Written by Ari Parker — Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Hearing loss is a common issue which happens to adults as they get older. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately one in three people who are between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of the adult population older than 75 has difficulty hearing.
At Chapter, we often get calls from people who want to know whether Medicare covers benefits such as hearing, vision, and dental benefits. We educate people that traditional Medicare, sometimes known as Part A and B of Original Medicare, does not have comprehensive coverage for hearing benefits, vision care or dental care. This is a major reason why many Americans sign up for additional healthcare coverage.
We have put together detailed information to help inform you and your family as you research various healthcare coverage options.
Original Medicare does not cover most dental care services. This includes most dental procedures like regular cleanings, tooth extractions or fillings. In addition Medicare does not cover dentures, dental plates, or other dental devices. In rare circumstances when dental care is received in a hospital, Medicare may provide coverage for some services.
Many Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for not only preventative dental services, but also comprehensive and even some restorative services. These plans typically provide the most robust coverage when you use an in-network dentist. Many plans cover up to $1500 - $2500 of dental expenses per year, although you will pay for part of most services through co-insurance.
Most Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap plans, do not cover most dental services. This is because Medicare Supplement plans help to fill the gaps in costs not covered by Original Medicare, but they do not cover a broader array of services than Original Medicare.
However, a small number of Medicare Supplement plans may offer pre-negotiated dental discounts that can provide significant savings. Further, some Medicare Supplement carriers may allow you to add additional dental coverage for an added premium. Another option is to purchase a stand alone dental plan.
If you have any specific questions about your personalized plan, you can give us a call. It would be a privilege to guide you through the process.
Traditional Medicare does not cover eye exams for those who need prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Those who need this will need to pay 100% of the cost out of pocket.
Like hearing benefits, many Medicare Advantage plans offer vision coverage as a supplemental benefit. Specifically, many Medicare Advantage plans cover both the costs of routine eye exams, as well as provide allowances for eye-glasses and contact lenses.
Medicare does not cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. In most cases people will pay 100% out of pocket costs for these aids as well as for exams.
Like dental and vision, Medicare Supplements do not generally have hearing-aid coverage.
Many Medicare Advantage Plans, however, help to cover the costs of hearing aids. At Chapter we search every plan to identify the carriers that offer the most robust coverage for benefits like hearing aids, including the amount covered and specific hearing aid partners used by each plan.
Ari Parker is Chapter’s lead Medicare advisor. His number is 833-501-3101 and you can reach out to him at [email protected].