While most Americans may think they’ll be able to depend on Medicare once they reach age 65, there are some hidden costs lurking in Medicare. Many of the most common services needed by seniors will have to be paid for out of pocket. The cost of those items are rising, so seniors need to be aware of them when shopping for coverage and saving for retirement.
As a Medicare agent, you need to be aware of these “hidden” costs, and make sure you are clearly explaining them to your clients, or covering them with supplemental coverage.
Here’s a list of the 5 most surprisingly uncovered items/services:
1. Hearing aids. While almost a quarter of people ages 65 to 74 and 50% of those 75 and older have hearing loss, Medicare does not cover hearing aids. Neither does Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act or most private insurances. (Veterans Administration does, and so do some state vocational bureaus.) Since the average cost of hearing aids runs around $2,300, and most people need two, what is not surprising is that only 14% of people who need hearing aids actually have them.
2. Foot care. Medicare does not cover the removal of corns or calluses, or preventative maintenance of your feet. Medicare Part B will cover treatment of foot injuries or diseases, but you will still have your deductible to pay out of pocket.
3. In-home health services. If you need help with daily living activities, Medicare will not help. Medicare does cover skilled nursing home care, but at home caregiving is uncovered. Usually a long-term care policy can help cover those costs.
4. Dentures. Even though 28% of people over 65 have lose all of their teeth, Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care. The only way to get any dental coverage is to buy an accompanying Medicare Advantage plan that covers dental. (There are a few exceptions- in the case of some diseases or injuries, Medicare may cover some costs.)
5. Eye exams. Again, although about 50% of all 65 year olds have some degree of cataract formation, Medicare does not usually cover preventative and diagnostic eye exams. You’ll have to buy a Medicare Part B plan to cover those costs.
Do you have a plan in place to cover these 5 hidden costs? It’s important to consult with a professional insurance or financial agent who can help make sure you’re covered in the case of any of these instances. There are many Medicare supplemental products designed to help, and a licensed professional can help you consider all of your options.