Cataract surgery is a common procedure that most people will undergo at some point in their life. But whose responsibility is it to pay for it? Is it you? Medicare or another insurance? 

The following looks at the costs of cataract surgery in 2023 and ways that the operation can be funded.

Cataract Surgery in 2023: costs, insurance, and Medicare

  • Medicare and cataract surgery
  • Insurance and cataract surgery
  • Diving into the figures: how much does cataract surgery cost in 2023

Medicare and cataract surgery

One thing many people are relieved to discover is that Medicare does cover cataract surgery. However, it’s important to know that it’s likely to only cover the more basic treatment. This means undergoing what’s known as traditional cataract surgery, which involves the use of what’s called mono-focal lenses.

These artificial lenses—known as intraocular lenses (IOL)—provide clear vision at a single distance, either near or far. Medicare will also cover the cost of a new pair of eyeglasses to provide good focus at the distance that the IOL doesn’t.

Insurance and cataract surgery

If you have other types of health insurance, this might cover more advanced cataract treatment. This could include a more advanced method of surgery, known as laser-assisted cataract surgery.

This provides the same procedure as traditional but does so using a computer program that accurately maps the interior structure of the eye. This then guides the laser to make the incision and carry out the procedure. Because of this accuracy, more advanced IOLs can be fitted. There are different types, including those that provide clear vision at near, mid, and far distances.

If you undergo laser cataract surgery, then laser treatment for astigmatism can be carried out at the same time.

Every insurance policy differs, so it’s important to speak to your provider to see exactly what’s covered.

Diving into the figures: how much does cataract surgery cost in 2023

Whether or not you have Medicare and/or health insurance, the costs of cataract surgery are the same. Some people choose to pay the extra fees for laser cataract surgery and IOLs, allowing Medicare to pay the portion that they would for traditional surgery and mono lenses.

To make budgeting easier, the following costs define what you can expect to pay for a cataract operation on a single eye.

  • Traditional cataract surgery: $3,000 to $5,000 per eye
  • Laser-assisted cataract surgery: $4,000 to $6,000 per eye, depending on the type of IOL you choose and whether or not astigmatism treatment is carried out.

These costs can seem considerable, especially considering the other challenges we’re all currently facing, including the price of the cost of living and energy. However, with many people able to take advantage of Medicare, if you choose to go for the more advanced lenses and method of surgery, the cost will be reduced accordingly by the cover.

IOLs are advancing all the time, and the quality of life such a lens can bring is considerable. Whether you have insurance to cover this or you decide to self-fund, the life-enhancing aspects these can bring mean many people decide to pay extra for these. Whichever type of lens you choose, it should be made in conjunction with your ophthalmologist, who can advise which will best suit your situation. 

Want the Ultimate Cataract Surgery? You Need the West Boca Eye Center

At the WBEC, cataract surgery is a true specialty. This is no bold claim—this purpose-built clinic leads the world in cutting-edge cataract surgery. Led by globally renowned surgical ophthalmologist, Brent Bellotte MD., people travel from across the country (and, indeed, the planet) to avail themselves of his expertise.

He heads an advanced clinical team that provides the very latest, advanced eye care treatments for all of the family. Whether you need cataract care, regular eye checks, laser vision surgery, diabetic eye treatment, or anything else related to vision, there’s no better place in the USA to which to entrust your eyesight.

Browse our website and find out more about cataract-specific treatment at