If your health insurance is covered by a Medicare plan, you could be forgiven for thinking that your basic medical needs will be taken care of. And if you did think that, then you’re not alone. 72% of surveyed seniors were confused about what their plan covered and only 5% were aware that supplemental plans are necessary to be fully covered.
However, the basic Medicare plan falls short on several areas, particularly those that are essential to seniors. Below are some of the things that Medicare don’t cover you for:
You might have correctly assumed that cosmetic dental work such as dental implants aren’t covered on your plan. But did you know that even basic dental work such as fillings and check ups aren’t included?
Dental hygiene is an important part of being healthy and yet Medicare doesn’t cover any dental work at all. As a senior, you may find yourself in need of dentures in the future, and you will have to foot the bill for this yourself.
Another area where seniors can find themselves footing a big bill is for hearing health. Although your plan may cover certain diagnostic exams if ordered by your doctor (you will still have to pay 20% of the cost even if your exam is covered), Medicare don’t cover the cost of hearing aids or the appointments for having them fitted.
If you wear glasses or contact lenses (and it’s reported that three out of every four Americans either wear glasses or contact lenses or will need them in the future) then you will find yourself with yet another big bill. Medicare doesn’t cover the costs of eye exams or any glasses or contact lenses.
Medical Procedures Abroad
If you are travelling outside of the US and find yourself in need of medical care, then hopefully you have plenty of money with you, because Medicare only covers you for emergency care –and even then, only in certain circumstances. All other cases are assessed on a case by case basis, meaning that nasty cough you have, or the dodgy tummy will leave you with a big bill as well as spoiling your holiday.
How to Get Better Coverage
By now, you might be wondering why you’ve even bothered getting a plan that misses so many of the basic needs of the average senior off the plan completely. But all is not lost. You can add supplemental policies to your plan to cover the areas that Medicare don’t. These changes can only be made during open enrolment which runs from October 15th to December 7th, so don’t put off doing your research and getting the right cover for you.
Do an online search to compare Medicare Advantage plans with private supplementary plans. Consider not only the monthly premiums, but also the expenses you will be responsible for if you need to make a claim. Keep a list of the things your basic plan doesn’t cover and make sure the supplementary plan you choose covers you for all of those things.
Don’t delay – start doing your research now. Don’t be one of the people who believe the Medicare myth of total coverage and end up with a potentially eye watering bill and no idea where the money is coming from.