Original Medicare (Parts A and B) is a federal insurance program that helps pay for many medical and preventive care services. Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, home care and hospice. Medicare Part B helps pay for doctor visits, outpatient care in hospitals and clinics, laboratory tests and some diagnostic screenings, and some skilled nursing care at home.
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) helps pay for medically-necessary inpatient and outpatient care. “Medically-necessary” is defined as care that’s required to diagnose or treat an illness or medical condition. Dental and vision care are not considered medically necessary, and so they are not covered by Original Medicare.
Many Medicare Advantage Plans Include Vision and Dental Coverage
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans are offered by private companies and include the same coverage as Original Medicare Parts A and B, plus a number of additional benefits that Original Medicare does not offer. Dental and vision care are often included in Medicare Advantage plans, and most plans also include prescription drug coverage. Some plans charge a premium, in addition to the Part B premium you pay to Medicare. Because Medicare Advantage plans are run privately, not all plans are available in all regions. You can find out what plans are available near you by using Medicare’s plan finder, an online tool at Medicare.gov.
Use the plan finder tool to:
- Answer a few simple questions about your location and your health status to get a list of health plans in your area that may meet your personal needs.
- Select different plans you’re interested in and compare them to each other and to Original Medicare.
- View estimated annual costs, premiums, copays, coinsurance and plan ratings for different plans.
You may also contact your local private insurance companies for information about the Medicare Advantage plans they offer.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Members May Have Vision and Dental Coverage Choices Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (also known as Medigap) are private insurance plans that can help pay for costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as deductibles and copays for doctor visits, hospitalization and other medical services. Some Medicare Supplement Insurance plans offer discounts or additional dental and vision plans specially designed for plan members. Plans vary from region to region. Check with the insurance companies offering plans your area for details.
Considering Your Choices
Regular dental and vision exams are important for maintaining overall health. This is insurance that is almost always used. It’s important to research your options and to find a Medicare plan that provides the services you want and need.
For more information contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. You can also contact UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Made Clear to learn more at 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan? – Medicare.gov
Plan Finder – Medicare.gov
Y0066_110803_131901 File & Use 08162011