Does Medicare Cover Farsightedness?
This article was updated on: 10/06/2018
Definition of farsightedness
The Mayo Clinic explains that farsightedness (hyperopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see distant objects clearly, but objects up close may be blurry.
Your eye has two parts that help focus what you’re looking at, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- The cornea, which is a clear surface in front of your eye
- The lens, which is a clear structure inside your eye that changes shape to help focus on objects
With farsightedness, your cornea curves too little or your eye is shorter than normal. Light focuses behind your retina instead of exactly on your retina, resulting in close-up objects appearing blurry.
Some people are born with farsightedness. As they age, their farsightedness may get worse.
How do doctors correct farsightedness?
Luckily, farsightedness can be easy to correct. An eye doctor can measure your farsightedness with a simple vision test. The National Eye Institute explains that doctors can correct farsightedness with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
- Eyeglasses are the simplest way to manage farsightedness. Your eye doctor can prescribe lenses that will help you see better, and can change your lens prescription as needed over time. Eyeglasses may offer a convenient solution for many farsighted people who need help correcting their view of close-up objects only some of the time—for example, when reading.
- Contact lenses correct farsightedness by being the first refractive surface for light rays entering the eye, causing a more precise focus. Contact lenses may provide clearer vision and a wider field of vision when fitted properly. However, contact lenses may not be the best option if you have certain eye conditions or spend time in an environment that causes eye irritation.
- Refractive surgery corrects farsightedness by permanently changing the shape of the cornea, which may improve your vision. Surgery might make you less dependent on wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. LASIK is just one of many types of refractive surgeries. Your eye doctor can help you understand whether refractive surgery may be an option for you.
How does Medicare cover farsightedness?
As part of the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit benefit, Medicare Part B covers a simple vision test (which may diagnose farsightedness) at no cost to you. To take advantage of this benefit, you must have the visit within your first 12 months of enrollment in Medicare Part B. If you have other conditions that put you at risk for eye diseases, Medicare may provide additional vision benefits. Generally, however, Medicare does not cover routine eye care.
Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, sometimes include additional benefits not covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan may cover eyeglasses, contact lenses, and/or surgery to correct farsightedness. Look at your plan’s Evidence of Coverage to see whether you have additional vision coverage, or call your plan for coverage information about farsightedness.
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