Cataract surgery is a relatively common and safe procedure. It helps improve the vision of many around the world.
Usually you will see significant improvements in your vision after getting this surgery. However, it’s also likely you will still require eyeglasses after the procedure.
You may have heard that Medicare generally does not cover the cost of vision care and glasses. And that is true in most cases. But what about after cataract surgery?
That brings us to a common question many people have which is, “Does Medicare cover Glasses After Cataract Surgery?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of corrective eyeglasses and other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Glasses After Cataract Surgery?
The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of corrective eyeglasses after undergoing cataract surgery. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions must be met for Medicare to pay for your corrective eyeglasses. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for corrective eyeglasses after cataract surgery.
Coverage for eyeglasses after cataract surgery falls under Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B will cover your corrective eyeglasses if your cataract surgery includes an intraocular lens implant.
However, Medicare Part B only covers the cost of standard eyeglass frames. And they will only cover the costs if you get the frames from a supplier that accepts Medicare.
You can upgrade the frames of your eyeglasses if you want, however, Medicare Part B will not cover the extra costs. So you will have to pay for the upgrades out of pocket.
Medicare Part B will only cover one pair of corrective eyeglasses in a lifetime. So if you lose or break your glasses, they will not pay for a replacement.
A Loophole (How To Get Coverage For More Than One Pair of Glasses)
The loophole (of sorts) here is that Medicare will cover one pair of eyeglasses per eye that you get cataract surgery done on. So if you have surgery on one of your eyes, Medicare Part B will provide coverage for corrective eyeglasses. Then, if at a later date you get surgery on the other eye, Medicare Part B will cover another pair of glasses for you.
Once approved by Medicare Part B, they will pay for 80 percent of the costs of your corrective glasses. You will pay for the remaining 20 percent.
Medicare Advantage Coverage
Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for glasses after cataract surgery. They cover everything Original Medicare covers as well as offer some additional benefits. Exactly what they cover and what the costs are will vary from plan to plan.
Many Advantage plans do offer more coverage for eye care. So be sure to check with your plan provider to see if they will cover eyeglasses (even if you don’t have cataract surgery).
How Much Do Eyeglasses Cost?
In the US, the average cost of eyeglasses is around $200. But it really depends on the type of glasses you get and where you get them from.
You can find glasses online for under $100. But you have to be wary of the old saying “you get what you pay for.” Higher end designer glasses and frames can easily cost $500 or more.
Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.
Additional Info on Medicare Coverage
This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”
Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover a bone density test?