Medicare covers a big part of many people’s medical expenses after they turn 65. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that pays for things like hospital stays, surgery, and hospice care. Medicare Part B is more of a traditional medical insurance that helps pay for doctor visits and preventive services. Individuals can enroll in Medicare three months before turning 65. However, there are many items and services that the program does not cover. Here is a list of seven things that Medicare won’t cover…and some of them may come as a surprise to you:

1. Prescription drugs
2. Routine or annual physical checkups
3. Custodial care, or assistance with activities of daily living
4. Hearing aids
5. Dental or vision exams and care
6. Cosmetic surgery
7. Medical services provided outside of the U.S.

Prescription drugs may be the most surprising item on that list, since most seniors are probably prescribed medications of some kind. However, enrolling in Medicare Part D can help help pay for those prescriptions.

Dental, vision and hearing care is not covered by Medicare; and especially considering dental insurance, most plans have a $1,500 cap for annual coverage. However, putting money aside in a healthcare savings account before you enroll in Medicare will enable you to use that tax-free money for glasses, dental care or to cover the cost of hearing aids.

Long-term care is one of the biggest expenses for seniors, but without a way to pay for it, you can easily eat up your retirement funds. A private room in a nursing home can cost upwards of $84,000. Medicare provides some nursing services, but not custodial care that would provide daily living care. Buying long-term care insurance with a life insurance policy can cover some of these costs, or proper Medicaid planning may qualify an individual to receive long-term nursing care.

If you are traveling and need care, Medicare will not pay for any costs while you are outside of the U.S. However, Medicare offers plans M & N that cover up to 80% of emergency costs while traveling abroad, or travel insurance is an excellent and highly affordable option.

Figuring out what additional costs to expect when it comes to Medicare is hardly clear-cut, and understanding Medicaid qualifications is even more complicated. We offer Medicaid planning services in the greater Atlanta area—it’s never too early to start thinking about how to pay for long-term nursing care. Contact us today to start the conversation!

Contact Attorney James M. Miskell, P.C.

The Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia is here to help you with all of your estate planning needs—from knowing where to store your estate planning documents to creating documents that will accomplish your goals and protect your family and loved ones. Attend one of our FREE upcoming estate planning workshops and learn a few simple steps to protecting your assets.

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