Will Medicare Cover My Dental and Vision Benefits?
Two bills awaiting Congressional approval could create dental, vision, and hearing-covered benefits for Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries. One of the proposed bills will give the federal government the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower prices for prescription medication, which could save the government an estimated $345 billion over the next decade.
What Benefits are Currently Available Through Medicare?
Medicare benefits have restrictions that some believe should be covered as they face age-related health issues. The present coverage offered by Medicare includes:
- Vision Benefits under Medicare Part A: Provides coverage for vision services that are classified as a medical problem, as well as in-patient treatment in hospitals, such as eye injuries and eye trauma.
- Vision Benefits under Medicare Part B: Provides 80 percent of coverage for annual glaucoma screenings for high-risk people, cataract surgery with lens replacement, and vision correction equipment resulting from cataract surgery, eye prosthetics, and macular degeneration treatments. This plan does not cover routine eye exams.
- Benefits under Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage): Medicare Advantage plans are offered by independent insurance providers that are approved by Medicare. Some offer additional benefits, such as routine vision care, dental care, and prescription drug coverage.
- Vision Benefits under Medicare Plan D: This coverage is available through private insurance companies and can include prescription plans and vision care products, such as eye drops or medications.
What Will the Proposed Changes Add to Medicare Benefits?
The major impacts that can be expected by Medicare beneficiaries if the bills pass include:
- Authority for Medicare to negotiate for lower prices on prescription medications and create a cap of $2,000 on out-of-pocket expenses for medication.
- Expansion of a low-income subsidy program that will provide coverage for Medicare Part D deductibles and charges.
- Eighty percent coverage for preventive screening and dental exams and cleanings under Medicare Part B.
- Fifty percent dental coverage for extractions, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, and dentures.
- Eighty percent coverage under Medicare Part B for routine eye exams, and $100 for the purchase of glasses and contact lenses.
- Eighty percent coverage for hearing exams and hearing aids.
Costs associated with providing the proposed extended coverage could impact spending for research and development. Approximately 10,000 people become eligible for Medicare each year, and an estimated 37 percent, or 22.2 million Medicare recipients, carry Medicare Advantage plans. More than half of all beneficiaries choose basic Medicare coverage with Medicare Part D for prescriptions. Many of these beneficiaries carry additional supplemental insurance offered by private insurance carriers. Medicare Advantage plans are generally offered without a premium. Medicare Part B beneficiaries currently pay $135.50, which is expected to increase to $144.60 in 2020.
Brooklyn Elder Law Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Represent Medicare Beneficiaries
If you need counsel or representation for a Medicare-related issue, call the Brooklyn elder law lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP today. For an initial consultation, call us at 212-495-8133 or contact us online. Located in Brooklyn, New York, and Lakewood, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York.