Does Medicare Cover Eye Exams?

Original Medicare does not cover routine vision care and typically does not cover eye exams. Learn more about other options Medicare beneficiaries may have for vision coverage.

As many of us grow older, our vision tends to worsen. That means we need to get eye care from a skilled optometrist—and often a new pair of glasses and/or contact lenses. But does Medicare cover eye exams or other routine costs? Unfortunately, this is an expense that Medicare Part A and Part B don’t cover, and one of the reasons that seniors turn to Medicare Advantage plans for their health care.

Doctor performing an eye exam

How can you get vision coverage?

While Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does cover certain eye coverage — like glaucoma screenings, macular degeneration care and a yearly eye exam for diabetic patients — it does not cover routine vision exams or related expenses, such as bifocals or contact lenses.

Find a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan today.

Speak with a licensed insurance agent


If you’re a senior who’s looking for vision coverage, a Medicare Advantage plan may be the answer. Medicare Advantage plans are private health insurance plans, offered by private insurance companies. By law, Medicare Advantage plans must provide the same basic benefits as Original Medicare.** However, many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits, including vision coverage.

The costs from this coverage alone can justify making the switch to Medicare Advantage. But there are other reasons to join a private Medicare plan:

  • Many Medicare Advantage plans often offer prescription drug coverage and hearing coverage. This may make a Medicare Advantage plan worth considering. 
  • More than 33 percent of Medicare recipients were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2017.***

Next steps for you

A licensed agent can match you with a Medicare Advantage plan in your area that provides you with the vision care you need.

To learn more about your options, you can speak with a licensed insurance agent at   TTY Users: 711.


About the author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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