Does Medicare Cover Vision Care?

In general, Original Medicare—also called Part A and Part B—doesn’t cover the costs of routine eye exams and eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, The answer to the question of whether Medicare covers vision is not always a straightforward one.

There are some instances when Medicare covers diagnostic and preventive eye care. For example, Medicare generally pays for eye exams and treatment if you have diabetes or are at risk of glaucoma.

Similarly, if you’ve had a cataract surgery that involves implanting an intraocular lens, Medicare covers one pair of eyeglasses or lenses post-surgery.

What Eye Care Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare coverage will generally cover the following services:

  • An eye exam to diagnose a medical condition, such as glaucoma or cataracts
  • Routine screenings and preventive treatments for diabetes
  • Treatment of infection or injury to the eye
  • Specialized lenses prescribed by your doctor to help you see better, if you have had cataract surgery
  • One pair of glasses or contact lenses after you have had a cataract procedure involving an intraocular lens

What Eye Care Is Not Covered?

Medicare rarely covers routine vision care, including:

– Eye exams for updating eyeglasses or contact lenses prescriptions

– The cost of glasses or contact lenses

– Lasik surgery and other corrective vision treatments.

Medicare will not cover the costs associated with routine eye exams and eyewear, but some exceptions exist. Be sure to check with your doctor first and review your Medicare plan carefully so you can make the most informed decision about your vision care coverage.

How Can I Get Vision Coverage?

Option 1: Consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan for better vision coverage. These plans often include more vision benefits, like routine eye exams and eyewear coverage. Plus, many vision specialists participate in Medicare Advantage programs, making it simpler to find an in-network provider.

But before choosing a Medicare Advantage plan specifically for vision coverage, you’ll want to research. There may be restrictions on what your plan will cover, such as a limit on the number of eye exams, or the plan may have a separate premium. It’s essential to read the fine print and understand the costs involved.

Options 2: Many insurance companies like Cigna, Aetna, and Mutual of Omaha may offer a stand-alone vision insurance plan.

Bottom Line

Medicare covers specific vision diagnostic and preventive services, such as glaucoma screenings and cataract surgeries. However, original Medicare does not cover routine care, such as eye exams or eyeglasses.

To get more comprehensive coverage for your vision needs, you may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. Be sure to read the fine print and understand

Sources: Medicare.govAARPWebMD


  • Does Medicare cover eyeglasses in 2023?

    In 2023, eyeglasses will not be covered by Original Medicare. But, some Medicare Advantage plans may provide coverage for vision care services, including eyeglasses. It is advisable to check with your plan to find out which services are covered.

  • Does Medicare cover eye exams For glaucoma?

    Yes, Medicare covers glaucoma eye exams for those who are enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Glaucoma screenings are covered under preventive services (billed under Part B) and diagnostic services (billed under Part A or B, depending on the provider).

Mark Prip

Since 2003, Mark Prip has been leading  Policy Guide, Inc., providing knowledgeable information about Medicare, life insurance, and dental coverage to clients in over forty states. With his unparalleled hands-on experience aiding countless Medicare beneficiaries in selecting an appropriate health plan, he is a prime example amongst other competitors for expertise and assistance. Mark has held his Florida Health & Life Insurance License (E051889) since 2003. View his license profile on the Florida Department of Insurance website.