We all know that Medicare is a big help in paying for our medical bills. They cover all medically necessary services, procedures, and treatments, and they cover almost all doctors and facilities in the country. But does Medicare cover vision and dental consultation and procedure costs as well? Let us all find out with the help of Dr. Anton, an ophthalmologist at Melbourne based EyeLaserSpecialists clinic.
Does Medicare cover vision and dental needs?
If we are talking about the original or basic Medicare (Medicare Part A and B), then the answer is mostly no. Medicare does not see dental and vision needs to be medically necessary, so the coverage of these services does not get approved. There has been some research conducted to examine how Medicare can shoulder hearing, dental, and vision needs of its members, but as of the moment, they do not have the funds to coverall all procedures. However, exemptions may be given for dental or vision procedures that can correct or affect a medical condition.
Medicare does cover dental and vision costs if your condition is one of the following:
- Airway problem related to a jaw problem
- Sleep apnea corrected by straightening teeth or jaw
- Tooth extraction as preparation for jaw radiation therapy to cure cancer
- Dental procedures immediately needed after a serious accident
- Chronic eye conditions like glaucoma, cataract, or macular degeneration.
- Medical conditions that affect the vision of the patient like diabetes.
- Corrective lenses have limited coverage only if done after a medically-necessary eye surgery (for cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, etc.)
How can Medicare cover all dental and vision needs?
Does Medicare cover vision and dental needs? If we are talking about basic Medicare, then no. But is you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), you can have the same benefits that you have with the Original Medicare, but it also includes a lot of dental and vision cost coverage. The coverage and limit will depend on the type of Medicare Advantage plan that you got.
How to get Medicare coverage for dental and vision needs
As mentioned earlier, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part C covers the original Medicare policies provided for hospital and medical costs, and some also have Medicare Part D coverage (prescription drug coverage). What’s more is that most dental, vision, and even hearing procedures may be covered by this plan. The coverage depends on where you live, where you are enrolled, and what type of Medicare Advantage plan did you get. There is also what we call Medigap, a supplemental part of the Medicare policy that covers most of the dental and vision procedures that are not paid for by Medicare. Both Medigap and Medicare Part C are being offered by private insurance companies like Anthem. It is then a good tip to ‘window shop’ and compare the pros and cons of different insurance coverages that are being offered to you. You must choose one coverage that will shoulder almost all your needs so that seeking dental or medical attention is not a burden anymore.