Does Medicare cover cataract surgery and implants?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Does Medicare pay for cataract surgery?

Expert Answer

Yes, it does. Because cataract surgery is performed by a physician rather than an optometrist, Medicare Part B covers the surgery, including lens implants. And following that surgery, it can pay its share for one pair of eyeglasses. How much it pays for the glasses depends on whether you get new frames, and if so how much they cost. Medicare Part B will pay for both lenses and frames, but only basic frames. If you buy more expensive frames than the basic ones approved by Medicare, you'll have to pay out of pocket for the difference between the standard amount Medicare pays and the amount your frames actually cost.


For both the surgery and the glasses, you have to pay a coinsurance amount, which is 20 percent of the amount Medicare approves for the surgical procedure and for the glasses and frames. Before you choose new glasses after your surgery, make sure to let the doctor's or optometrist's office -- depending on which one you are ordering your glasses from -- know that you want the bill for your glasses sent to Medicare, and ask what frames they have that are fully covered by Medicare (not counting your 20 percent coinsurance amount).