Most of the time, Original Medicare does not cover eyeglasses, routine eye exams, or contact lenses. It will often pay for these things after cataract surgery that implants an intraocular lens. As you can tell, this is a very specific surgery.
Following the surgery, Medicare Part B will help cover corrective lenses, one pair of eyeglasses, or one set of contact lenses that an ophthalmologist provides.
But there is a disadvantage — this benefit will only be offered once per lifetime and they just pay for a standard pair of eyeglasses. If you need upgraded frames, you would be responsible for the cost.
Glaucoma is a group of conditions that can cause blindness. Part B also covers a glaucoma screening every year, but only if you are at high risk for it. This coverage includes people with a family history of glaucoma, people with diabetes, African Americans who are 50 or older, and Hispanic Americans who are 65 or older.
An ocular prosthesis, artificial eye, or glass eye is covered for patients with absence or shrinkage of an eye due to trauma, birth defects, or surgical removal. It also covers a replacement, which is usually every 3-5 years.
Part B will cover various diagnostic tests and treatment of eye diseases and conditions. If you want routine eye exams and multiple pairs of eyeglasses or contacts (or an upgrade to the standard frames), an inexpensive, independent vision plan is probably your best option. Certain Medicare Advantage plans can include suitable coverage, too. But, you should talk to a licensed Medicare insurance agent to confer the details of the plan.