What Type of Lens Does Medicare Cover for Cataract Surgery?

Compare affordable Medicare Plans

Russell Noga
by Russell Noga | Updated December 21st, 2023

What Type of Lens Does Medicare Cover for Cataract Surgery?

What type of lens does Medicare cover for cataract surgery?Are you or a loved one facing cataract surgery and wondering “What type of lens does Medicare cover for cataract surgery?”

With the variety of intraocular lenses available and the complexities of Medicare coverage, it’s essential to grasp the details to make informed decisions.

In this informative guide, we’ll explore Medicare’s coverage for cataract surgery, the types of lenses available, and additional coverage options to help you navigate this crucial medical decision.


Key Takeaways

  • Cataract surgery requires patients to be informed of the different lens options available.
  • Medicare covers standard monofocal lenses for cataract surgery, but enhanced lenses such as toric and multifocal must be paid out-of-pocket.
  • It is important to consider costs, coverage, and understand lens options when preparing for cataract surgery in order to make an informed decision.

Understanding Cataract Surgery and Lens Options

Cataract surgery, including laser cataract surgery, involves removing the cloudy lens from the eye and replacing it with an artificial one, known as an intraocular lens (IOL).

As the primary cause of blindness globally, cataracts are a significant health concern. Patients thus need to comprehend the available lens options for cataract surgery.


Types of Intraocular Lenses

Various types of IOLs are available, including:


  • monofocal,
  • toric,
  • multifocal,
  • and EDOF lenses.


Monofocal lenses have a fixed focus for one distance, providing optimal vision at that specific distance.

In contrast, toric lenses correct preexisting regular keratometric astigmatism, providing undistorted distance vision.

Multifocal lenses allow for both distance and near vision correction, working by utilizing multiple optical powers at different areas throughout the lens.


Factors to Consider in Lens Selection

Several factors influence the choice of an IOL for cataract surgery, including:


  • Visual goals
  • Profession
  • Hobbies
  • Personality

Additionally, the cost of intraocular lenses can be a significant consideration. Standard monofocal lenses typically range from $300 to $500 per lens, while more advanced refractive IOLs can cost between $1,995 to $2,500 per lens. Ultimately, the lens selection should be based on the individual patient’s needs and preferences.



View Medicare Rates for 2024

Enter Zip Code



Medicare’s Coverage of Cataract Surgery

Medicare provides coverage for various medical procedures, including the question of does medicare covers cataract surgery. The extent of cataract surgery coverage varies based on the plan, be it Original Medicare (Part B) or Medicare Advantage (Part C).

Both plans cover cataract surgery when deemed medically necessary by a physician, but the specific benefits and out-of-pocket expenses may differ.


Original Medicare (Part B) Coverage

Original Medicare (Part B) covers cataract surgery at an ambulatory surgical center, and patients are responsible for 20% of the Medicare pay for cataract surgery after meeting their Part B deductible.

This coverage includes the surgical center facility fee, the surgeon fee, and the anesthesia fee under certain circumstances.

However, out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, coinsurance, and additional costs related to upgraded lenses or services may still apply.


Medicare Advantage (Part C) Coverage

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, provided by private commercial insurance companies, also offer cataract surgery coverage.

These plans include all the benefits of Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and additional coverage options.

Nonetheless, copays and deductibles might apply, so consulting with your plan representative to comprehend the specific coverage and costs associated with cataract surgery is advisable.



book appointment



Standard Intraocular Lenses: What Medicare Covers

Medicare covers standard monofocal intraocular lenses for cataract surgery. These lenses provide clear vision at one distance, typically far away, and are the most cost-effective option for patients.


Benefits of Standard Monofocal Lenses

With a high success rate, standard monofocal lenses yield excellent visual outcomes. They are also cost-effective compared to other types of intraocular lenses, as research has shown that multifocal IOLs incur higher expenses with minimal benefits.

As a result, standard monofocal lenses are generally recommended as a more cost-effective choice for cataract surgery.


Limitations of Standard Monofocal Lenses

A drawback of standard monofocal lenses, as opposed to eyeglasses or contact lenses, is their potential need for glasses to aid near or intermediate vision.

This is because monofocal lenses are designed to improve vision at only one distance, either near or far, and additional glasses may be required to correct vision at other distances.

Additionally, standard monofocal lenses can generate visual distortions and oblique astigmatism in the periphery.

Enhanced Lenses and Medicare: What Isn’t Covered

While enhanced lenses, including toric and multifocal lenses, bring extra benefits for cataract surgery patients, Medicare does not cover them and they necessitate out-of-pocket payment.

Cost of cataract surgery with medicare

Toric Lenses for Astigmatism Correction

Toric lenses are designed to correct astigmatism during cataract surgery by offsetting the irregular curvature of the cornea or lens in the eye. They offer improved distance vision without the need for eyeglasses.

