As you may already know, the costs of eyeglasses and contact lenses are not covered by Medicare or Medicare supplement insurance. Routine eye exams are not covered either, even though cataract treatments or other eye emergencies often are covered. What can you do to offset these costs and save the maximum amount of money possible?
Ways to Save
Medicare Advantage plans typically add extra benefits, such as help with eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care and prescriptions. The benefits offered in Advantage plan varies per carrier. Make sure that you evaluate the benefits offered by each plan separately to see if it is a good fit for your needs.
Aside from Medicare Advantage plans, if you have a health savings account (HSA), you can withdraw money from your HSA tax-free to pay for eyeglasses and other qualified medical expenses.
You can also go to certain retailers and websites offering discount programs for eyeglasses. I’ve listed some that you can check out below:
> Retailer Discounts – Many retailers offer discounts, ranging from 10 to 30 percent, if you are a member of groups like AAA or AARP, so always make sure you remember to ask.
> Costco Optical – The retailer has been honored as the best by Consumer Reports for both quality eyewear as well as low prices. However, it’s important to keep in mind the fee required for members, currently at $55.
> Walmart Vision Centers & For Eyes Optical – Also good choices for low prices on both frames and exams, and no membership fees to think about.
> Online Retailers – Consider shopping online from retailers like zennioptical.com, goggles4u.com, eyebuydirect.com. Some prices are low as $7. Be sure to have details like your prescription, frame size and pupillary distance.
Remember, while Medicare does cover the majority of most medical expenses you will incur, there are still areas where you will incur out-of-pocket expenses. Even with a Medicare supplement plan you’ll still be paying for your own eye glasses. But with a little planning, you should be able to find a lot of ways to keep more money in your pocket.
Do you have questions about Medicare plans? Are you unsure if you need additional plans to help pay for eye care? Contact your Personal Benefits Consultant today!
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.