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LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is commonly done to repair vision issues. This includes nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism.
For seniors considering the procedure, a common question many have is, “Does Medicare cover LASIK eye surgery?” In this article, we answer the question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of LASIK eye surgery and other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover LASIK eye surgery?
The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of LASIK eye surgery. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your LASIK eye surgery.
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for LASIK eye surgery. That is because Original Medicare considers LASIK eye surgery to be more of an elective procedure. There are other options out there to help you fix or improve your vision. These include eyeglasses or contact lens (both of which Original Medicare does not also cover, by the way). So LASIK is not considered to be medically necessary.
Medicare Advantage to the Rescue?
That said, some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide coverage for LASIK eye surgery. Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare covers and some additional benefits. However, out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the plan provided by the plan providers.
But how can you get Medicare Part C to cover your LASIK eye surgery, you may ask? Well, here are some ways Medicare Part C may provide coverage for your LASIK eye surgery:
- Speak with your eye doctor and ask him/her if they have patients with Medicare who have had LASIK surgery. If so, they may be able to give insight into Medicare Part C plans in your location that covers the costs (or at least a portion of the costs) of LASIK eye surgery.
- Maybe you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Part C plan that does not cover LASIK eye surgery. In that case, you may want to consider changing plans. You can search for Medicare Advantage plans in your area that do offer coverage for LASIK eye surgery.
- You can also contact your local Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program to learn more about Medicare Part C plans covering LASIK eye surgery.
- Suppose you already know a Medicare Part C plan that covers LASIK eye surgery, and you want to switch from Original Medicare to that Medicare Part C plan. In that case, you can do so during the open enrollment period. The open enrollment period typically starts on October 15 and ends on December 7.
- Suppose you are enrolled in a Medicare Part C plan that does not cover LASIK eye surgery. You want to switch to another Medicare Part C plan that provides coverage for LASIK eye surgery. In that case, you can do so during the open enrollment period. The open enrollment period typically starts on January 1 and ends on March 31.
How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?
LASIK eye surgery in the United States usually costs between $2,000 and $3,000 per eye. It may cost more than $3,000 if you live in a big city or go to a highly experienced doctor. If you see prices much lower than that, look out! It may be a bait and switch tactic.
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 Massage Therapy?