by Russell Noga | Updated July 11th, 2023
Original Medicare Parts A & B cover hospitalization and medical care expenses.
They don’t pay you for the costs of vision, dental, and hearing services. Many people assume that Medicare supplement plans (Medigap) offer coverage for these services, but are there Medicare supplement dental and vision plans?
The short answer is no. Medicare Supplement plans do not provide coverage for vision, hearing, and dental services.
Why? Shouldn’t Medigap cover all your other medical expenses that Medicare Parts A & B don’t?
Well, the good news is that while Medigap policies don’t cover these services, some exceptions and workarounds cover you for these costs.
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Standardized Medicare Supplement Benefits for Part A & B
The Federal government standardizes the benefits offered in all Medigap plans. This regulation brings consistency to the industry, ensuring that you get the same level of benefits in each plan from any provider you sign up with for your Medigap policy.
So, what do Medigap policies cover? All Medigap plans offer the following benefits for Original Medicare Part A & B expenses.
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs for up to 365 days after using up Medicare benefits.
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.
- Part B coinsurance or copayment.
- Blood transfusion costs for the first three pints of blood.
Plans F*, G, and N offer additional Medicare Parts A & B benefits.
- Part A deductible.
- Part B excess charges (Plan N doesn’t cover these charges).
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
- 80% of emergency healthcare costs when traveling outside the US for 60 days. ($250 deductible and $50,000 maximum apply).
- Unlimited coverage for all out-of-pocket costs.
*Plan F was phased out on January 1, 2020. It’s only available for people eligible for Medicare before this date. You can still buy a Plan F policy if you qualify for Medicare before this date, but terms and conditions apply. For newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries, the best option for near-comprehensive coverage is Plan G. Plan G has the same benefits as Plan F, but you don’t have coverage for the Part B deductible of $226.
What Isn't Covered by Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare supplement plans pay for the Part A & B expenses not covered by Original Medicare policies. Original Medicare doesn’t pay for certain medical expenses. As a result, Medigap won’t pay for them either.
For instance, Original Medicare doesn’t pay for private-duty nursing care or long-term stays at nursing homes. So, Medigap won’t cover these costs either. Medicare Parts A & B don’t cover the costs of preventative care treatments, such as physiotherapy and chiropractic.
However, if a doctor recommends these therapies as part of a rehabilitation program after an operation performed in a hospital, they can motivate Medicare to cover these expenses. In that case, Medigap policies will pay for the 20% of out-of-pocket costs for these services that Medicare leaves behind for the beneficiary to pay.
Neither Medicare nor Medigap will pay for preventative treatments like podiatry, acupuncture, or chiropractic and physiotherapy sessions relating to maintenance. You also have no coverage for cosmetic procedures like facelifts, rhinoplasty, and others.
Medicare also doesn’t cover hearing, dental, or vision services. However, Medicare may pay for dental costs if the beneficiary sustains an injury requiring dental surgery and follow-ups on the surgery with a dentist. In that case, Medigap will pay 20% of the remaining costs, depending on your plan.
Medicare and Medigap policies don’t pay for your monthly prescription medications; you’ll need a Part D policy for that.
Are Dental and Vision Services Covered by Medicare Supplement Plans?
No. Medigap policies don’t cover dental and vision services. There is some discussion that Medicare could include these costs in Part B policies in the future, but there’s no confirmation of that. However, the Medigap industry realizes that many seniors need these services during their golden years.
As a result, many Medigap insurers offer one of the following models to help beneficiaries cope with the cost of vision, dental, and hearing services when they take a plan from them.
Add-On Vision & Dental Plans
The first option is an additional policy covering these services. For instance, providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield offer the “Plan G Plus” policy for beneficiaries with Medigap Plan G. This policy includes the following benefits.
- Routine Eye Exams (every year)
- Eye Glasses or Contacts ($130 allowance)
- 2 Cleanings per calendar year
- Two Oral Exams per year
- 1 Dental X-Ray per year
- 1 Oral Cancer Screening per year
- Unlimited Extractions per year
- 1 Restorative Filling per tooth per year (50% discount)
- Hearing Exam (every year)
- Advanced Hearing Aid Member Fee + recharge ($699/per device)
- Premium Hearing Aid Member Fee + recharge ($999/per device)
To qualify for these benefits, you must pay extra for our monthly premiums. For instance, the average cost of a Plan G+ policy is $22 more than the standard Plan G premium. Plan G+ is also not available in all states. In most cases, these additional plans are only available to beneficiaries with a Plan G or F policy.
Other insurers also offer a similar add-on policy covering vision, dental, and hearing services. Speak to a Medigap agent. They can help you find the best insurer in your state, offering these additional benefits.
Discounted Dental & Vision Services
Other insurers offer discounted rates on vision, dental, and hearing services if you take a policy. Usually, you’ll have to see a practitioner or service provider in their network to qualify for the discount. The discounts can vary from 40% to 60%, depending on the service and the insurer.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are there Medicare Supplement dental and vision plans available?
No, Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, do not typically include coverage for dental and vision services. However, there are separate dental and vision insurance plans available that you can purchase to supplement your Medicare coverage. Call us today for help at 1-888-891-0229.
Call Us to Find Providers Offering Medicare Supplement Dental and Vision Services
Our team of fully licensed Medigap agents is available at 1-888-891-0229. Call us, and we’ll help you find the right provider in your state offering the best options for dental, vision, and hearting policies or perks with their plans. We work with all the insurers, and we’ll secure the best rate on premiums in your state. If you can’t call right now, leave your details on our contact form, and we’ll get in touch with you for a free consultation.
Russell Noga is the CEO of Medisupps.com, an online Medicare Agency and resource center helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medigap and Part D drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans since 2009. Russell is licensed in all 50 states and has been featured as a keynote speaker, and author of several publications, along with hosting the very popular Medisupps.com Youtube channel.