What Services Are Not Covered Under Medicare

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While there are a lot of services that are covered under Medicare Part B, from chemotherapy to home health services to kidney dialysis, it does not pay for everything.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Before reading, it’s important to understand something that will be referenced a lot. Medicare Advantage plans, which take care of “gaps” in coverage, provide dental, vision, and hearing plans. Some vision plans cost only $9 per month, and some dental programs cost about $30 per month. There are different options for Medicare Advantage plans to choose from. A Medicare agent can guide your decision so you can be sure that you are getting adequate coverage.


Medicare does not cover eye exams or eyeglasses. Generally, these services are provided by an optometrist, who is not a surgeon. They can conduct eye exams, prescribe medications, and contact lenses. However, an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who has attended medical school whose specialty is vision and eye care. Therefore, medical conditions, such as glaucoma, or surgical procedures, such as to remove cataracts, are covered under Medicare Part B.


Dentists don’t just treat the teeth on the exterior. They can perform surgeries and other highly-specialized procedures. Some of these are covered in Medicare, but very rarely. In general, Medicare doesn’t cover cleanings, x-rays or procedures such as root canals or fillings. A Medicare Advantage plan, however, can cover both diagnostic and restorative services, as well as periodontal services.


Just like with visualization, if a medical doctor prescribes certain treatment for a medical condition or advises you to undergo surgery, then those services will be covered by your medical insurance. So while exams for hearing aids and hearing aids themselves are not covered in Part B, a visit to an otolaryngologist would be covered, otherwise known as an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor. If you suffer from thyroid problems, for example, and see an ENT, then your doctor visits are likely to be covered by Medicare.

Emergencies Abroad

After a long life of hard work, you probably have plans for traveling and seeing the world. However, medical emergencies in foreign countries are not covered in Plan B. If you do want coverage, then a Medicare agent can guide your decision in choosing an appropriate Medicare Advantage plan to ensure you’re protected if anything happens to you.

Protective Equipment For Your Home

Home safety items, which are generally not prescribed by doctors, are not covered in Medicare. This includes furnishings and technology such as medical emergency alerts, bathtub grab bars, and lifts/elevators. Some home safety items are prescribed by a doctor, though. But some physical conditions require the use of devices to be used in the home for care, and these are covered by Medicare when prescribed by a physician.

Non-Medically Necessary Procedures

Any cosmetic procedures you would like to have performed even by a board-certified surgeon will not be covered. Medicare Part B does not cover any elective procedures. Additionally, it does not cover any services provided by a physician practicing alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and homeopathy. However, it will cover a portion of chiropractic visits if medically necessary for the health of the patient’s spine.

Nursing Homes And Assisted Living Facilities

You may be eligible to have a short-term stay in a skilled nursing facility covered by Medicare, but Medicare does not pay for long-term care. If you need personal care assistance, then a Medicare Advantage may be the right choice for you.