What is not covered by Medicare?
Medicare does not cover all health care services. Health care services not covered by Medicare include, but are not limited to:
- alternative medicine, including experimental procedures and treatments, acupuncture, and chiropractic services (except when manipulation of the spine is medically necessary to fix a subluxation of the spine. A subluxation is when one or more of the bones of the spine move out of position);
- most care received outside of the United States;
- cosmetic surgery (unless it is needed to improve the function of a malformed part of the body);
- most dental care;
- hearing aids or the examinations for prescribing or fitting hearing aids (except for implants to treat severe hearing loss in some cases);
- personal care or custodial care, such as help with bathing, toileting and dressing (unless homebound and receiving skilled care) and nursing home care (except in a skilled nursing facility if eligible);
- housekeeping services to help you stay in your home, such as shopping, meal preparation, and cleaning (unless you are receiving hospice care)
- non-medical services, including hospital television and telephone, a private hospital room, canceled or missed appointments, and copies of x-rays;
- most non-emergency transportation, including ambulette services;
- some preventive care, including most routine physical examinations and tests, immunizations, and routine foot care and eye care;
- transportation, except for medically necessary ambulance services; and
- most vision (eye) care, including eyeglasses (except when following cataract surgery) and examinations for prescribing or fitting eyeglasses.
Keep in mind that even for Medicare-covered services, Medicare does not pay 100 percent of the cost. Unless you have supplemental insurance, you will have to pay premiums, deductibles and coinsurance.