Gaps in Medicare Coverage

“Traditional Medicare does not cover some services that could greatly benefit many older adults and people with permanent disabilities, including long-term services and supports (LTSS), dental services, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. Beneficiaries in Medicare who need these services must pay the full cost out of their own pockets unless they have other sources of coverage. Those with low incomes may qualify for Medicaid coverage of these services.

Because traditional Medicare does not cover dental services, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, some beneficiaries may not be able to afford them, which may adversely affect their overall health. Oral health care is closely correlated with health and well-being, and lacking adequate or appropriate oral health care can exacerbate health problems or create new ones (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012). While age-related changes in hearing and vision may be a normal part of aging, sensory impairments can compromise social functioning and hinder quality of life (Crews and Campbell, 2004).” 

Juliette Cubanski and Cristina Boccuti, American Society on Aging. Medicare Coverage, Affordability, and Access.

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