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Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery?

Christian Worstell by Christian Worstell    |    Published Nov 06, 2019    |    Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare covers cataract surgery if the surgery involves an intraocular lens implant. Medicare Part B will also cover one pair of glasses or contacts after cataract surgery.

A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan can help cover cataract surgery costs such as Medicare deductibles, copays, coinsurance and other out-of-pocket costs you typically are required to pay.

An eye doctor gives a patient an eye exam
Medigap plans can help pay for cataract surgery costs such as Medicare deductibles and copays.

When Will Medicare Pay for Cataract Surgery?

While Medicare doesn’t typically pay for routine vision care, certain medically necessary vision procedures like cataract surgery are covered.

Your inpatient or outpatient status is part of what determines how much of the cost is covered.

  • Medicare Part B covers certain diagnostic tests and the procedure itself.

  • Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital costs if you are required to stay in a hospital for your cataract surgery.

Medicare covers the following vision care and cataract surgery costs:

  • Medicare will cover the cost of diagnostic eye exams, even if no major issues are found.

  • Medicare will cover some or all of the surgical procedures to repair the function of the eye due to cataracts. This includes cataract removal surgery.

  • Medicare will cover the cost of replacing your eye’s lens with basic intraocular implants.

Following a surgery that involves intraocular implants, Medicare will cover the cost of one pair of untinted prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Medigap Can Help Cover Out-of-Pocket Cataract Surgery Costs

If you are 65 or older and experiencing problems with your eyes, it’s time to speak to a doctor about your vision. For beneficiaries covered by Original Medicare, the out-of-pocket costs associated with your cataract surgery can add up. 

Medigap policy (also called Medicare Supplement Insurance) can help protect you against these costs. If you have Medicare Part A and Part B, you may be eligible to purchase a Medigap plan that fits your unique health care needs. 

For example, each type of standardized Medigap plan covers Medicare Part A coinsurance costs.

A licensed agent can help you decide on a Medicare option that works for you. Call today to speak with a licensed agent and compare the Medigap plans that are available where you live.


Find Medigap plans that help cover cataract surgery.

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Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for MedicareSupplement.com. He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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