However, Medicare does not cover toric lenses for cataract surgery, and patients can expect cataract surgery costs to be between $900 and $1,500 per eye for these lenses.


Multifocal and EDOF Lenses for Presbyopia Correction

Multifocal and EDOF lenses are used to correct presbyopia, a condition that results in difficulty focusing on nearby objects.

They provide improved vision at multiple distances, allowing patients to reduce their reliance on glasses after cataract surgery.

Regrettably, Medicare does not provide coverage for multifocal or EDOF lenses for cataract surgery, hence patients must brace for the added out-of-pocket costs linked to these lenses.

Financial Considerations and Additional Coverage Options

To help cover costs not covered by Medicare, including prescription drug coverage, patients can consider Medigap plans and private insurance, as well as vision plans that may offer additional Medicare cover for enhanced lenses and other non-covered services, including Medicare cover glasses.


Medigap Plans

Medigap plans, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, are designed to help cover out-of-pocket expenses associated with Medicare-covered services, such as cataract surgery.

Does medicare cover cataract surgery Enrollment in Medigap is best during the six-month enrollment period that begins after signing up for Original Medicare.

While Medigap focuses on supplementing Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage Plan offers an alternative way to receive your Medicare benefits.

Remember, Medigap does not extend coverage to all services. For example, it does not provide coverage for:



Private Insurance and Vision Plans

Private insurance plans, including vision plans, may offer additional coverage for cataract surgery and lens options. While health insurance plans typically cover cataract surgery, vision insurance plans usually do not.

However, certain vision plans may provide coverage for advanced lens options, such as toric or presbyopia-correcting lenses, as an alternative to the basic lens.

Reviewing the details of your specific vision plan is critical to grasp the extent of coverage for cataract surgery and lens options.

Preparing for Cataract Surgery: Questions to Ask Your Doctor

When preparing for cataract surgery, discussing your lens options, costs, and coverage with your doctor is key to making informed decisions.

Does medicare pay for cataract surgery with astigmatism

Understanding your options and assessing costs and coverage will help ensure you choose the best lens for your needs and minimize any unexpected financial burdens.


Understanding Your Options

Discussing the functional differences between monofocal, multifocal, and EDOF lenses with your doctor will help you understand your lens options.

Consider the success rates of different intraocular lenses and the advantages and potential drawbacks of each lens type. Be sure to ask your doctor about any factors or conditions that may affect your eligibility for certain types of lenses.


Assessing Costs and Coverage

Assessing the costs and how to pay for cataract surgery, inclusive of any out-of-pocket expenses for enhanced lenses, is crucial.

Review your Medicare plan and any supplemental insurance or vision plans you may have to understand the extent of coverage for cataract surgery and lens choices.

Additionally, consider the anticipated out-of-pocket expenses for cataract surgery with Medicare coverage and the extra charges for enhanced lenses, such as toric lenses for astigmatism correction or multifocal and EDOF lenses for presbyopia correction.


In conclusion, understanding Medicare coverage for cataract surgery and lens options is crucial for patients facing this procedure.

By discussing your options with your doctor, assessing costs and coverage, and considering additional insurance plans, you can make informed decisions about the best lens choice for your needs and minimize unexpected financial burdens.

With the right information and preparation, you can approach your cataract surgery with confidence and clarity.



Get Quotes Now!

Enter Zip Code



Frequently Asked Questions

Does Medicare cover special lenses for cataract surgery?

Yes, Medicare covers the cost of intraocular lenses (IOLs) implanted during cataract surgery, as it is considered medically necessary.

Additionally, corrective lenses such as eyeglasses or contact lenses may be covered depending on the situation. Advanced technology lenses and elective surgeries to correct vision are not typically covered by Medicare.


Does Medicare pay for toric lens for cataract surgery?

Medicare covers standard cataract surgery, but will not pay for advanced technology lenses such as toric or multifocal lens implants, or any associated services related to the insertion or adjustment of these lenses.


What are the three types of lenses for cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery offers three types of intraocular lenses: monofocal, toric, and presbyopia-correcting. Monofocal lenses provide either distance or near correction, toric lenses reduce astigmatism, and presbyopia-correcting lenses correct both near and far vision.


What additional coverage options are available to help cover the costs of cataract surgery and lens options?

Additional coverage options, such as Medigap plans and private insurance vision plans, are available to help cover the costs of cataract surgery and lens options.


What are the benefits and limitations of standard monofocal lenses?

Paragraph 1: Standard monofocal lenses offer excellent distance vision, are cost-effective, and have a high success rate. However, they may require glasses for near or intermediate vision, thus presenting a limitation.

Find the Right Medicare Plan for You

Finding the right Medicare Plan 2024 doesn’t have to be confusing. Whether it’s a Medigap plan, or you want to know what type of lens Medicare covers for cataract surgery, we can help.

Call us today at 1-888-891-0229 and one of our knowledgeable, licensed insurance agents will be happy to assist you!


Medicare Supplement Plan G Rates