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Glasses can solve many vision issues. But they are not the only way to fix bad eyesight.
Another popular option is LASIK surgery. Though it does save you from the trouble of losing or breaking your glasses or contact lenses, undergoing LASIK eye surgery can be quite expensive.
Which brings us to a common question many people have about it… “Does Medicare cover LASIK?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of LASIK eye surgery and other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover LASIK?
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. This is because the surgery is an elective one rather than a medically necessary one, and Medicare only covers medically necessary procedures. So, if you want LASIK, you’ll have to pay for it 100% out of pocket.
Most of the time, Original Medicare does not provide coverage for any vision care. The only exception is if it is medically necessary to treat an eye condition such as a cataract or glaucoma. LASIK eye surgery does not treat or prevent conditions like loss of vision, which is why it is not considered medically necessary.
Along with LASIK eye surgery, Original Medicare does not provide coverage for the following:
- Eye exams
- Eyeglasses and contact lenses (unless they are medically necessary)
Medicare Advantage Plans
What about Medicare Advantage plans? Well, they cover everything Original Medicare covers but many also offer some additional benefits as well.
Many Medicare Part C plans do offer coverage for both routine vision and dental care. However, that does not mean they cover LASIK. There may be some Advantage plans that do cover the procedure. Here are some steps you can follow to find out whether your Advantage plan offers it (and, if not, find one that does):
- Talk with your eye doctor. See if they have patients with Medicare who had LASIK surgery. If so, they may be able to give you some insight into which plans offer coverage, how much they cover, etc.
- If the Advantage plan you have does not cover LASIK, you can always switch to one that does. Before you do, however, make sure you’re not losing other benefits that you will miss or could cost you more in the long run.
- You can try contacting your local Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program to learn more about Medicare Part C plans covering LASIK eye surgery.
How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?
There are a few factors that can affect the cost of LASIK surgery. The main ones are the type of facility you go to, what part of the country you live in and whether you are in a bigger city or smaller town.
All that said, however, your average cost for LASIK will end up being in the $2,100 – $2,300 range. And watch out for the “special deals” that promise LASIK for $249 or some other cheap price. You typically get what you pay for and these offers are not the great deals they may seem to be.
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 lab work?