Original Medicare coverage, also known as Medicare Parts A and B, is reserved for what’s considered “medically necessary” health care. In other words, care that’s required to diagnose or treat an illness or condition. What this means is that, unfortunately, dental and vision care does not fall into Medicare’s medically necessary framework.
So are seniors just out of luck? Not at all!
There are two main ways to obtain important dental and vision coverage. One is through Medicare Advantage, or Part C. Another is through supplemental coverage.
Medicare Advantage is an alternative to Original Medicare, with approved coverage plans being administered through private insurance companies. While these plans must offer the same basic hospital and medical services coverage as Parts A and B, they can also offer more options on top, such as prescription drug coverage, and dental and vision benefits.
Keep in mind that Advantage plans’ costs and coverage features may depend on where you live and what plan you choose. They may also require a monthly premium.
Medicare supplemental insurance, sometimes called Medigap, is another avenue to secure dental and vision coverage. It helps pay for items Original Medicare does not cover. This can include deductibles, copays and coinsurance for doctors’ visits, hospital stays, and other medical services. It is also issued by private insurance companies.
While Medigap itself may not provide dental and vision coverage, certain insurers can offer their Medicare supplemental insurance customers additional options for dental and vision care, or discount programs to help save money on dental and vision costs. Supplemental insurance plans can also depend on where you live, although unlike Medicare Advantage, coverage is standardized by the federal government.
One of the best ways to explore supplemental insurance offerings in your area is to log on to Medicare “Medigap Policy Search” webpage and type in your zip code. The site provides plan details from insurance companies.
The online Medicare “Plan Finder” tool is also a great way to search for the right Medicare supplemental insurance plan. It also offers search assistance for Medicare Advantage plans.
For most people, and especially for senior citizens, dental and vision coverage is just too important not to have. Exploring Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement insurance options can help you get the services you want and need. Do you not wait to find the answers you need during this Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which will end on December 7th of this year.
We know that this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. Do not wait to contact our office and schedule meeting with Attorney Scott Selis.