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Do You Really Need Dental, Vision, and Hearing Insurance?
Dental, vision, and hearing insurance is an important addition to your Original Medicare Parts A and B coverage. Why? Because Medicare does not cover your typical dental, vision and hearing exams and expenses, nor does Medicare supplement insurance.
Though having such preventative care is extremely important to having overall good heath, Medicare simply doesn’t cover it. In situations where a doctor diagnoses a patient with a medical condition such as Macular Degeneration, could get the approval for eye exams to medically monitor the patient’s diagnosis. However, this isn’t considered preventative care due to the patient’s medical diagnosis. So where can individuals who are eligible for Medicare turn to for their dental, hearing, and vision needs? The sections below walk you through how to locate plans to cover you in each of the above categories.
Original Medicare both parts A and B do not cover routine oral health/dental care, such as teeth cleaning, fillings, dentures, root canals, etc. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, or Medigap, you can check to see if any of these routine services are covered under your plan/policy.
As previously stated, original Medicare may pay for dental services that are medically necessary prior to another Medicare-covered medical procedure. For example, Medicare may cover a dental procedure required for a person with oral cancer prior to radiation treatment, or a tooth extraction necessary prior to cardiac surgery.
Original Medicare does not cover routine eye exams, or the fitting and purchase of contact lenses or glasses. Again, Part B does cover an annual glaucoma test for at-risk individuals, an annual exam to test for diabetic retinopathy among diabetics, certain diagnostic tests and screenings for macular degeneration, and cataract surgery plus one pair of post-surgery eyeglasses. As these are all considered medically necessary by Medicare.
As with dental coverage, you may have some preventative vision coverage if you’re currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, or Medigap plan.
Original Medicare does not cover hearing exams, or hearing aids and fittings. Part B does cover diagnostic hearing and balance exams if a doctor requires these tests in order to diagnose a patient with a medical condition other than hearing loss. Again, you may have some preventative hearing coverage if you’re currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, or Medigap plan.
Free and/or Affordable Resources for Preventative Care:
- Tooth Wisdom is a comprehensive portal from Oral Health America that provides a listing of donated dental services in each state.
- The Dental Lifeline Network of the American Dental Association runs a program offering free, comprehensive dental treatment to vulnerable people, including the elderly and those living with disabilities.
- Community Health Centers (CHCs) supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration provide health services, including dental care, to those with limited incomes, usually on a sliding scale payment.
- EyeCare America®, a service of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides free eye exams and up to one year of care for low-income individuals who qualify.
- Local Lions’ Club chapters often have programs to assist those with severe vision impairment. Find your local chapter in your phone book or by visiting the Lions’ Club Directory online.
- For those who lack any insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid), Mission Cataract USA offers free cataract surgery to those who qualify.
- Sertoma is a civic service organization that helps connect people with hearing assistance; has a comprehensive listing of national and state charitable programs.
- The Better Hearing Institute maintains a comprehensive, free Guide to Financial Assistance for Hearing Aids that can b
Simply put, if you don’t already have a medical condition associated with your vision, hearing, or oral health - your exams won’t be covered by Medicare. That doesn’t mean you have to go without this necessary coverage! And doing so can have devastating consequences to your overall health.
by Wilson Group Financial
121 South Orange Avenue, Ste. 1500
Orlando, FL 32801
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