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Medicare Doesn't Cover Everything

Younger people may not realize it, but seniors know well that Medicare doesn't cover all health-related needs and expenses. Many Medicare beneficiaries have some kind of supplemental insurance that partly covers the gaps. But those policies mainly provide financial protection for the patient's share of costs for regular doctor visits and hospital care covered by Medicare. Until 2006, Medicare didn't cover prescription drugs.

Some things that Medicare doesn't cover:

—Most dental care and dental procedures, like cleanings, fillings, having a tooth pulled, or getting dentures.

—Hearing aids and exams for fitting them.

—Most eyeglasses or contact lenses. But when you have an intraocular lens implanted in the course of cataract surgery, Medicare helps pay for corrective lenses.

—Long-term care.


—Cosmetic surgery.