Skip to main content

Planning for Dental, Vision, and Hearing Coverage

Careful planning is a must for dental, vision, and hearing coverage after you turn 65.

That’s because Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover most dental care, including cleanings, fillings, extractions, dentures, or other devices. It doesn’t cover eye exams for eyeglasses or contact lenses. It also doesn’t cover hearing aids or exams to fit hearing aids.

But you do have some choices.

Digging Deeper

Medicare Part A



You may be covered for hospital-related expenses for dental care that protects your health. For example:

  • Hospital stays if an emergency or complicated dental procedures, even though it doesn’t cover dental care.
  • Oral examinations, but not treatment, preceding kidney transplantation or heart valve replacement under certain circumstances. Such examination are covered under Part A if performed by a dentist on the hospital's staff or under Part B if performed by a physician.
  • Oral surgery repairing or restoring a jaw due to a fracture or tumor removal. Medicare considers this a medically necessary procedure and provides coverage. Part A covers hospital costs in such cases after being formally admitted as an inpatient.
  • Hospitalization in connection with dental services if the individual, because of underlying medical condition and clinical status, or due to the severity of the dental procedure.


Eye Cataract surgery is seldom performed in a hospital setting. But if it is, it’s covered by Part A. Keep in mind though – beneficiaries pay the Part A deductible of $1,600 (rate for 2023) when admitted to the hospital.

Medicare Part B



You may be covered for certain eye exams, as well as eyeglasses or contacts if you had cataract surgery. For example:

  • May cover certain diagnostic tests and treatment (including treatment with certain injected drugs) of eye diseases and conditions if related to macular degeneration.
  • Covers eye exams for diabetic retinopathy once each year if you have diabetes. The exam must be done by an eye doctor who’s legally allowed to do the test in your state.
  • Covers glaucoma tests once every 12 months if you’re at high risk for developing the eye disease glaucoma. You’re considered at high risk if at least one of these conditions applies:
    • Diabetes
    • Family history of glaucoma
    • Are African-American and age 50+
    • Are Hispanic-American and age 65+
  • Helps pay for corrective lenses after cataract surgery that implants an intraocular lens. Corrective lenses include one pair of eyeglasses with standard frames or one set of contact lenses.



For example:

  • Covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams when ordered by a health care provider to see if you may need medical treatment.
  • Covers some surgically implanted prosthetic devices, including cochlear implants.

The Part C Advantage

Medicare does offer another option if dental, vision, and hearing coverage is important to you: Part C, or Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage covers everything provided by Original Medicare, plus some extra benefits. While every Medicare Advantage plan is different, routine dental, vision, and hearing coverage are usually available. Many plans even ask for a $0 copay for preventative or diagnostic services with in-network providers.

Below is a list of possible coverage options:


  • Basic coverage: Dental exams, X-rays, routine cleanings
  • Comprehensive coverage: Fillings, crowns and bridges, extractions, root canals, dentures, and more


Dental Vision and Hearing Coverage
  • Routine eye exams
  • Eyeglasses or contacts
  • Fittings for frames or contacts


  • Hearing aid fitting/evaluation
  • Hearing aids
  • Routine exams
  • Other hearing services

The Value of Good Planning

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, annual out-of-pocket spending for older adults in 2018 was $914 for hearing care. For dental care, it was $874. And $230 for vision care.

People older than 65 in Medicare Advantage plans tend to spend less out of pocket on dental and vision. Although hearing costs were about the same whether you had Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage. That could be due to the high cost of hearing aids.

Give us a Call

1-844-672-0317 (TTY: 711)
9 AM to 6 PM ET

MR630 10/2022