(800) 973-1540

What important medical care doesn't Part B cover?

Medicare Part B: Page 6

By , Caring.com Expert
91% helpful

Although Part B covers most kinds of outpatient care, there are a few important exceptions. The first is frequent routine physical exams; Medicare Part B covers an initial wellness physical exam within the first six months of enrolling, and after that one wellness physical exam per year (beginning in 2011), but not more frequent routine physicals.

Part B covers only care that is medically necessary, which Medicare interprets as excluding most chiropractic and other types of alternative care, such as acupuncture, acupressure, and homeopathy. It also excludes elective or cosmetic surgery or other treatments. Similarly, Part B doesn't cover vaccinations or immunizations, such as those people take when they travel abroad. However, Medicare Part B does cover the full cost of pneumonia and flu shots.

Nor is there any Part B coverage for routine eye or hearing exams, and none for hearing aids, eyeglasses, or contact lenses (except following cataract surgery). Treatment for diseases of the eye or ear, however, can be covered if provided by a medical doctor. Dental work is not covered.

Finally, Part B doesn't cover any drugs, prescription or otherwise, that participants take at home. Instead, prescription medication can be partially covered by a Medicare Part D insurance policy.