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eye insurance @ medicare
Old 04-30-2010, 07:29 AM   #1
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eye insurance @ medicare

What do retired folks do for eye insurance while on medicare? If someone is developing an eye problem like cataracts, what would they be looking at in terms of coverages and expenses?

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:12 AM   #2
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I'm not on Medicare yet, but based on the experience of my parents it does cover cataract surgery under Part B. I understand Medicare won't pay for the services of an optometrist, but since surgery is performed by a physician, it is covered.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:44 AM   #3
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What do retired folks do for eye insurance while on medicare? If someone is developing an eye problem like cataracts, what would they be looking at in terms of coverages and expenses?
This google search - "eye surgery" +medicare - Google Search - has a lot to offer.

You could also look in Medicare Rights Center - Home, particularly the "Medicare Answers" section at Medicare Rights Center - Medicare Answers or in the Archives of their Newsletters -- Medicare Rights Center - Newsletter Sign-up. (Dear Marci would be a good source.)
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:26 AM   #4
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Thank you for replies. I am glad to hear cataracts surgery is covered by Medicare. I am not sure if there are other large costs related to cataracts however that would be outside of the surgery itself? And more generally, for any other eye care, what is the common wisdom on what should be done in terms of getting insurance or not and what kinds?
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:43 PM   #5
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What do retired folks do for eye insurance while on medicare? If someone is developing an eye problem like cataracts, what would they be looking at in terms of coverages and expenses?
Recently I went through the same situation. Medicare covers the cataracts removal & one pair of cheap eye glasses & one eye glass examination. If you need contact lenses, neither the exam nor the contacts are covered. I priced out Secure Horizons supplemental insurance and it cost more than my paying for contact exam $120 & contacts ( $150 ). Don't forget, the supplemental insurance is not going to pay your yearly contact lens bill, but you will be paying the premium.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
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Thank you for replies. I am glad to hear cataracts surgery is covered by Medicare. I am not sure if there are other large costs related to cataracts however that would be outside of the surgery itself? And more generally, for any other eye care, what is the common wisdom on what should be done in terms of getting insurance or not and what kinds?
I will go on Medicare tomorrow (literally!) But I have been on Tricare ever since I retired from the Navy and the two are very similar in what they cover and they are exactly the same on their reimbursement rates. I also have eye issues (glaucoma) and get seen regularly by an opthamologist. I've had a couple of laser surgeries and in the future may need the type of surgery where they actually cut. All of this has been covered (not fully, obviously, as I pay the deductibles and co-pays just like I would if it were some other medical problem.)

That said, I don't really understand the distinction you are making between "eye insurance" and health insurance generally. If your eyes get sick, need surgery or whatever, you go to the doctor (a specialist in this case) and get care which is reimbursed at rates that are already established on a procedure by procedure basis. You will not be covered for eye glasses or contact lenses. A lot of the major optical chains give discounts for AARP members. I just had new lenses put in my existing frames at WalMart and am very happy with the product and the price.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:45 PM   #7
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Thank you for replies. I am glad to hear cataracts surgery is covered by Medicare. I am not sure if there are other large costs related to cataracts however that would be outside of the surgery itself? And more generally, for any other eye care, what is the common wisdom on what should be done in terms of getting insurance or not and what kinds?
I believe that medicare will cover the base solution, with a low expense eye lens replacement. But that you can upgrade to a better solution and pay the difference. That is what a neighbor did.

On regular eye exams, contacts, etc. I don't carry eye insurance now (nor dental insurance), because it's not any cheaper than paying out of pocket for those items. In fact, probably more expensive in the long run.

Audrey
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