If you are like many Americans and counting on Medicare to cover your medical expenses after you retire, then you need to take a more in-depth look at this program. This simplified overview will give you some of the benefits and some things that are not covered. Then, you can draw your conclusions about other types of coverage that you might want to consider.
Medicare covers a good number of things. The services it covers will prove useful as you grow older. It covers inpatient hospital care, stays in a skilled nursing facility, hospice services, lab tests, surgery, and some home health care. It also includes doctors' and other providers' fees within a set limit. Some durable medical supplies are covered along with some preventive services and screenings.
What It Doesn’t Cover
There are unfortunately many things that Medicare does not cover. You can only receive services in your home if your doctor deems them medically necessary. Even that is limited. Generally, Medicare does not cover 24 hour care in home. Most dental procedures, including dentures, are not paid for by Medicare. Additionally, prescription glasses and hearing aids are not covered in most circumstances. Many types of alternative health care, like acupuncture, are not included. Medicare will also not pay to have meals delivered to your home. Routine foot care is also not paid for by Medicare.
Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage Plans
You also need to be aware that there is a vast difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans. Under Medicare, you can go to almost any doctor that you choose. Under Medicare Advantage, you will be assigned a network of doctors. You may be limited to using doctors in the network or have to pay extra when you use an out-of-network doctor. You may have additional coverage under Medicare Advantage for vision and dental needs. If you want to see a therapist in your home, such as a physical, speech, or occupational therapist, then you are allowed many more visits under Medicare than Medicare Advantage plans.
This simple overview allows you to understand the basics of what Medicare will and will not pay for when you become eligible. It is your choice to obtain additional coverage if you find it wise. You may also want to decide if Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan is the right choice for you. Taking a look at what is available before you retire helps you prepare for the future wisely.
You might also like this article: Common Retirement Expenses Every Senior Should Plan For
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