Basic Medicare Doesn’t Cover Everything – Why You Need Supplemental Plans

Do you know what Medicare covers when it comes to your health? Most seniors don’t and when Medicare falls short, seniors could face huge out of pocket expenses.

Here’s why you need to have supplemental Medicare coverage.

Dental Work Isn’t Included

Dental work is a common necessity for seniors – from routine teeth cleanings to major dental changes like dentures or dental implants, you’ll need to see a dentist at least semi-annually. However, Medicare won’t cover a single visit or a single cent of your expenses.

According to Medicare.gov1, Medicare doesn’t cover even the most basic dental care. Dental procedures, like regular cleanings, fillings, and more, aren’t covered.

Hearing Aids Aren’t Covered

Medicare offers extremely limited hearing health coverage, offering only a small percentage of coverage for certain doctor’s visits and testing.

Medicare.gov2 states that Medicare doesn’t cover hearing exams, hearing aids, or any doctor’s visits for fitting hearing aids. Medicare subscribers must cover 100 percent of their hearing aid costs.

Vision Care is Considered Elective

The Vision Council3 reports that 3 out of every 4 Americans need glasses, and if you’re a glasses wearer, you know you’ll need them for the rest of your life.

But annual eye exams of any kind are not included in Medicare coverage, Medicare.gov4 reports. And glasses and contact lenses are also not covered under any part of Medicare5, meaning you’ll be responsible for 100 percent of any costs.

Medical Care Outside the U.S. Isn’t Paid For

You’ll need to be careful while traveling if you’re a Medicare subscriber. Your ability to use Medicare outside of the U.S. is incredibly limited.

Medicare.gov6 writes that any medical supplies or care received outside of the 50 states and U.S. territories is typically not covered. Only emergency medical care is covered; all other medical needs are assessed on whether or not they’re necessary.

Supplement Your Medicare Plan with Better Coverage

The best way to ensure you’re fully covered is to find a supplemental insurance plan that suits your biggest needs. Search online to find and compare different private insurance and Medicare Advantage plans. And don’t forget to look for plans that cover what Medicare doesn’t.

Remember, you only have a limited time to add supplemental insurance to your Medicare plan. Open enrollment, which runs from October to December, is the best time to change your coverage. While it is possible to change your coverage outside of open enrollment, it isn’t recommended as you could be charged higher premiums.7 Act now before you miss this short window.

Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.

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Featured Tip

Worried about retirement? You aren’t alone. Motley Fool reports 24% of Americans don’t have any retirement savings at all, and nearly 40% are worried about living comfortably as seniors.