Does Medicare Cover Eyeglasses?

One in three Americans will have developed a vision-impairing eye disease by age 65,1 so it makes sense that many Medicare beneficiaries may wonder if Medicare covers eyeglasses.

Although Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) typically does not cover eyeglasses, Medicare beneficiaries may be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) that offers coverage for routine vision care and eyeglasses, among other services.

A couple shopping for glasses in a vision care store

How you may be able to get Medicare coverage for eyeglasses

There are two situations in which a Medicare beneficiary may receive coverage for eyeglasses.

  • After cataract surgery
    If an Original Medicare (Part A and B) beneficiary has cataract surgery to implant an intraocular lens, Medicare Part B may provide coverage for one set of eyeglasses with standard frames or one set of contact lenses.

  • With certain Medicare Advantage plans
    Many Medicare Advantage plans may provide vision coverage, which can include the cost of eyeglasses and contact lenses. In fact, some Medicare Advantage beneficiaries may even be able to get coverage for designer eyeglasses.

Other vision care services that may be covered by Original Medicare

Although Original Medicare coverage of eyeglasses is minimal, it does cover some other services related to vision care:

  • Cataract surgery
    Cataract surgery may be covered by Medicare when deemed to be medically necessary.

  • Glaucoma tests
    Medicare beneficiaries who are determined to be at an increased risk for glaucoma can have a glaucoma test covered by Medicare Part B once every 12 months. Hispanics, African Americans, people with diabetes and those who have a family history of glaucoma are all considered to be at an increased risk for developing glaucoma.

  • Macular degeneration tests and treatment
    Medicare Part B may provide coverage for certain tests and treatments for beneficiaries with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

  • Eye exams for people with diabetes
    Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes can have an annual eye exam covered by Medicare Part B to test for diabetic retinopathy.

Finding a Medicare Advantage plan that covers eyeglasses

Medicare beneficiaries who wear corrective lenses or have other vision care needs may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare Advantage plans offer the same benefits that are covered by Medicare Part A and Part B combined into a single plan sold by a private insurance company. Many Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, dental, hearing and more.

Some Medicare Advantage beneficiaries may cover annual eye exams and eyeglasses, sometimes with no deductible or with $0 monthly premiums. Plans with $0 deductibles and $0 premiums may not be available in all locations.

To compare Medicare Advantage plans in your area that may cover eyeglasses, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.


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