Medicare doesn't cover everything: What you need to know

Published by Medicare Made Clear®

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) covers many medical and hospital services. But it doesn’t cover everything. 

Many people are surprised to learn that Original Medicare doesn't cover prescription drugs. You can buy drug coverage through Medicare Part D, but it's not provided by Part A or Part B.

The list below shows some other services that are not covered by Original Medicare. You may have to pay for these services yourself unless you have other insurance that covers them. Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may cover some of these services as well.

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) does not cover:

  • Routine dental exams, most dental care or dentures
  • Routine eye exams, eyeglasses or contacts
  • Hearing aids or related exams or services
  • Most care while traveling outside the United States
  • Help with bathing, dressing, eating, etc. (custodial care)
  • Comfort items such as a hospital phone, TV or private room
  • Long-term care
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Most chiropractic services
  • Acupuncture or other alternative treatments
  • Routine foot care

Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything you may want or need for your health. You may choose to add Medicare supplement insurance to help with some costs that Medicare doesn’t pay. Or you may want to look for a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that provides the above types of benefits while also covering Parts A, B and Part D prescription drugs.

About Medicare Made Clear

Medicare Made Clear brought to you by UnitedHealthcare provides Medicare education so you can make informed decisions about your health and Medicare coverage.

Get the latest

Boost your Medicare know-how with the reliable, up-to-date news and information delivered to your inbox every month.

*All fields required