There’s something about approaching retirement age that requires every article you read to start with an “As you get older…” But there’s a good reason for that, especially when it comes to health care coverage. If you had insurance through an employer or spouse, eye exams could be handled with a call and visit to your physician.
Without that health insurance, you’ll have to turn to Medicare. There are many options including Original Medicare (the combination of Part A and Part B), Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), or Medicare Supplement plans.
Cataract Surgery and Other Eye Care
While visual aids aren’t currently covered by any part of Medicare, Part B covers cataract surgery – if it’s deemed necessary. Not that anyone would choose to have cataract surgery if they didn’t need it. But in order to have a Medicare plan pay for 80 percent of the cost of cataract surgery, a Medicare-approved eye doctor needs to sign off on it.
It is estimated that 50 percent of the American population will have cataract surgery by the time they turn 80. And while coverage for cataract surgery may differ from state to state and county to county, the treating physician must accept Medicare payment to perform the procedure.
Cataracts happen when proteins in the lens begin to breakdown, causing cloudiness in the eye. The most common cause of cataracts is old age. An estimated 3.5 million people have cataract surgery every year. There are two types of cataract surgeries, both of which are covered by Medicare.
The procedure includes cutting a slit in the cornea, inserting an ultrasound probe, and removing the lens. The eye surgeon will then replace the cloudy lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). The surgery and lens implant are included in the Medicare coverage. A laser can be used for the incision at a higher cost.
There are two ways to remove the lens: Phacoemulsification is the most common, breaking up the cloudy lens and removing it. Extracapsular surgery removes the lens as a whole, leaving behind a small space for the IOL. An examination of the eye will help determine which method is best.
While Medicare pays for the surgery and the IOL, routine eye exams, contact lenses, or eyeglasses are not covered by Part B. Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) may cover part of the extra costs, so be sure to ask about those options when looking for Medicare coverage.
Work with Medicare Experts
If you’re getting ready to turn 65 and are looking to get enrolled in Medicare, consider reaching out to VibrantUSA. Since 2003, we have made it our business to know everything about the Medicare business. We have access to more than 50 different Medicare plans from more than 30 different carriers.
As an independent insurance agency, we work with the carrier that offers the best plan for our clients. This means we work for you, not the big insurance companies.
If you’re looking for more information about cataract surgery and other eye care, what plans offer insulin coverage, or just want to know more about Medicare enrollment, contact VibrantUSA. We’ll take the time to find out about you and your needs, then we’ll find the best plan for you at the best price.