Does Medicare Cover Eye Exams?

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.

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.