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Why seniors need dental, vision, and hearing insurance

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Vision, hearing, and dental insurance for seniors pairs well with Medicare, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Advantage for more comprehensive health coverage

Most health insurance plans for seniors, including Medicare, don’t cover exams and services related to basic dental, vision, and hearing health care. These types of procedures are typically only covered if your doctor orders them for treatment or you have a medical emergency.

As you get older, parts of your body — teeth, eyes, and ears, for example — need more preventive and routine care. According to the American Optometric Association, seniors should have eye exams every year because many vision health conditions affecting older adults can come on without any early warning signs. And the American Dental Association warns that poor dental health can lead to other health problems, from gum disease to mouth cancer.

Medicare and dental, vision, and hearing coverage

If you’re 65 or older or have a qualifying disability, you’re eligible for Medicare, a federal health insurance program. Medicare is divided into several parts that cover different areas of need:

  • Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance for inpatient visits and extended care, such as in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Medicare Part B provides medical insurance for some medical supplies and services, such as outpatient care and preventive appointments.
  • Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage.

For example, Medicare Part A covers eye issues if they require inpatient care in a hospital. Medicare Part B covers yearly glaucoma tests for high-risk patients, cataract surgery, and diagnostic hearing and balance tests if they’re ordered by your doctor. Medicare Part D covers prescription eye drops.

However, Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Even with this health insurance plan, you’ll pay out of pocket for essential services, such as:

  • Most routine dental health care
  • Vision exams for eye glass prescriptions
  • Dentures
  • Hearing aids and fitting exams

Visiting a doctor on a routine basis may help identify potential problems with your dental, vision, or hearing, but Medicare doesn’t cover most expenses related to routine visits. You can search Medicare’s website to find out if your dental, vision, or hearing test, item, or service is covered.

Medicare Supplement insurance and dental, vision, and hearing coverage

Medicare Supplement insurance, or Medigap, helps you pay some health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover so you’ll be well prepared and protected. Medicare Supplement insurance policies are sold by private companies and help cover copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Like Original Medicare, a Medicare Supplement insurance policy doesn’t guarantee you full coverage. Most Medigap policies don’t offer dental insurance for seniors, hearing coverage, or vision coverage.

Medicare Advantage and dental, vision, and hearing coverage

Medicare Advantage is a type of Medicare plan offered by a private company that provides Part A and Part B benefits. Some, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans offer additional vision coverage, although these usually come with a higher monthly premium.

Wellabe’s Gold and Platinum Dental plans

Wellabe offers supplemental dental insurance, with options to add vision coverage and hearing coverage through our partners, VSP Individual Vision Plans and Start Hearing.

Wellabe provides four dental plans — two Gold and two Platinum. The types of plans available depend on which state you live in. The plans provide comprehensive coverage with benefits for preventative, restorative, and major services.

Wellabe presents:

  • Simple, budget-friendly plans
  • The freedom to choose any dental provider, but if you select one of the neighborhood dentists from our large network, you’ll see additional savings.
  • The opportunity to cancel your policy within 30 days and receive a refund, minus any claims paid, if you aren’t satisfied.

For more information on our products and what is available in your state:

Photo credit: iStock

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Wellabe offers life and supplemental health insurance plans to help you prepare for good days and bad. We’ll always be here to empower you to be well — well prepared, well protected, and well loved.