Does Medicare Cover Vision Services?

Countless seniors rely on Medicare for their health-related needs in retirement. Unfortunately, the scope of Medicare’s coverage is somewhat limited — a shortcoming that tends to catch countless retirees off guard. In fact, one major service that Medicare typically doesn’t cover is routine vision care. Though Medicare will pay for certain eye care services, like cataract surgery, it won’t cover the cost of eyeglasses or contact lenses. You’ll therefore need to prepare to absorb certain vision-related expenses yourself if you’re planning to stick with traditional Medicare — either that or get yourself a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare: Stingy on routine eye care

As we age, we’re more likely to experience a host of vision-related issues. And, unfortunately, in many cases, Medicare won’t cover those issues. For example, if you’re having trouble seeing out of your current pair of glasses, Medicare won’t pay for you to have your eyes checked, nor will it pay for a replacement pair.

But while Medicare doesn’t cover what’s considered routine eye care, it will cover certain eye issues that are deemed medical problems. For example, Medicare Part A, which covers hospital stays, will pay for vision care related to medical emergencies or traumatic injuries. Medicare Part B, meanwhile, will typically cover cataract surgery. (Since it’s an outpatient procedure, it falls under Part B, not Part A.) Specifically, Medicare will cover the removal of the cataract, basic lens implants, and one set of prescription eyeglasses or one set of contact lenses following the surgery…

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