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Does Medicare Cover LASIK Eye Surgery?

Christian Worstell by Christian Worstell    |    Published Nov 14, 2019    |    Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare does not cover LASIK surgery or most other eye care services.

Learn more about the costs you’ll likely face for LASIK, as well as the procedures that Medicare does cover, such as cataract surgery.

The Cost of LASIK

Like all procedures, LASIK operations can vary widely in cost from one practitioner to the next. Still, costs do tend to average around $2,000 per eye.1

Because Medicare only covers limited vision care and does not cover lasik surgery, this may be too expensive for you to pay out of pocket. So, what other options do you have?

For seniors who have stopped working, your best bet may be financing. Your eye care provider may allow you to pay for your surgery on credit, with fixed-rate, long-term payments.

Some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) may cover LASIK eye surgery. In fact, most Medicare Advantage plans offer some coverage for routine vision care, eyeglasses, contacts and other services.

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you should also check whether the plan has vision benefits that cover LASIK.

Understanding What LASIK Is

For people with nearsightedness, farsightedness or an astigmatism, LASIK eye surgery can restore 20-20 vision with no glasses or contact lenses necessary.

During a LASIK procedure, the cornea is reshaped with a laser. Farsightedness is corrected by flattening the cornea. Nearsightedness is corrected by steepening the cornea’s curve. And for an astigmatism, the laser is used to smooth any irregularities.

The procedure generally takes 15 minutes to perform. But while it’s a relatively quick operation, LASIK does come with costs that can be significant for many. And without coverage under Medicare, patients may be responsible for paying these costs out of pocket.

Does Medicare Pay for Any Eye Surgeries?

Though Medicare doesn’t cover LASIK, it does cover some medically necessary eye care, including:

  • Cataract surgery if ordered by a doctor
  • Eyeglasses or contacts if you’ve had cataract surgery
  • An annual vision exam if you have diabetes
  • A annual vision exam if you are at high risk of glaucoma
  • Certain diagnostic testing and treatment for serious eye conditions

Note: Medicare does not cover routine eye exams, eyeglasses or contact lenses that fall outside of the situations listed above.

 

Medicare Supplement Insurance can help cover your out-of-pocket Medicare costs.

Find a plan

Or call --ms-tfn-- to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

 

1 Segre, Liz. LASIK Eye Surgery Cost. (Aug. 20, 2018). All About Vision. Retrieved from www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/cost.htm.

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