Does Medicare Cover Vision Care?

Caring.com staff asked...

Does Medicare cover eyeglasses, lenses, or any other vision care?

Expert Answer

Coverage of vision care by Medicare Part B is limited to treatment of medical conditions, and only treatment provided by a medical doctor. It does not normally include vision examinations, eyeglasses, or contact lenses.

Medicare Part B does cover treatment, including surgery, by an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in treatment of eye conditions). If you're treated by an ophthalmologist for a medical condition, Medicare Part B will pay 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for that doctor's services, as well as up to 100 percent of approved outpatient hospital or clinic costs associated with that treatment.

Medicare Part B can also pay for eyeglasses or contact lenses following cataract surgery in which a new lens is implanted in the eye. Also, a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan can cover eye drops or other eye medications if prescribed by a physician.

Medicare does not pay for visits to or care provided by an optometrist or optician, nor for eye glasses or contact lenses (except following cataract surgery, as described above).