Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Medicare Doesn't Cover

"No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity they have earned. Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we'll do it by reducing the cost of health care – not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more. And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it – not by turning it over to Wall Street." President Obama

My mom will be 88 soon. Like most Americans her age, she has Medicare. Medicare, however, does not cover eye glasses. She needs both distance and reading correction. 

Medicare does not cover hearing aids. She has two of those, and this past ten days, one has been in the shop. Thankfully, it is still under warranty because the pair cost three grand. I helped her pay for them. Without hearing aids, she would be cut off from the interactions that sustain her.

Medicare does not cover dental. My mom has an upper plate. I have no idea how much that cost. Currently, it doesn't fit quite right. No doubt, an adjustment will be another expense. Interestingly, it slips the most when she is angry. Republican policies usually figure into her anger.

Maybe by the time my generation gets old, we will have already had Lasik, hearing implants, and with the advent of better dental care, we won't need false teeth. But my mother's generation is already paying out of pocket quite a hefty sum for the three things that old people seem to need most. What would they do without Medicare?


Ms. Moon said...

I was thinking last night that it's like if you can hang on until 65 you can finally get universal healthcare. Or at least, as close as we come.
And how many people want to give that up?

Elizabeth said...

I think I saw a statistic that the people MOST satisfied with their healthcare are over 65.

Scary stuff.