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Routine Care Not Covered by Medicare

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

The older you get, the more you’re likely to need professional attention for your ears, eyes, teeth, and feet. But Medicare doesn’t cover routine services to take care of these parts. Routine is the key word here.

Medicare pays to treat problems it considers medically necessary (including cataract surgery, jaw restoration after injury, and treatment for diseases of the ear) but not the kind of care you may need on a regular basis, such as the following:

  • Ear exams, hearing aids, or having hearing aids fitted

  • Vision tests, eyeglasses, or contact lenses

  • Oral exams, teeth cleaning, extractions, or dentures

  • Toenail clipping or the removal of corns and calluses

However, routine services for ears, eyes, and teeth may be covered if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that provides them as extra benefits. Some plans offer them as separate benefit packages for an additional premium.

Not all plans offer coverage for this routine care but those that do are identified in the plan finder program on Medicare’s website with small logos: D for dental, V for vision, and H for hearing.

Of course, as always in Medicare, some exceptions exist. You can get coverage for foot care in certain circumstances — for example, if you have foot problems caused by conditions such as diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic kidney disease, malnutrition, or inflammation of the veins related to blood clots — especially if the act of toenail clipping would be hazardous to your health unless done by a professional.

But the bottom line is that to get Medicare coverage for foot care, you need your doctor or podiatrist to provide evidence that said care is medically necessary.

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