Medicare Scholar May, 2020
Medicare Dental & Vision Services
According to the Medicare & You Handbook, original Medicare does not cover most dental care, dentures, and eye exams related to prescribing glasses. Let’s review what Medicare does cover and where can you ﬁnd additional assistance for these important services.
Medicare will pay for certain dental services when you’re hospitalized, and can pay for inpatient hospital care if you need to have emergency or complicated dental procedures. It will also cover medical reconstruction of the jaw due to disease or accident, diagnostic testing/imaging to diagnose a condition, tooth extractions caused by an underlying condition/disease, and dental appliances that help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Medicare will cover cataract surgery including the cost of one pair of eyeglasses with standard frames or one set of contact lenses after the surgery. They also cover glaucoma and macular degeneration screening and treatment using prescription medications. For those with an eye prosthesis, Medicare will cover polishing and resurfacing, enlargement or reduction, and one replacement within 5 years if it’s lost, stolen, or irreparably damaged.
For assistance with the more common dental and vision needs, like leanings, x-rays, exams and prescription eye-wear, there are other options to explore. Medicare Advantage plans can include extra beneﬁts like routine dental and vision, preventive dental, comprehensive dental and an eye-wear allowance*. In fact, 74% of enrollees have dental beneﬁts and 79% have vision beneﬁts
included with their plans according to the Kaiser Family Foundation**. Individuals with a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) are able to use their funds to pay for most dental and vision services.
All Medicare beneﬁciaries are able to purchase stand-alone dental and vision insurance plans to enhance their coverage. These plans are sold by private insurance companies, will have varied beneﬁts and may use a speciﬁc network of providers.
*Beneﬁts vary by plan.
**Kaiser Family Foundation “A Dozen Fact About Medicare Advantage in 2020”, April 22, 2020.
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