Medicare only covers expenses that are deemed medically necessary, meaning that they are needed to diagnose or treat an illness or condition. Routine dental, vision, and hearing care are not considered medically necessary. However, there may be limited instances when some services may be covered under Medicare.
Why should you get standalone coverage?
While Medicare covers certain aspects of your dental, vision, and hearing care, there are gaps that can be filled so you don’t have to pay for services and solutions completely out of pocket.
Dental expenses and Medicare.
There is no coverage for dental exams, procedures, or supplies under Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans will provide coverage for such expenses, but this may vary by plan. Medicare Part A (hospital) may cover expenses such as jaw reconstruction after an accident or extractions related to preparing for certain radiation treatments.
Vision expenses and Medicare.
Routine vision exams, glasses, and related services are typically not covered under Medicare. Medicare Part B (medical) may cover some diagnostic tests and preventive exams for those who are at a higher risk for certain conditions. These include screenings for glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or macular degeneration. There may also be coverage for cataract surgery.
Hearing expenses and Medicare.
If a doctor orders a hearing test for a hearing-related medical condition, Medicare may cover that test. However, Medicare never pays for devices to improve hearing or fittings for such devices.
Standalone insurance for dental, vision, and hearing costs.
Private insurance plans for routine dental and routine vision expenses do exist. They are typically available either separately or bundled together. On the other hand, while there are plans available for hearing aids and related fittings, these are far less common than dental and vision plans. Medicare Advantage plans and standalone plans can differ widely in what they cover and what the limitations are, so it’s important to explore the various options available to you to see what may fit your needs.
If you have questions about dental, vision, or hearing plans available to those on Medicare, contact us to review your options.