No one covers asthma medication anymore. A while ago, insurance companies universally decided to stop covering medication to prevent asthma attacks. Most of us don’t have the medication anymore.
We buy emergency inhalers because they cost around $50 — without insurance. The daily medication which would prevent the need for an emergency inhaler is about $500 for a month’s supply. No one I know can afford it, so we don’t have it.
Breathing, it turns out, is not medically necessary.
Vision is medically optional. Most insurance will cover a routine annual eye exam. A few will cover part of the cost of a pair of single vision eyeglasses per year. That’s pretty much it. If you need bifocals, or anything other than one cheap pair of corrective lenses, that’s too bad.
Teeth falling out? Need a root canal? Tough luck. Your teeth are entirely cosmetic (bet you didn’t know this!) and therefore, are not covered by medical insurance. You can buy private insurance, but it covers less than half the actual cost of most dental procedures (usually a lot less than half) … and it’s expensive. It is never part of standard medical insurance. They don’t cover dentures either.
No one covers hearing aids, probably because they are extremely expensive. Thousands of dollars and the average lifespan is four to seven years, after which you need another set. If you are a state or federal employee, or you lost your hearing while serving in the military, you are probably covered. If you are anyone else?
I’m sorry. What did you say? Could you speak up please?
Private insurance plans sometimes offer riders which will cover corrective lenses and basic dental work — a cleaning, x-rays, and a filling. Maybe. Not a root canal or a crown.
No one covers hearing aids.
Classifying hearing, seeing, and anything in your mouth as “non-medical and cosmetic” is standard in the insurance industry. It saves them billions of dollars a year … and leaves you with a bill you probably can’t pay.
What’s the solution? Don’t be old. Or poor. Especially, don’t be both.