When you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, you can begin the process of enrollment. Enrolling in Medicare means switching from your current medical insurance plan to a new government-provided insurance plan. As you are choosing the Medicare plans you’ll need, you may have some questions about what Medicare covers.
One question that comes up quite often during the enrollment process is: Does Medicare cover vision? Here we’ll discuss vision insurance under Medicare and how to make sure you get the coverage you need.
Vision Coverage Under Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers some aspects of vision care, such as testing and treatment for the following eye conditions:
- Glaucoma. Routine glaucoma testing is covered by Medicare Part B if you are at a high risk for this condition. You are considered high risk if you are: diabetic, African American and 50 years old or older, Hispanic and 65 years old or older or you have a family history of glaucoma. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your treatment is covered by Medicare according to the terms of your plan (including deductibles and copayments).
- Macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a condition involving deterioration of a part of the retina that can result in blindness. Testing for macular degeneration is covered by Medicare Part B and treatment is covered for those who are eligible.
- Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can lead to an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy, which is caused by nerve damage to the light-sensing portion of the eye. It can eventually lead to blindness. Testing and treatment for this condition are covered by Medicare Part B.
- Eye prosthesis. Medicare covers eye prosthesis if you lose an eye due to trauma or have eye shrinkage due to a birth defect, vision trauma, or surgery. It also covers periodic polishing and resurfacing of your artificial eye and replacement every 5 years.
What Original Medicare Does Not Cover
Original Medicare does not typically cover the following:
- Routine vision screenings. Medicare doesn’t typically cover routine eye exams for the purpose of refraction (determining your corrective lens prescription).
- Glasses and contact lenses. Medicare does not typically cover the cost of glasses or contacts. However, if you were to require cataract surgery to implant an intraocular lens, it may result in the need for glasses or contact lenses. In this case, glasses or contacts may be covered.
How To Get Vision Coverage Under Medicare
Original Medicare includes Part A and B, with the option to add Part D for prescription coverage. But there is also a Medicare Part C, which includes Medicare Advantage Plans provided by private insurance companies. These plans are designed to include coverage that original Medicare doesn’t, such as vision.
There are a wide variety of Medicare Advantage plans available from a long list of providers. When you are shopping for Medicare Advantage plans, look for the vision coverage you need. If you need glasses or contact lenses, find a plan that includes coverage for corrective lenses. Discuss your needs with potential providers and ask if those items are covered.
Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cover Vision?
No, Medicare Supplement Insurance does not cover vision. Medicare Supplement Insurance is designed to cover out of pocket expenses that original Medicare doesn’t cover like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Extra coverage like vision and dental are not covered by supplement plans.
Do I Need Vision Coverage?
Whether or not you wear glasses or contacts, vision insurance is an important part of a well-rounded medical insurance plan. You should have a routine vision screening each year to identify any potential issues with your eye health and to make sure you are seeing adequately. Vision tends to deteriorate with age, even if you’ve never worn glasses or contacts before, you may find that you’ll need them later on.
Get Sound Advice on Vision Coverage From Norgard Insurance Group
Are you looking for vision coverage options under Medicare? Norgard Insurance Group can provide you with Medicare Advantage Plans that include vision coverage. We will discuss your vision care needs with you to determine what kind of coverage you will need. Then we match you with a plan that will allow you to get vision care at an affordable rate.
Call 813-454-5072 or contact Norgard Insurance Group today to discuss your options. We look forward to helping you get the most out of Medicare coverage.
Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.