The federal Medicare health plan currently has over 50 million beneficiaries in the United States. This federal health insurance program primarily targets senior citizens, those aged 65 and over, and people with physical and mental disabilities. Medicare insurance programs are offered locally across all states in the U.S. and are administered by registered Medicaid agencies. However, despite the convenience of the Medicare program, this federal insurance doesn’t offer comprehensive coverage. Below is a list of seven things not covered by the standard Medicare health insurance:
1. Dental work
The standard Part A and Part B Medicare insurance coverage do not include most dental work. You must subscribe to a Medicare Advantage plan to enjoy subsidized tooth extractions, root filling, and dentures. The Advantage plan covers X-rays, tooth extractions, and other complex tooth procedures but does include an annual insurance cap depending on your choice of insurer. Alternatively, you can opt for an independent dental coverage plan from private insurers, saving you from hefty out-of-pocket fees should you require specialized dental care.
2. Chiropractic care
Though the Original Part B plan covers spinal manipulation by a chiropractor, you will still have to pay for spinal X-rays, acupuncture, massage therapies and other specialized chiropractic tests. Under the Original plan, you’ll pay up to 20% of the approved amount once you exhaust the annual Part B deductible.
3. Overseas care
Your Original Medicare insurance program will not cover your medical expenses when traveling outside the United States. Though Part B plans may cover your health care when boarding a ship within the United States jurisdictions, the coverage ends as soon as you are away from U.S. territories for more than six hours. Unless you have supplemental private health insurance, you will pay 100% of the medical expenses you incur outside the U.S. territories.
4. Nursing home care
The standard Medicaid plans don’t provide for long-term nursing home care. However, you will still be able to enjoy doctor services, hospice, and medical supplies for short-term admissions in nursing homes. Consider enrolling for the Part D Advantage plan to avoid bearing the hefty cost of long-term nursing home care.
5. Opticians and eye exams
The traditional Part A and Part B Medicare insurance programs do not cover optician assessments and specialized eye examinations. If you are on the Original Medicare coverage, you’ll have to pay the full cost of contact lens installation and eyeglasses. However, enrolling for a Part C Medicare Advantage plan will offer you comprehensive coverage for your vision and hearing needs.
6. Hearing aids
Hearing aids and specialized ear care are not included in the standard federal Medicare insurance plans like eye exams. Hearing aid installation can be expensive, sometimes costing thousands of dollars. However, you can enjoy significant discounts on specialized ear care and hearing aid fitting by opting for the Medicare Advantage plan.
The typical Part B Medicare plan only covers podiatry and foot treatment if the condition is diabetes-related. You’ll have to pay up to 20% of the approved, insured amount for most podiatry services after exhausting the annual Part B deductible. Enrolling for supplemental insurance on top of your regular Medicaid plan is advisable to avoid hefty out-of-pocket expenses.