Does Medicare pay for eyeglasses?

6 answers | Last updated: Mar 30, 2015
Tonyk asked...

My Mother, who is in her 80's, just told me that she needs new glasses based on a recent eye exam. She says her glasses are priced above $300. Does Medicare pay for eyeglasses or cover eyeglass prescription costs? Thank-you, Tony K

Expert Answers

Sorry to say that Medicare doesn't normally cover any part of the cost of eyeglasses. Medicare Part B can pay for one basic pair of eyeglasses only if your mother had cataract surgery in which a new lens was implanted in her eye. Otherwise, Medicare Part B pays nothing for glasses.

The only other possibility for Medicare to contribute to the cost of your mother's glasses is if she belongs to a Medicare Part C "Medicare Advantage" HMO or other managed care plan. These plans provide slightly broader coverage than traditional Medicare Part B does, and a few of them pay some of the cost of eye exams and glasses. If she belongs to a Medicare Advantage plan, check with the plan administrator to see if there is any coverage for glasses.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

Clark Howard has a place to order glasses inexpensively. I have ordered three pair at different times and all the glasses are great. So go to Clark

A fellow caregiver answered...

Costco is a very good place to order glasses at a reasonable price. I went there after reading an article in consumer report about where retirees should go to buy glasses. Mine usually cost over $300 and I bought two for around $200.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Unfortunately, as of April 11th, 2012, Costco is not a Medicare provider any longer. So, going to Costco won't work for Medicare Beneficiaries any more. You can still go there and pay their rates and you should still be able to save money, but you'll have do do it without the help from your Medicare Advantage plan.

Little helper answered...

If you go to you can get your first pair of glasses free. Just browse by category and choose "first pair free" and pick between the eligible pair of glasses and fill out everything else. You'd only have to pay for shipping and handling and extras if u wanted, such as tint and scratch resistant. Here's another tip, if you ever want to order another pair just use a different email address =) hope this helps!

Little helper answered...

Btw you have to type in FIRSTPAIRFREE at checkout

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