Out of the five human senses, we mostly rely upon vision in our everyday lives. Whether you’re admiring photos of your grandchildren, enjoying your favorite crossword puzzles, or reading the daily newspaper, vision allows us to take in information about our activities and surroundings. Because vision is so important, you may be wondering, “Does Medicare cover vision?”
In short – yes, but you will be responsible for the bill if you have Original Medicare.
Original Medicare, also known as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, doesn’t cover routine eye exams. If you see an eye doctor for a routine visit, then you will be responsible for 100% of the final bill. However, Medicare Part B will cover an eye exam if you have diabetes and/or an annual glaucoma test if you are at high risk for glaucoma. You’re also eligible for a simple eye screen provided by your primary care provider at your yearly Wellness visit.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Part C, cover extra benefits like vision, dental care, and hearing. These plans are offered through private insurance companies that have contracts with Medicare. Because Medicare Advantage Plans vary in coverage between each other, you’ll need to contact the plan directly to confirm your vision benefits.
Unfortunately, the natural aging process will affect our eyes. Visual changes begin around the fourth decade and affect the way that we see objects up close. As we grow older, other eye conditions may arise. The three most common eye conditions seen in seniors are macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends annual routine eye checks beginning at age 40. Once you reach the age of 65, you should visit an eye doctor every 1-2 years if you don’t have any issues.
It is important to see an eye doctor right away if you notice new vision problems, have a family history of eye disease, or experience frequent falls. Early detection of visual problems is your best option for treatment and prevention of worsening symptoms.
Keep your eyes healthy by increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, specifically dark and leafy greens, and citrus fruits for Vitamin C. Experts also recommend adding essential fatty acids, like those found in nuts and fish, to your diet.
Taking a multivitamin with adequate daily amounts of Vitamin A through E is also proven to be beneficial for your eyesight. If you aren’t a fan of nuts and fish, then check with your doctor to see if you can add fish oil supplements as they are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
We rely upon our vision for the most basic tasks, which is why keeping our eyes healthy is so important. Protect your eye health by engaging in healthy eating habits and seeing the eye doctor for an annual routine visit.
Navigating through the benefits of each Medicare plan can be complicated. If you are unsure about your options for health insurance coverage through Medicare or are wondering what does Medicare cover, feel free to fill out the form or give us a call to speak with our licensed insurance agents today.