Helpful Tips from Medicare: Keep an Eye on your vision health

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While Medicare doesn’t cover routine eye examinations, it does cover one glaucoma screening every 12 months for those at high risk. Many people have early glaucoma and don’t even realize it, and early detection can help prevent serious loss of eyesight.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve. This nerve sends information from your eyes to your brain. If it is damaged with glaucoma, you can begin to lose patches of vision, especially side vision. The good news is that if you have glaucoma, it doesn’t have to lead to blindness. Treatment in the early stages is very effective, and that’s where using your Medicare coverage comes in.

How do you know if you’re considered high risk for glaucoma?

If any one of the following conditions applies to you, you could be high risk and eligible for a Medicare-covered glaucoma screening every 12 months:

  • You have diabetes
  • You have a family history of glaucoma
  • You’re African American and age 50 or older
  • You’re Hispanic and age 65 or older

What is the cost?

If you have Original Medicare, after meeting your Part B deductible ($240 in 2024), you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, see your plan details for your out-of-pocket costs.

For more information, see You can also watch the video below.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.