| Thu, Sep 26, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare Doesn’t Cover Everything: What You Need to Know

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

original-medicare-coverage-for-seniorsOriginal Medicare (Parts A and B) covers many medical and hospital services. But it doesn’t cover everything.

Many people are surprised to learn that Original Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drugs. You can buy drug coverage through Medicare Part D, but it’s not provided by Part A or Part B.

The list below shows some other services that are not covered by Original Medicare. You may have to pay for these services yourself unless you have other insurance that covers them. Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may cover some of these services as well.

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover:

  • Routine dental exams, most dental care or dentures
  • Routine eye exams, eyeglasses or contacts
  • Hearing aids or related exams or services
  • Most care while traveling outside the United States
  • Help with bathing, dressing, eating, etc. (custodial care)
  • Comfort items such as a hospital phone, TV or private room
  • Long-term care
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Most chiropractic services
  • Acupuncture or other alternative treatments
  • Routine foot care

In addition, with Original Medicare you generally have to pay part of the cost for services that are covered. Your Medicare costs may include deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance, in addition to the Part B premium.

You may choose to add Medicare supplement insurance to Original Medicare. It helps with some costs that Medicare doesn’t pay. Or you may look for a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. These plans have different cost-sharing terms—including premiums, deductibles and co-pays—depending on which plan you choose. Every plan must put an annual cap on out-of pocket expenses. Plans are offered by private insurance companies contracted by Medicare.


Original Medicare (Parts A and B) may not cover all the care you might want. And you may have additional costs if you choose to add coverage. But at least you can learn what’s not covered so you can explore your options and not be surprised by a bill later.

Related Content

How to Get Dental and Vision Care Coverage When You Have Medicare

Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Insurance?


For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or 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.

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