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I deserved easy and saved me a great deal of money."

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"easyMedicare made getting the coverage I deserved easy and saved me a great deal of money."

- Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann - NFL MVP and Super Bowl Champion

Does Medicare cover vision?


Medicare offers comprehensive, head-to-toe healthcare coverage at a cost that’s affordable for just about everyone. However, there are some shortcomings in the degree of coverage Medicare provides for certain health issues, such as vision care. The type of vision care you need could help you determine whether Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) will offer sufficient coverage or if you’ll need the expanded benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan. Take a closer look at the type of vision care that’s provided by Original Medicare and find out what you need to look for in a Medicare Advantage plan if you need a comprehensive set of vision benefits.

Original Medicare Vision Coverage

To put it plainly, Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) won’t pay for your glasses or contact lenses. Original Medicare offers a very narrow set of vision benefits that target specific health conditions.

Here’s a rundown of the vision coverage offered by Original Medicare through Medicare Part B:

  • Diabetic eye exams – if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, Medicare Part B may cover your annual eye exams. These exams are used to monitor your eyes for the development of glaucoma.
  • Tests for glaucoma – if you develop glaucoma, Medicare Part B may cover annual eye exams to monitor the progression of the disease. The exams may help combat a possible decline in vision and your eye health in general.
  • Tests for macular degeneration – Medicare Part B may also cover both testing and treatment for age-related macular degeneration. It also helps pay for some of the medications your doctor may prescribe to treat macular degeneration.

To receive coverage beyond the above conditions, you’ll need to sort through the wide range of available Medicare Advantage plans to find coverage that includes comprehensive vision care.

What Kind of Coverage Does Medicare Offer for Eyewear and Prostheses?

As with eye exams, Original Medicare typically doesn’t provide any assistance in paying for glasses or contact lenses. Original Medicare does offer help in paying for protheses, including artificial eyes, through Medicare Part B. For a prosthetic eye, you’d have to pay 20 percent of the cost and meet your Part B deductible.

Original Medicare, through Part B, can help with contact lenses or eyeglasses for beneficiaries who have undergone cataract surgery. Medicare will pay for one set of glasses or lenses, while requiring you to pay 20 percent of the cost and meet your Part B deductible as well. You’ll need to make sure the supplier of your corrective lenses is approved by Medicare in order to get help paying for them.

Outside of having cataract surgery, the only other way to get Medicare’s help in paying for glasses or contact lenses is enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Just as is the case with routine vision care and coverage, you’ll find various tiers of Medicare Advantage plans that include coverage for glasses and other vision care coverage.

Finding a Medicare Advantage Plan with Vision Care

Finding your way through a new city without a map or GPS would likely be an overwhelming experience. You’d spend a lot of time reading road signs and stopping to ask for directions, which may not be fully reliable. It’s a similar situation with sorting through all of the available Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C), their features and their vision benefits.

A plan comparison tool acts as your GPS system as you navigate Medicare Advantage plans. If your destination is a plan that includes comprehensive vision coverage, a plan comparison tool, such as the one at easyMedicare.com, will help you get there without the unnecessary detours or the need to study every road sign you pass along the way.

Here’s a look at how easyMedicare.com’s plan comparison tool can help you navigate Part C plans available in your area and enroll in one that includes comprehensive vision benefits:

  • Search and filter – you can search by your ZIP code to find Medicare Advantage plans from major insurance providers and you can narrow your search with filters.
  • Compare plans – you narrow your search even further by seeing how the most relevant plans stack up against each other. Even if several plans offer great vision benefits, you may be able to save some money by choosing the plan that doesn’t have features you’ll likely never use.
  • Enroll in a plan – you can even enroll in a Medicare plan online from any device that can run a modern web browser (smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops). However, you’ll need to make sure an enrollment window is open and that you’re eligible to participate in it.

Need help? easyMedicare.com’s licensed Medicare agents are available to make navigating the plan comparison tool even easier. Or, if you prefer, an agent can review Medicare plans from top carriers to find the benefits that are most important to you, including specific vision care. Call 1-800-991-4407 (TTY 711) Mon - Thurs 8am - 11pm EST and Friday 8am - 9pm EST to begin your no-cost consultation.

When You Can Join a Medicare Advantage Plan

Finding the right Medicare Advantage plan is only part of the journey. To actually take advantage of the vision benefits in the plan you’ve selected, you’ll have to make sure you enroll in it.

There are several routine enrollment windows during which you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, along with some enrollment opportunities that are only offered in certain circumstances:

  • The Annual Election Period (AEP) – AEP runs every year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, offering all Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity to change any part of their coverage that can be changed. You can switch to Original Medicare, join a new Medicare Advantage plan, add Part D (Prescription Drugs) coverage and more.
  • The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) – OEP runs from Jan. 1 to March 31 every year. During this enrollment window, you can switch between Medicare Advantage plans or revert back to Original Medicare. You can also add Part D coverage if you leave a Medicare Advantage plan for Original Medicare.
  • Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – Your IEP starts as you approach age 65. It covers the entire month you turn age 65, as well as three full months before your birth month and three full months after it.

Keep reading to find out how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decide to open Special Enrollment Periods, as well as how to get additional help paying for your vision coverage.