Medicare coverage is perhaps not as comprehensive as many Americans might assume. It can be extremely financially taxing to assume that Medicare will cover a certain set of procedures (or medical devices) when, in actuality, you’ll be footing the bill.
Therefor, it’s vital to note various healthcare-related expenses which Medicare does not cover so that you may budget accordingly, should the need arise.
Routine Physical Exams
Every doctor recommends them, yet Medicare doesn’t cover routine physical exams, which cost $50 to $200 out of pocket, according to House of Debt. What Medicare will cover, however, are annual wellness exams — which generally do not include blood and urine samples — if you have had Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months.
Most Dental Care
Just like traditional health insurance, Medicare doesn’t prioritize oral health. Dental exams should be had every year, ideally. They average between $60 and $120 with no insurance, according to 1Dental. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) will only pay for certain dental services provided while you’re in the hospital.
Medicare won’t pay for dentures or other dental devices. Without insurance, traditional dentures average $1,800 without insurance according to GoodRx.
Eye Exams For Rx Glasses, Contact Lenses
Again, just like with traditional health insurance, Medicare does not cover eye exams or costs associated with glasses and contact lenses. According to Warby Parker, the average cost of an eye exam without insurance is around $100.
Hearing Aids and Exams for Fitting Them
Medicare does not cover the costs of hearing aids or the exams necessary for fitting them. As GOBankingRates previously reported, a new partnership between UnitedHealthcare and AARP brings AARP members in need of the treatment some relief through Hearing Solutions, a program that makes prescription and over-the-counter hearing aids more affordable. AARP members can buy custom-programmed prescription hearing aids starting at $699 per hearing aid — substantially less than the typical retail cost, which runs between $1,000 and $4,000.
Medicare does not cover cosmetic surgery costs.
Massage therapy can be hugely beneficial for people living with chronic pain and other ailments, but Medicare doesn’t cover it. According to Thumbtack, the national average cost of a massage is $100 per session.
Chiropractic care is not covered by Medicare. The average cost of a visit to a chiropractor is $65, according to Meridian Healthcare.
Foot exams are not covered by Medicare, nor is callus removal and other routine podiatric medicine that seniors often require. The cost of a podiatrist visit varies by state, but you can expect to pay at least $72 and up to $138 per visit, according to Sidecar Health.
Long-Term Care (Nursing Homes/Assisted Living)
Medicare will cover limited stays in rehab facilities — the key word being limited. If you become sickly enough, or disabled to the point where you need the 24/7 care in an assisted living facility or nursing home, Medicare will not cover the costs. These facilities are expensive. According to a 2021 Cost of Care Survey by Genworth, the median cost for a private room in a nursing home is $297 per day, which totals $9,034 per month. In rare cases, if residents’ care is not covered by Medicare and the resident is unable to pay, these institutions can and will go after family members to collect.
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