What Are The Top Ten Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover?


With affordable Medicare insurance more accessible than ever for millions of Americans, it stands to reason that more and more people are signing up. But it’s possible that many aren’t reading the fine print – your Medicare eligibility doesn’t mean that everything and anything is covered, after all.

These are the top ten things that aren’t covered by the affordable Medicare insurance plan–and the reasons why people most need a Medicare supplement.

Alternative Medicine

While this is probably no surprise to many, your affordable Medicare insurance will not cover alternative procedures like acupuncture, cupping or chiropractic services.

Dental Care

Standard affordable Medicare insurance does not cover routine dental procedures like cleanings, fillings, extractions, and more. If you’re in need of dental coverage, you should look into a Medicare supplement plan. Some Medicare Advantage plans also cover dental procedures.

Vision Care or Glasses

Routine vision care like eye exams, glasses and contacts are not covered under Medicare. Eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma are.

Prescription Drugs

Medicare eligibility for plans Part A and B only will not cover your prescription medication! You can, however, buy the separate Part D plan that will cover your major prescriptions, or choose a Medicare supplement plan – like Medicare Advantage – that will help offset the costs.

Hearing Aids

Surprisingly enough, no matter your Medicare eligibility, hearing tests and hearing aids are not covered by Medicare. If your doctor determines you to need a hearing and balance test, however, that might be covered.

Cosmetic Surgery

Again, no surprise, but Medicare will not cover any elective cosmetic surgery. The conversation changes when it is to correct a deformity or injury, but that is rare.

Personal Home Care

Unless you are homebound and receiving skilled nursing care already, personal home care like bathing, getting dressed and doing routine tasks will not be covered any under affordable Medicare insurance plan. While rare, some Medicare Advantage plans do offer in-home support.

Long-term Care

Medicare will not pay for a long-term care facility like a nursing home. They will, however, pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing or rehabilitation following a hospital stay of 3 or more days.

Routine Foot Care

Routine foot care, like the cutting of toenails and removal of calluses, will not be covered under Medicare. Medically necessary foot care, like podiatrist visits for exams, will be covered.

Overseas Coverage

Bad news – if you’re planning on internationally traveling while having an affordable Medicare insurance plan, you might have to think again. Except for very specific instances (like if you’re on a cruise ship within six hours of a US port), no international health care is covered. There are some Medigap supplement plans that do cover international care, so if travel is important to you, that may be worth investigating.

The best way to know what is covered and what is not would be to talk to your doctor directly or use the Medicare official website to search for your procedure. You can also download the Medicare “What’s Covered” app for your phone and search on the go.