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.