, including hearing aids; optometry, including glasses; as well as any type of specialist the senior might need. PACE even covers transportation to the specialist, as well as to the PACE center.
All with no out-of-pocket cost.
Also included is durable medical equipment, such as canes, crutches, walkers, manual or electric wheelchairs, hospital beds, traction equipment, dialysis, ventilators, oxygen, monitors, pressure mattresses, lifts, nebulizers, bili blankets and bili lights. All at no charge.
What about incontinence supplies? Covered at no charge. Home modifications so that the senior is safe in their space? Covered at no charge.
PACE programs also include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, as well as adult day care and at least two meals a day. (Home-delivered meals also included for those who need it.) As with all PACE benefits, these are provided at no charge.
How can PACE programs offer so many benefits at so little cost? PACE programs work differently than traditional fee-for-service insurance plans. The goal of a PACE plan is to offer older people who qualify for nursing home care to get their needs met where they are happiest; in their own communities. To qualify for PACE, a person must be age 55 or over, live in a PACE service area, and be certified as needing nursing home level care. Part of PACE is paid by Medicaid; if a participant does not qualify for Medicaid, they can pay that portion privately.
At Beacon of LIFE, a government-approved PACE program in Oceanport, NJ, our team can help you apply for Medicaid at no charge. And our care and services allow the frail elderly to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.