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What Medicare doesn’t cover

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

When you're calculating how much Medicare will cost, consider this information from about what it doesn't cover.

  • Routine dental care.
  • Dentures.
  • Hearing aids.
  • Routine eye care and most eyeglasses.
  • Routine foot care such as trimming corns and calluses.
  • Orthopedic shoes.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Chiropractic services, except to correct a subluxation (when one or more of the bones in the spine move out of position) using manipulation of the spine.
  • Some vaccinations.
  • Long-term care whether it is given at home or in a facility such as a nursing home.
  • Coverage when you are traveling outside the U.S. (Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are all part of the United States, so if you're wintering in one of those warm spots, you're covered).

If you use one or more of the above services regularly and they are currently covered by your private insurance plan, when you move to Medicare, your costs will increase, and you'll need to factor that into your retirement planning.

Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan could be part of the solution. Some of these services are covered by some Medicare Advantage plans, but there's no guarantee. Medicare Advantage plans are all administered by private insurance companies that can and do set their own coverage options and rules.

Allsup Medicare Advisor service warns anyone purchasing a Medicare Advantage plan that appears to cover a frequently used service to read the fine print carefully. The coverage may have significant limitations.

Other options include buying an additional private insurance plan such as dental insurance. Signing up for discount cards also may offer some savings. If you have a very limited budget, Medicaid kicks in for some of these services.

In any case, be sure to factor these costs into your retirement budget with a generous inflation factor. Anyone who believes health care costs are going to decline is dreaming.

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February 06, 2013 at 12:29 am

Karlyn, Check your own punctuation and comments before correcting someone else.

My company has also cut all hourly people to 30 hours or less. I can't see how this is going to play out in the long run. My understanding is that if you do not have insurance you will be fined. If people can't afford to live, how will they pay for health insurance on 30 hours per week? Then if they do not pay for insurance, they will be fined. Does not seem like a good or even smart solution. This seems so obvious of a loop hole that the only explanation is to punish the poor.

casey g
February 05, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I had to laugh about "retirement planning, considering that I was laid off at 60 and could not find a job. I had quite a bit of money squirreled away, but 3 years prior to the end of my employment, the employer decided to cancel health insurance. After being unemployed for 3 years, I did dip into my "planned" savings and have very little left to show of it now. as I paid for my own health insurance for 4 years and my rent for the last 3 years.

I had to take early social security and lost about $400.00 a month there. I just got my medicare card, and am still trying to figure out what good that is, as the $104.00 taken out monthly has reduced my already paltry income and I wil have no other monies to cover that "gap." Well that's life.

I did plan, I did save, but I did not create the imploding work environment, and so..that's life. I do not blame Obama for this. I look back at U.S. history and realize that the first president for me was Harry Truman, and he actually tried to get health coverage for all too. Even Hilary Clinton tried, and I do recall people screaming," I didn't vote for her," which was really funny because they didn't ever voted for anyone in any presidents' cabinet.

I wish my country spent less on wars, and had fewer wars, and I wish that corproations had the same mindset of those under Eisenhower, who paid pensions, health care, provided living wages, and seemed to actually care about their nation more than they cared about their CEO perks, or putting their monies offshore and untaxed.

I wish that kinder part of America, where people actually realized that it takes everyone to build and keep a country...but that's gone, at least for now.

So, I planned, I prepared, I lost, and that's life, but I may be down, but I'm not out! Neither are any of you.

February 05, 2013 at 6:18 pm

When I met my wife 7 years ago her one medication was $1,200 a month. It is now $5,100 a month. FOR ONE PRESCRIPTION!

February 05, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Could you have someone proof read your comment so I can understand the first line?

February 05, 2013 at 5:35 pm

yes you can blame obama any idiot doesnt is just that a idiot obama is the leader and its up to him to get htings done if he cant i think he shold resign and let someone in who can

john blanch
February 05, 2013 at 5:04 pm

The small businesses like wendys mcdonals .burgerking is cuting their employees hours to 28 hours a week so they don.t have to pay for obama health care they can.t make it on a40 hour week how the hell will they make it on28 hours. obama is poison to america.

February 04, 2013 at 7:33 pm

You can't blame Obama care for the pharmaceutical industry. Each insurance negotiates a cost. Tricare does but legistration during the Bush era said no negation with the pharmaceuticals will be done with Medicare, why is not clear to me? Still think that should be fixed! Please educate your self and stay away from TV for your answers.

Mr. Richard
January 31, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Well i've had back problems since 1985 or so. I get an injection of medication every two to three months for a pain in the lower back, that never really helps that much.I called on a t.v. add out of Tampa Fl. that a 1/2 hour laser surgery will cure me, and make me feel like a million bucks, and I will walk with the best of them with in 2 hours after surgery.
Point being I have to come up with $13.500 out of pocket, them medicare kicks in, then my private insurance. I wonder what the presidents plan will do to help me on my down payment. ( anybody got a dime )

January 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I don't have Medicare ,I have private insurance and my co-pay has gone up and I blame the pharmaceutical companies cause they are raising the price of medicine.

January 31, 2013 at 11:08 am

In 2010 when Obama care past my diabetes med actos was $6o.00 for 90 pills, 2011 same pills were $105.00 jan 2012 $225.00 per 90 pills jan 2013 $279 What gets me is he openly said and Romney told us Obozo is taking $716 billion dollars from medicare to help fund Obama care.So many seniors voted for this moron and many seniors children voted for him also SO WE LIVE"OR DIE FROM IT BECAUSE HE WON can t complain if you or your family voted for him,and this is just the beginning the whole bill kicks in 2014