Vision Care for Older Adults with Medicare Options: Can be free?

Low or blurred vision can be a price for getting older. Medicare provides coverage for eye care if you have conditions such as cataracts, diabetes, or glaucoma. But the general Medicare Plan doesn’t cover routine vision care.

Almost all (99%) of Medicare Advantage plans offer some vision benefits. And benefits were capped at an average of $160 a year in 2021.

We explore what you need to consider to take full advantage of Medicare’s vision benefits. We also offer free quotes and tips on how you can find savings with Medicare.

Does Medicare Pay for Vision Care & Glasses?

  • Original Medicare doesn’t pay for routine vision check-ups or glasses. Still, Part B (medical insurance) helps cover some vision-related services if you have an eye disease or accidental eye problem.


  • Medicare Advantage plans, a replacement option to Original Medicare, provide the same coverage as Part B and more. Most Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offer some coverage for regular eye care and glasses.


  • Part B vision care coverage limits to medically necessary treatment or surgery for your eye problems. Some eye conditions covered by Part B may be a normal part of aging and are considered Medicare Covered Services. Medicare Advantage plans include all Medicare covered services and some non-Medicare-covered services, such as financial reimbursement for routine eye exams and glasses.

Older Adults Vision Care Coverage with Medicare


If you have diabetes, Medicare covers a yearly eye exam to check for diabetic retinopathy. And this cannot be paid for more than one time.


An annual glaucoma exam is covered if you are at high risk for the disease. Medicare’s risk factors are whether you have diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, are over 50 and African American, or are over 65 and Hispanic.

Macular Degeneration

Medicare will pay for specific diagnostic tests and treatment for age-related macular degeneration if you have the disease.

In all situations, you will have some out-of-pocket costs: 20% of the Medicare Approved Rate for the test or treatment and additional payment if the procedure is performed in a hospital outpatient setting. Part B deductibles apply, meaning Medicare will begin paying its portion once you reach your annual deductible.

Original Medicare will cover some of the costs of medically necessary cataract surgery and new glasses or contact lenses you may need.

You’ll typically pay a 20% copay for the procedure and corrective lenses. Just make sure your lens provider is enrolled in Medicare. Part B deductibles apply.

Get Medicare Coverage for Routine Vision Care or Services

To learn more about Medicare plans, you may be eligible to do the following:


  • Call NewMedicare licensed insurance agents at 855-481-2126. We are available 24/7. You may take a messaging service on weekends and holidays, please leave a message, and we will back your call the next business day.


  • Enter your zip code, which we requested on this page, to see the quote.