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Does Medicare cover ancillary products and services?

An older woman gets her eyes checked at her eye doctor's office aftering learning about Medicare's vision coverage

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers basic healthcare needs but it doesn’t cover everything. From dental to vision to hearing benefits, ancillary products like these often require additional coverage, even for basic needs such as hearing aids and routine eye exams. Learn more about getting coverage for ancillary products under Medicare. 

What are ancillary products and services? 

Ancillary products and services are coverages typically not covered by a primary healthcare plan but still are essential to our overall health. A list of ancillary services that require additional Medicare coverage often include vision care, dental care, and hearing care. 

Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Ancillary Services

The difference between inpatient and outpatient ancillary services is simply that inpatient care requires the patient to stay overnight in the hospital while outpatient does not require hospitalization. Original Medicare will provide coverage for inpatient care that is considered reasonable and necessary.

Can I get dental coverage with my Medicare plan?

Original Medicare does not include coverage for regular dental care such as annual exams, cleanings, crowns, bridges or dentures. Medicare Part A, however, will pay for certain dental services received while hospitalized. You can often obtain Medicare dental coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, a stand-alone dental insurance plan, through your spouse’s dental plan or through a dental discounts plan. 

Can I get vision coverage with my Medicare plan?

Original Medicare does not typically cover routine vision care such as standard annual eye exams, eyeglasses or contacts. Just like dental coverage, Medicare Part A will provide coverage for vision care when the circumstances require inpatient hospitalization. Medicare Part B will provide some coverage for eye exams for diabetic patients, glaucoma tests, macular degeneration tests and treatments, and corrective lenses following cataract surgery. 

A stand-alone vision insurance plan or a Medicare Advantage plan are a couple ways to make sure you have sufficient Medicare vision coverage

Can I get hearing coverage with my Medicare plan?

Original Medicare does not cover expenses associated with hearing care and hearing aids. Medicare Supplement plans also do not provide Medicare hearing coverage, as supplement plans only help pay for Medicare-approved expenses. In order to offset the expenses associated with hearing aids and hearing care, the most common option is through a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are sold through private insurance companies and often offer hearing aid coverage. 

The devices covered through your Medicare Advantage plan will be unique to your plan and depend on the type of device and vendor that provides it. For those with mild to moderate hearing loss, the Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2017 allowed certain types of hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter without a prescription. If you’re on Medicaid, you may be covered for hearing aids depending on your coverage plan and where you live. 

Exploring Your Medicare Ancillary Benefits with SelectQuote

It’s important to understand that Original Medicare only pays for 80% of all healthcare costs, so it’s important to make sure you have the coverage you need. At SelectQuote, we’ll take the time to understand your healthcare needs to find you a Medicare plan that gives you the coverage you need at a price that works for your budget.

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