Turning 65 brings access to senior discounts galore, but there is no benefit of senior citizenship quite like Medicare.
The federal program extends subsidized medical insurance primarily to folks age 65 and older. But, while Medicare coverage comes with numerous freebies, it is hardly free.
Medicare beneficiaries pay into the system via taxes withheld from their paychecks during their working years. Additionally, Medicare coverage is not all-inclusive: Beneficiaries must cover all or part of certain medical expenses.
If you are already on Medicare, you already know that — perhaps painfully well. But the costs associated with coverage can come as a surprise to folks who have yet to sign up for Medicare.
Below is a look at 3 of the most expensive, most common and most surprising health care costs that Medicare does not cover.
You may be surprised to find that even federally subsidized health insurance has premiums.
For 2019, the standard monthly premium for Part B — the component of Medicare plans that covers services you receive outside of a hospital — is $135.50 or more, depending on your income. Usually, the Part B premium is deducted from your Social Security benefits check.
Seniors with Medicare Advantage usually pay a premium for their plan in addition to the standard Part B premium.
One bit of good news: A vast majority of seniors do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospital services, as we reported in “3 Major Medicare Costs That Will Increase in 2019.”
How to lower your costs: The Part B premiums are fixed. There’s nothing you can do about them.
If you have Original Medicare, you have the option to buy a supplemental insurance plan, also known as a Medigap plan, which would pay for some expenses that Original Medicare does not cover.
The catch: The Part B premium isn’t among the costs that Medigap plans cover. So, you will still have to pay it — plus the premium for the supplemental plan.
2. Long-term care
Long-term care refers to medical and nonmedical services for people who are unable to perform basic daily tasks like dressing or bathing on their own. You may receive long-term care in your home, in the community or at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Like most health insurance plans, Medicare generally does not cover long-term care costs, which are notoriously high.
In 2018, the national median cost of a full-time home health aide was $4,195 per month, according to Genworth, a company that provides long-term care insurance. The median monthly cost for a private room was $4,000 at an assisted living facility and $8,365 at a nursing home.
3. Dental care
Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover some dental services. It depends on the specifics of the plan.
Original Medicare does not cover most dental care, procedures or supplies — including:
There are some exceptions. For example, Original Medicare covers certain dental services that you get while in a hospital. But aside from exceptions, seniors on Original Medicare plans are stuck paying for 100% of their dental expenses.
With the high cost of health care after retirement and the unexpected expenses that may come while on Medicare, it's best take out an additional policy to help cover those additional unexpected costs.
Click here to speak with an insurance professional to see how we can help with post retirements health coverage.
Source: MSN Money