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August 1, 2023

Medicare does not generally cover routine eye exams for eyeglasses or contact lenses[1][2][3]. However, there are certain circumstances where Medicare may provide coverage for specific eye exams[1][3][4][5].

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers glaucoma tests once every 12 months for individuals considered at high risk, such as those with diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, or who are African American and aged 50 or older[1][4].

Moreover, Medicare Part B also covers eye exams for diabetic retinopathy once a year for individuals with diabetes[5].

Nevertheless, it's important to note that routine eye exams, including those for eyeglasses or contact lenses, are not typically covered[1][2][3].

It's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider or Medicare directly to get accurate and up-to-date information on what specific eye exams are covered and the associated costs[1][3].

Stand Alone Coverage

Vision insurance refers to insurance plans that provide coverage for various eye care services, such as eye exams, prescription glasses, contact lenses, and discounts on other vision-related expenses. It is typically separate from regular health insurance plans and can be purchased as standalone coverage or as part of a comprehensive health insurance plan.

Many insurance companies offer vision insurance plans, including UnitedHealthcare, VSP Vision Care, MetLife, Humana, and Aetna. These plans vary in terms of coverage and benefits offered. They can help individuals manage the costs of routine eye care and ensure access to necessary eyewear or contact lenses.

Vision insurance plans generally cover a range of services, such as comprehensive eye exams, prescription eyewear (glasses and lenses), and discounts on additional services like LASIK surgery. The specific coverage and benefits will depend on the insurance provider and the chosen plan.

It's important to note that vision insurance typically operates on a network-based model, meaning that you may receive more coverage and better rates when using in-network eye care providers such as optometrists or ophthalmologists Out-of-network providers may have limited coverage and could result in higher out-of-pocket costs.

If you are considering vision insurance, it's recommended to review different plans and their coverage details, including premiums, deductible amounts, and copayments. This will help you choose a plan that aligns with your specific eye care needs and budget.

Vision Coverage with Medicare Advantage plans

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are bundled plans that usually include dental, vision, and hearing coverage, plus some other services that Original Medicare doesn't cover. This can include fitness memberships, prescription drug coverage, and more.


  1. Medicare.gov: Routine Eye Exam Coverage - Medicare
  2. Healthline: Medicare and Eye Exams: What You Need to Know
  3. WebMD: Medicare Vision Coverage: What’s Included and What’s Not
  4. Medicare.gov: Glaucoma Tests
  5. The Senior List: Does Medicare Cover Eye Exams in 2023?

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