Close close icon

Does Medicare Cover Vision


Medicare routine vision coverage isn’t comprehensive; but, there is coverage for severe eye conditions. Your eyes work hard for you, and they deserve high-quality care, but is it even possible with Medicare? In this article, we go over all the costs, coverage, and benefits of vision care. It’s essential to make sure you have everything you need in retirement; glasses might be part of that.

What Does Medicare Pay for Vision Care?

Medicare excludes most routine eye exams, though it does cover conditions like glaucoma, detached retinas, and cataracts.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects your optic nerve, resulting in vision loss. A detachment of a retina happens when the retina tears away from the underlying tissue. Certain health conditions or some form of trauma can lead to this severe injury. If a detached retina doesn’t correct with surgery, it can ultimately lead to a permanent loss of your vision.

Cataracts cause a cloudy lens over your eye that can create blurry eyesight. Certain chronic diseases like cataracts require surgery to repair the eye. In a situation like this, Medicare will extend coverage to the lens replacement surgery. The doctor will remove the existing cataract and replace it with a manufactured lens.

When you have replacement surgery, Medicare covers a pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Also, Medicare covers exams to diagnose vision issues you may be feeling due to an eye ailment. Medicare will provide coverage if you have diabetes or if you’re high-risk for glaucoma. But, if you aren’t high risk, paying out of pocket could be a requirement.

Does Medicare Cover Eye Exams?

If you want to run into your local vision center for a simple exam to get glasses, Medicare won’t cover. You’ll be 100% responsible for the cost of your prescription eyewear, as well as your routine exam.

If you’re in the market for preventive screenings and tests to check for glaucoma or macular degeneration, you’re in luck. Medicare will cover preventive screenings to help keep the health of your eyes in check. Not only will Medicare cover the exams for macular degeneration, but they’ll include any doctor visits to treat the disease.

Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery?

If a doctor performs surgery using either lasers or traditional techniques, Medicare will cover your cataract surgery. You’ll pay 20% of the health care costs after meeting the Part B deductible. If you have a Medigap plan, that 20% will be covered as well.

Does Medicare Cover Lasik Surgery?

Part A and B won’t pay for Lasik procedures unless they’re necessary, and that is rare. One example is a traumatic injury in which Lasik could benefit. Lasik is a procedure that treats farsightedness, astigmatisms, and nearsightedness in the eyes.

Lasik surgery is the most common eye surgery and has proven to improve eyesight, immediately following the procedure drastically. It’s a surgery that uses a laser and is virtually pain-free for patients. Most times, Medicare will not pay for the eye exam given before a Lasik procedure.

FAQs

Do Medicare Advantage plans cover cataract surgery?
Surgeries to remove cataracts from the eyes are covered under Medicare if done with a traditional approach. Advantage plans can offer vision coverage. Since private insurance carriers provide Advantage plans, they have different regulations than Medicare. Above the minimum benefits provided, these plans can provide routine eye exams. You may be responsible for a copayment associated with your eye exams. You’ll more than likely need to visit with a doctor within your network. Most Advantage plans provide drug coverage, which can be beneficial for any medications or eye drops you need.
Does Medicare cover eye exams for cataracts?
If you suspect a problem with your eyes, Medicare covers exams at your primary care physicians to diagnose any complications. Those that have trouble with vision, severe pain, or anything out of the ordinary need to contact a doctor. Even if your diagnostic exam shows that there is nothing wrong with your eyes, Medicare still covers the exam.
Does Medicare pay for glasses?
Eyewear, like contact lenses or glasses, aren’t covered through Medicare; but, if you require corrective lenses because of cataract surgery, Part B will cover these lenses.
Does Medicare cover eye doctors?
Medicare won’t cover the use of eye doctors for simple eyewear gear and regular eye care. Need a doctor to treat diabetes-related vision issues or glaucoma-related issues? Part B will cover the medically-necessary exams once every 12 months with a state-certified doctor. Do you have an accidental eye injury? Medicare extends coverage so that you’re able to get a diagnostic exam. During these diagnostic check-ups, you’ll be able to learn the extent of your eye injuries.

How to Get Help with Vision Coverage with Medicare

Want more information on how Medicare coverage works for you and your eyesight? Give our team a call today. We can compare rates and make sure you’re getting the most out of your coverage. Or, fill out our online rate comparison form to get started today!

Lindsay Engle

Lindsay Engle is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

4 thoughts on “Does Medicare Cover Vision

  1. Had eye surgery now need surgery to remove excess skin, altering my vision, Medicare has denied it, what do I have to do to correct my vision in one eye

    1. Hi Je Je! Medicare does not cover surgeries that your doctor doesn’t deem as medically necessary. You would need to look into additional coverage outside of Medicare. However, you would still need to check if they would cover the surgery if your doctor does not say it’s medically necessary.

  2. I would like info on vision and dental insurance. I do not want to be swamped with emails!!!!

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *