Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is an essential procedure for many aging individuals, but understanding insurance coverage can be confusing.

“Do Medicare Advantage plans cover cataract surgery?” is a common question. Medicare Advantage, a popular alternative to Original Medicare, provides coverage for many healthcare services, including cataract surgery.

So, what exactly does Medicare Advantage cover when it comes to cataract surgery, and what are the potential costs involved? Let’s find out.


Key Takeaways

  • Medicare Advantage plans may cover cataract surgery, but coverage extent varies.



  • Alternatives such as Original Medicare and Medigap are available to cover costs associated with the procedure.

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Medicare Advantage and Cataract Surgery Coverage

Medicare Advantage plans, provided by private insurance companies, consolidate hospital, doctor, outpatient, and potentially drug coverage.

These plans may cover cataract surgery, though coverage extent varies by plan.

For older individuals, particularly due to the prevalence of cataracts with age, familiarity with Medicare Advantage plans’ coverage is beneficial.


Medicare Advantage and Cataract Surgery Coverage

Surgical intervention for cataracts becomes necessary when visual impairment cannot be remedied with a higher-powered eyeglass prescription. Laser cataract surgery entails the removal of the lens and (typically) its substitution with an artificial lens.

When considering cataract surgery and potential Medicare Advantage coverage, understanding the fundamentals of these plans, the variations in coverage, and effective comparison techniques is beneficial.


Basics of Medicare Advantage Plans


What type of lens does medicare cover for cataract surgery



Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is a bundled option compared to Original Medicare.

These private health insurance plans are funded by the federal government to provide Medicare-covered benefits to eligible individuals.

Those aged 65 years or older and those facing specific disabilities are eligible for Medicare coverage.






Various Medicare Advantage plans exist, including:


  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans
  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)


Each plan type presents varying levels of coverage and flexibility. Understanding your options to select a suitable plan for your healthcare needs is beneficial.


Cataract Surgery Coverage in Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans typically cover facility fees, surgeon fees, anesthesia, and basic intraocular lenses for cataract surgery. However, they do not generally provide coverage for premium lenses or laser-assisted surgery, which may result in out-of-pocket expenses.

Being aware that coverage restrictions or coinsurance may apply to cataract surgery depending on your specific Medicare Advantage plan is beneficial. Thus, reviewing the specifics of your plan to understand any limitations impacting your procedure coverage is advisable.


Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans for Cataract Surgery

When evaluating Medicare Advantage plans for cataract surgery, considering elements such as network restrictions, copays, and deductibles is important. Comprehending these factors can aid in making a knowledgeable choice regarding the most suitable plan for your needs.

The annual open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans runs from October 15th to December 7th. During this time, you can evaluate different plans and make changes to your healthcare coverage. Doing so can help ensure that you have the most appropriate plan for your cataract surgery needs.

Supplemental Benefits for Vision Care

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer supplemental benefits for vision care, including routine eye exams and coverage for glasses or contact lenses. These additional benefits can provide valuable support for individuals who require ongoing eye care or assistance with vision correction.

However, it’s essential to note that the extent of these supplemental benefits may vary depending on the specific Medicare Advantage plan. Be sure to review your plan’s documentation or contact your plan provider directly to understand the vision care benefits available to you.


Routine Eye Exams

Routine eye exams play a crucial role in maintaining overall eye health and detecting potential vision issues early. While Original Medicare does not typically cover routine eye exams, some Medicare Advantage plans may include coverage for these essential services.

The scope of coverage for routine eye exams under Medicare Advantage plans may differ, with some plans offering limited coverage, such as one exam per year. It’s essential to review the details of your specific Medicare Advantage plan to understand the extent of coverage for routine eye exams and any limitations that may apply.


Glasses and Contact Lenses

Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage for glasses and contact lenses, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals who require vision correction following cataract surgery. Does Medicare cover glasses?


Does medicare cover cataract surgery for seniors



Medicare Part B may cover the cost of one pair of corrective glasses or contacts after cataract surgery.

However, it’s vital to confirm your Medicare Advantage plan’s specific coverage for glasses, contact lenses, and prescription drug coverage, as this may vary depending on the plan.

Understanding your plan’s benefits can help you make informed decisions about your vision care and any necessary expenses.

Navigating Cataract Surgery with Medicare Advantage

Managing cataract surgery with Medicare Advantage involves preparation for the procedure, comprehension of coverage limitations, and administration of post-surgery care.

By investing time to investigate your Medicare Advantage plan, converse with your healthcare provider, and understand related costs, you can prepare effectively for your cataract surgery and ensure a trouble-free process.

The upcoming sections detail the steps for preparing for cataract surgery under Medicare Advantage, as well as emphasize the significance of post-surgery care and its coverage under these plans.


