Does Medicare cover prescription eyeglasses?

Gigi187 asked...

I have Medicare A and B. Do they pay for prescription sunglasses at all? I have diabetes and I need to protect my eyes. Thanks.

Expert Answer

Medicare Part A does not cover eyeglasses at all. Medicare Part B can pay for one pair of eyeglasses but only if you have cataract surgery in which a lens is implanted in your eye. Otherwise, traditional Medicare does not pay for glasses at all, for any reason.

There can be an exception to this if you receive your Medicare coverage through a managed care plan, called a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan, instead of directly with Medicare through traditional Part A and Part B. Some of these Medicare Advantage HMOs and other managed care plans offer coverage that is broader than traditional Medicare, including some coverage for eyeglasses in certain circumstances. If you belong to one of these Medicare managed care plans, contact the plan administrator to find out if the plan covers eyeglasses and if so, what the coverage might be in your case. Or you could ask your doctor’s office to check with the managed care plan for you.