Did you know that more than a third of seniors have not had their eye health checked in the last two years? Many eye conditions do not present symptoms until the disease has progressed. If left untreated for too long, these conditions can often lead to blindness.
Now that you are eligible for Medicare, it’s time to ensure your vision needs are taken care of.
What is covered under Original Medicare?
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does offer some vision coverage, though it is minimal.
Medicare Part A provides coverage for hospital services. For example, if there has been trauma to the eye that requires hospitalization, Medicare Part A will help cover these expenses.
Medicare Part B provides coverage for outpatient services. This includes outpatient surgery for cataract removal, glaucoma screenings (for those with high risk only), diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and treatment for cancer of the eye.
An important thing to note is that Part B is only responsible for 80% of the outpatient expenses, and there is an annual deductible of $203 in the year 2021.
What’s not covered under Original Medicare?
As previously stated, routine vision exams are not covered under Medicare Parts A and B unless the individual has a high risk for glaucoma. (Glaucoma symptoms do not typically appear until the later stages of the disease, which is why routine vision exams are essential.)
Routine eye exams are also called eye refractions and are required for those who need eyeglasses or contacts, a common occurrence during the aging process.
Additional Vision Coverage Options
Original Medicare is not enough health coverage for the average American. As a result, most Medicare beneficiaries choose to enroll in additional policies. Individuals can obtain additional vision benefits in one of three ways.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage Plans are a great option to roll many benefits into one policy, though there are several factors to consider before choosing an Advantage Plan.
Medicare Advantage Plans are also referred to as Medicare Part C. These plans bundle Medicare Parts A and B together and offer additional coverage, including vision benefits.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing Plans
A separate Dental, Vision, and Hearing (DVH) Plan is beneficial to purchase for those who do not choose to enroll in Part C.
These plans offer routine services in these three areas and help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
Individual Vision Plans
Medicare beneficiaries also have the option to purchase an individual vision plan. These plans vary in price and coverage but can be a great way to maximize your vision insurance benefits.
If you already have a vision provider that you would like to continue to see, you may want to speak with them to find out policies they recommend and which carriers they are in-network with.
While Original Medicare is a great benefit for Americans, it still does not provide ample coverage to maintain excellent overall health. Investing in vision insurance can save you more significant expenses in the future and even prevent serious conditions from occurring.