Preparing for Surgery

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Before undergoing cataract surgery, it’s advisable to discuss costs, insurance coverage, and any supplementary procedures with your doctor.

This can aid in understanding possible expenses and confirming that you have the required coverage in place.

Some steps to prepare for cataract surgery under Medicare Advantage include:


  1. Confirming your plan’s coverage
  2. Consulting with your ophthalmologist
  3. Obtaining a referral or pre-authorization from your primary care physician if required
  4. Scheduling the surgery with a provider who accepts your plan
  5. Adhering to any pre-operative instructions provided by your ophthalmologist, such as fasting or discontinuing certain medications before the procedure.



Post-Surgery Care

Post-surgery care is crucial to the success of your cataract surgery, and it may be covered by your Medicare Advantage plan, including follow-up visits and medications. Routine eye exams and corrective lenses may not be covered by your health plan. It’s important to check your coverage before making any decisions.

It’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s guidelines for post-operative care, such as using prescribed eye drops and attending follow-up appointments. Taking the necessary precautions to protect your eyes during the recovery period can help ensure a successful outcome and minimize the risk of complications.

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Alternatives to Medicare Advantage for Cataract Surgery Coverage

While Medicare Advantage plans cover cataract surgery, it’s beneficial to be aware of coverage alternatives. Original Medicare and Medigap plans are two options providing cataract surgery coverage.

Comprehending the differences between these alternatives and Medicare Advantage can assist in making knowledgeable choices about your healthcare coverage, ensuring that necessary services for successful cataract surgery are accessible.


Original Medicare and Cataract Surgery


Does medicare part b cover cataract surgery Original Medicare, which consists of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, covers 80% of cataract surgery costs after the Part B deductible has been satisfied.

Patients are responsible for the remaining 20% and any additional services not covered by Original Medicare.

Does Medicare cover cataract surgery? Yes, it does, as explained above. So, when it comes to Medicare cover for cataract, patients can rely on Original Medicare for assistance with cataract surgery costs.

In summary, Medicare covers cataract surgery for eligible patients, and the Medicare pay portion significantly reduces the financial burden.

While Original Medicare provides coverage for cataract surgery, it’s essential to understand the potential out-of-pocket expenses associated with this coverage.

Discussing these costs with your healthcare provider and insurance company can help you better prepare for your cataract surgery and avoid unexpected expenses.



Medigap and Cataract Surgery

Medigap plans, also known as Medicare Supplement insurance, can help provide cover for cataract surgery and other out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles and coinsurance.

These private insurance policies are sold by companies to help pay for expenses not covered by Original Medicare.

By understanding the benefits of Medigap plans and how they can complement your Original Medicare coverage, you can make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage and ensure that you have the necessary support for your cataract surgery.


In conclusion, Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for cataract surgery, but the extent of coverage may vary depending on the specific plan.

Understanding the costs associated with cataract surgery, the coverage provided by Medicare Advantage plans, and the alternatives available can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage and ensure a successful outcome for your cataract surgery.

By being proactive in understanding your insurance options, you can focus on what matters most: regaining clear vision and enjoying a higher quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions



Does UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage cover cataract surgery?

Yes, UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage does cover cataract surgery. It will pay for the removal and insertion of a conventional intraocular lens, regardless of whether the surgery is performed using traditional techniques or a laser.

It also covers glaucoma tests, macular degeneration tests and treatments and eye exams for people with diabetes.


→  Does Humana Medicare Advantage pay for cataract surgery?

Yes, Humana Medicare Advantage plans cover cataract surgery as they are required to offer the same coverage as Original Medicare. This includes medically necessary cataract surgery, which can cost between $3,500 and $7,000 per eye.


→  Does Aetna Medicare Advantage pay for cataract surgery?

Yes, Aetna Medicare Advantage plans cover medically necessary cataract surgery, as well as additional vision services not covered by Original Medicare.


→  Does Medicare cover multifocal lenses for cataract surgery?

Unfortunately, Medicare and other medical insurance do not cover the cost of multifocal lens implants for cataract surgery; patients should expect an out-of-pocket expense if they select this option.


→  What aspects of cataract surgery are covered by Medicare Advantage plans?

Medicare Advantage plans typically cover facility fees, surgeon fees, anesthesia, and basic intraocular lenses for cataract surgery, making cataract removal more accessible to many. However, they may not cover premium lenses or laser-assisted surgery.

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Russell Noga
( Medicare Expert )

Russell Noga is the CEO of ZRN Health & Financial Services, and head content editor of several Medicare insurance online publications. He has over 15 years of experience as a licensed Medicare insurance broker helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.