Does Medicare Cover Nearsightedness?

Tamera Jackson by Tamera Jackson | Licensed since 2007
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This article was updated on: 10/06/2018

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What is nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness is also known as myopia. It’s an eye condition where near objects appear clearly but distant objects appear blurry, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). Nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea (the transparent front cover of the eye) is too curved, according to the American Optometric Association. Nearsightedness may result in headaches, eyestrain, squinting, and difficulty reading highway signs. An eye doctor may ask you to identify letters on a distance chart to diagnose your nearsightedness. Nearsightedness is very common and affects about a quarter of all Americans, according NEI.

What is the treatment for nearsightedness?

There are generally three types of treatment for nearsightedness: eyeglasses, contact lenses and surgery according to the National Eye Institute.

  • Eyeglasses may be a safe, simple, and comfortable way to correct nearsightedness. An eye care professional can prescribe glasses that will best correct your nearsightedness.
  • Contact lenses work by creating a more precise refraction or focus. Contact lenses may not be best for everyone with nearsightedness.
  • Refractive surgery permanently changes the shape of the cornea which can improve refractive vision. After surgery you may no longer need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. A popular refractive surgery in the United States is called LASIK. Learn more about Medicare and LASIK.

Does Medicare cover nearsightedness?

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) generally does not cover routine eye exams that would allow an eye doctor to diagnose your nearsightedness and find your eyeglasses or contact lenses prescription. Original Medicare generally only covers yearly eye exams for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma tests, and macular degeneration tests. Original Medicare also does not generally cover any of the treatments for nearsightedness, including eyeglasses, contact lenses and refractive eye surgery. Original Medicare generally only pays for corrective lenses following cataract surgery that implants an intraocular lens.

If you need vision coverage for nearsightedness, you may be interested in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage is another way to get your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits through a private insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans must cover everything that Original Medicare covers with the exception of hospice care, which is still covered by Medicare Part A. The benefit of Medicare Advantage plans is that they often offer extra benefits that Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover, such as prescription drug coverage, dental coverage, and routine vision coverage.

Do you want to find a Medicare Advantage plan that covers vision care for nearsightedness?

I’ll be glad to help you. You can schedule a phone call with me, or have me email you information based on your needs. To look through some choices on your own, you can click the Compare Plans buttons on this page.

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