Find yourself asking, “Does Medicare cover vision?” Here’s everything you need to know about whether or not Medicare covers vision.
Vision services are essential to eye health, and they are even more important as we age. With 10,000 people each day turning age 65, millions of Americans are eligible for Medicare each year. A common question among this population is, “Does Medicare cover vision?”
Older adults experience a range of vision health issues such as double vision, cataracts, or age-related macular degeneration. Making sure Medicare provides vision insurance is important. In this article, we’ll look at what Medicare covers when it comes to your eyes.
Does Medicare Cover Vision Services and Eye Exams?
The answer is yes, and no. Original Medicare does not cover routine eye exams or prescription glasses. However, a Medicare Advantage program usually will cover these expenses. Original Medicare does cover the cost of annual screenings for glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
Original Medicare also covers the cost of diagnosing and treating serious conditions and diseases of the eye.
More Vision Insurance Options
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is similar to an HMO or PPO insurance plan. If you use an eye care provider that is in-network, you can receive additional vision insurance benefits. Some Medicare Advantage plans provide routine eye exams and expenses not covered by Original Medicare.
The American Association of Retired Persons describes many vision problems older Americans face. One of the recommendations of AARP, vision insurance, is an option to consider. Supplemental vision insurance pays for exams, frames, and lenses.
What About Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is common among people over the age of 65. There are two types of surgical procedures for cataracts. Both of these procedures are covered by Medicare.
The amount of coverage provided for cataract surgery varies on your plan, the type of surgery your doctor performs, and whether your surgery is performed in a hospital or vision clinic. On average, your cost, aside from the physician’s fees, is between $200 and $500. What does Medicare cover? Medicare covers the remaining $1000 to $2,500.
Welcome to Medicare
One exception to the rule of no vision exam coverage is the Welcome to Medicare program. Welcome to Medicare is a preventive visit benefit that must be used within the first 12 months of coverage.
Your doctor will conduct a complete medical history during your preventive visit and provide screenings for various health conditions. One of these screenings is a simple eye exam.
In addition to the eye exam, your health care provider will develop a written plan about other screenings, shots, and tests you might need. You may also receive a flu or pneumonia shot during this visit.
See Your Options Clearly
Does Medicare cover vision? It covers a lot of your vision care needs, such as testing and diagnosing eye health issues. You will have to pay for your regular eye exams and prescription glasses unless you have supplemental insurance.
Browse our other articles to learn more about what Medicare covers and the option you have for supplemental vision insurance.