Most people rely on Medicare to cover their health expenses during retirement, but it won’t pay for everything. Here are 5 things that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Deductibles, coinsurance and copayments: Depending on the type of Medicare you choose, you’ll still be responsible for certain premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. For example, Medicare Part A is usually free, but you’ll pay a $1,364 deductible for each benefit period and if you’re in the hospital for more than 60 days you’ll pay a coinsurance amount for each day. Beyond a certain number of days, you are responsible for all costs. Part B has premium costs, a $185 annual deductible and 20% coinsurance on most services. Parts C and D have costs as well.
Prescription drugs: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover prescription drug costs. To get that coverage you need to purchase a Part D plan.
Routine vision care, dental care and hearing aids: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover things like eye exams, most dental care, dentures, hearing aids, acupuncture or routine foot care. Medicare Advantage (Part C) may cover some of those things, but you need to pay extra for Medicare Advantage.
Long-Term care: As people age, they often need help with daily activities like eating, dressing, bathing and using the restroom. You can get help with these types of things by moving into an assisted living facility, but Medicare typically will not cover any of those costs.
Medical care overseas: Medicare will typically not cover medical costs you incur while traveling outside the U.S. and its territories. There are a few exceptions, such as when you’re on a cruise ship in U.S. territorial waters or if you’re traveling to or from Alaska via Canada and the closest hospital that can treat you is in Canada.
These uncovered costs can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your retirement, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Earmark a portion of your nest egg for health expenses and then seriously consider purchasing additional insurance, such as long-term care insurance or a Medicare supplement plan, to cover anything not covered by Medicare. For more information on Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov.