Does Medicare pay for eyeglasses?

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 Answer

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.