Cataract surgery is something that most, if not all, of us will undergo if we’re fortunate enough to reach a ripe old age. However, as with every form of medical intervention, it has to be paid for.
This is where you begin to wonder if Medicare will cover the costs. At the most basic level, the answer is yes, you will be reimbursed. However, this comes with some provisos that depend on the type of surgery and any upgrades that you choose.
The following is a guide to what is and what isn’t covered by Medicare when the time comes to have a cataract procedure.
Medicare and Cataract Surgery: everything you need to know
- Types of cataract surgery
- An easy guide to the question—does Medicare cover cataract surgery?
Types of cataract surgery
There are two different forms of cataract surgery:
- Traditional cataract surgery
- Laser-assisted cataract surgery
Both have the same outcome—to remove the diseased lens and replace it with an artificial one. The difference between the two involves how the procedure is carried out and the type of lens that can be inserted.
Let’s first talk about the procedure. With traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the cornea, folding down a tiny flap so a laser can be inserted and guided into the lens capsule. Ultrasound is then applied to break down the diseased lens, which is then suctioned out. The surgeon then attached a new lens—known as an intraocular lens (IOL)—and closes the incision without using stitches.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery involves the same, but before it’s carried out a detailed geography of the internal eye is mapped by a computer program. Once done, the computer guides the laser to make the incision and carry out the breakdown of the lens. It then places the lens in a pre-determined and extremely accurate position. The laser can also be used to carry out treatment for astigmatism at the same time.
The type of lens that can be inserted is different for both types of operation. With traditional cataract surgery, a monofocal lens is used. This means that you’ll have good sight at either a near or far distance and wear eyeglasses to improve the other.
With laser-assisted cataract surgery, you have a choice of what are known as premium IOLs.
- Multifocal lenses: Much in the same way as bifocal eyeglasses, these will allow you to see naturally at both near and far distances. There are even types that include intermediate distance, similar to trifocal eyeglasses.
- Toric lenses: These correct astigmatism.
- Accommodation lenses: These use the muscles of the eye to focus. While the lens only has a single focusing distance, it allows the eye to change the focus according to where you’re looking.
An easy guide to the question—does Medicare cover cataract surgery?
So… To the question of whether Medicare covers cataract surgery. In short, most Medicare covers traditional surgery with a monofocal lens. It also covers a single pair of prescription eyeglasses for the other sight difference.
However, many people pay the additional costs of the laser-assisted procedure and premium lenses—a workable situation for many people who want the advantages of the increased technology.
Need Cataract Surgery? Medicare, Insurance, or Self-Funded? Contact the West Boca Eye Center Today
The WBEC is a leading US facility that provides a one-stop shop for everything related to eye health. From regular eye checks to cutting-edge cataract surgery and the latest IOLs (and everything in between), this academic-grade clinic is headed by globally renowned consultant ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon, Dr. Brent Bellotte.
Whether you’re looking for Medicare-covered procedures or any other way of funding, our expert team will guide you every step of the way.
Check out our cataract services at https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/cataract-surgery/ and call today for a no-obligation appointment.