Do You Know What Medicare Doesn't Cover?
I the US, millions of American senior citizens and qualified disabled people rely upon Medicare for their health coverage. This large government program helps these people afford health services, but it does not cover everything! Some services may be covered, but not at a hundred percent. Even if you have Medicare, you will still have to pay some part of the costs for your health services. It is important to learn about you benefits so you know what is covered, and what is not covered.
Consider some common health needs that are not covered by basic Medicare benefits.
Long Term Nursing Care
The basic program limits the amount of nursing care that it covers. You may be limited to a specified number of days of regular nursing care expenses. If you need regular nursing care, either from a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult day care, or home health aid, you may run out of benefits if you rely upon Medicare. This is probably also true even if you have a supplement or Advantage plan.
Long term care insurance is another type of health insurance that is intended to cover this type of care. Otherwise, Medicaid may pick up the tab for qualified beneficiaries. There are also alternative ways to plan for this expense.
By the way, if you are researching retirement health insurance, make sure you understand the difference between Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is a federal and state health insurance program for people with very low incomes and few assets.
Travel Medical Expenses
The basic program rarely pays for any health services outside of the US. If you plan to travel to another country, you cannot count upon your Medicare benefits to help you. Some supplements may extend this coverage, or you may choose to purchase an additional travel health insurance policy. It is a good idea to research these plans if you want to travel outside of the USA.
This may seem surprising, but I can imagine there are several reasons for this limitation. Some of these reasons may be political, and some may be financial.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing
Seniors and disabled people need dental, vision, and hearing services, but Medicare provides very limited coverage of these services. You cannot count on your benefits to help you pay the dentist, eye doctor, or hearing aid company. These are serious health needs, but beneficiaries must find alternate ways to fund these services most of the time.
You may chose to pay for these services out of your own pocket. You may also decide to buy additional coverage from a private company. There are also resources to help people with low incomes get the services that they need.
Why Worry About Things That Are Not Covered By Medicare?
It is important to understand what your benefits will help you with, and what they will not pay for. That way you can do a better job of preparing yourself for a secure and comfortable retirement! You may need to allocate more money for these expenses, or you may choose to purchase private coverage. The right course of action really depends upon your own individual situation.