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Does Medicare Cover Everything I Need?

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Does Medicare Cover Everything I Need?

If you're turning 65, you're ready for some downtime. You've worked too hard for too long, and retirement is just on the horizon. But you know there's something even more important than RV trips and visiting your grandkids. That something is your health. It's the key to actually enjoying your retirement, but it's also your biggest expense.

Thanks to Medicare, you'll get help paying for your healthcare costs. As long as you've got Social Security, you're entitled to basic Medicare. So, between retirement and Medicare, you finally get the break you deserve.

How exactly does Medicare help you? Here's where this government health insurance program has you covered.

What Medicare Covers

Medicare insures healthcare services and equipment that are deemed "medically necessary." That means you get help paying for immediate and short-term care to evaluate, treat, and recover from a major illness or injury. Hospital visits, surgery, rehab, therapy, and even at-home care qualify as "medically necessary" care.

Want more specifics on what you get from Medicare? Here's a simplified checklist of everything covered by Medicare.

Your Hospital Visits

  • Emergency room visits to general or psychiatric hospitals
  • Ambulance transport after a sudden emergency
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery: organ transplants, and cataract, hip replacement, and reconstruction surgery
  • Intensive care at a skilled nursing facility, long-term care hospital, or inpatient rehab facility
  • Services you receive when you leave the hospital: rehab, medicine, and counseling

Just like regular health insurance, Medicare pays for your medical emergencies. Even better, it also extends to the intensive care you need after your hospital visit.

Say you have a stroke or hip replacement surgery. Your doctor might send you to a rehab hospital to get intensive therapy. Medicare covers most of the cost of your stay.

Want to offset even more of your hospital costs? Get extra insurance. A Medicare supplement plan will help pay for those deductibles and copays that add up quickly during a hospital visit.

At-Home Care After You're Hospitalized

After you've had intensive care at a hospital or specialty facility, your doctor will decide if you're healthy enough to live at home. However, you might still need at-home care to complete your recovery.

Medicare pays for those home healthcare visits from doctors and specialists. You'll get part-time nursing care, medical supplies, and visits from a therapist and health aide. If you're terminally ill, Medicare will pay for your hospice care.

Your Doctor Visits

Once you recover, you'll want to make regular visits to your doctor. Here's what Medicare insures:

  • Follow-up visits to a doctor after a major illness, injury, or surgery
  • Yearly checkups
  • Lab tests
  • Clinical research studies that test different types of treatment (like a cancer drug) to see if it's working
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • A second (or if necessary, third) opinion before a major medical procedure

Your doctor might also recommend a treatment or drug that Medicare doesn't pay for. To pay for the cost of those services, buy additional Medicare health plans. Discover your options through Easy Medicare Quotes.

Preventive Services

Medicare also covers services that fight America's biggest killers. When you qualify for Medicare, you get free services that treat or prevent heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, addiction, and more. Here's a list of preventive services you get through your health plan:

  • Heart disease screenings
  • Glaucoma tests
  • Diabetes test strips and monitors
  • Screening for prostate cancer
  • Annual mammograms
  • Psychotherapy
  • Depression screening
  • Family counseling
  • Therapy for alcohol, tobacco, and eating addictions
  • Flu shots

Original Medicare pays for flu shots but not shingles vaccinations. If you buy extra Medicare, you'll be covered for all commercially-available vaccines!

Medical Supplies

Medicare also provides medical supplies that help you treat and recover from a disease or health condition:

  • Wheelchairs and scooters
  • Seat lift chairs
  • Commode chairs
  • Therapeutic shoes
  • Canes, crutches, walkers
  • Infusion pumps and supplies
  • Oxygen equipment
  • Hospital beds for your home

We haven't listed every item, but you get the idea. If you want to know what medical supplies you can get covered, talk to an insurance agent.

What Medicare Doesn't Cover

Medicare pays for a lot, but definitely not everything. You won't get compensated for long-term care or routine eye, hearing, and dental exams. Even for services that Medicare insures, you're responsible for paying any out-of-pocket costs.

Unless it's medically necessary, Medicare does not include the following:

  • Dermatology services, unless they treat a major skin condition
  • Dental care, including cleanings, fillings, oral exams, and implants (You're only covered for a dental exam if it's required before a surgery)
  • Dentures
  • Cosmetic surgery, including bariatric surgery (Some types of reconstructive surgery are covered by Medicare)
  • Eye exams to prescribe glasses (Eyeglasses or contacts after cataract surgery are covered)
  • Routine hearing exams
  • Hearing aids
  • Allergy testing
  • Long-term care
  • Alternative medicine, like chiropractic or acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Meal delivery to your home
  • Domestic care (like laundry, shopping, and cleaning) that isn't directly related to your recovery
  • Living costs at a nursing home or assisted living center
  • Non-emergency transportation

Health insurance doesn't cover eye and dental care. Neither does Medicare. However, you can get insured for eye, hearing, dermatology, or dental work. Use Easy Medicare Quotes to search for extra Medicare plans that include those extra services.

Are Prescription Drugs Covered By Medicare?

Yes and no. If you're prescribed drugs for immediate treatment after a hospital stay, Medicare covers your costs. But if you have ongoing prescriptions, you need extra Medicare coverage. Ask your insurance agent which plans will compensate you for the drugs you need.

Get Covered Here!

Every insurance company decides what services are considered "medically necessary." That's why you need to shop around Start your search with Easy Medicare Quotes. You'll get a free quote on Medicare health plans in your area. Plus, a licensed agent will help you compare your options and pick the best plan.

Get the healthcare coverage you need. Talk to an agent today!