Does Medicare Supplement Plan G Cover Cataract Surgery
Does Medicare Supplement Plan G Cover Cataract Surgery?
As we begin to age, cataracts become a common eye issue. The condition impacts the eye’s lens, causing clouded vision and difficulty reading, driving, or doing other things we enjoy. Cataract symptoms are normally mild in the beginning. However, they may continue to worsen. When cataract symptoms begin to negatively impact a person’s quality of life, cataract surgery to replace the damaged lens may be needed.
Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, Plan G may enhance your Original Medicare coverage. After you purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan G policy, a cataract surgery could be nearly 100% covered (excluding the Plan G premium and your annual Medicare Part B deductible).
Cataracts arise when the eye’s lens begins to cloud. For the impacted individual, it’s almost like peering through a foggy window. Often, cataracts develop quite slowly. They can even remain unnoticed for a duration of time. During early stages, brighter environments or eye glasses will help vision. But as cataracts worsen, a variety of more serious symptoms occur, such as:
- Blurred and cloudy vision
- Double vision in one or both eyes
- Halo vision in one or both eyes
- Difficulty seeing in dark environments or driving at night
- Fading of colors
- Needing a lot more light to perform routine activities both in the daytime and at night
- The constant need for new prescription lenses
We may be more vulnerable to cataracts with age, but certain people can be at a higher risk due to their genetic makeup, a history of eye issues or surgeries, pre-existing conditions such as hypertension or diabetes, or long-term, sustained use of prescription steroids.
Cataracts impact the eye’s lens, which is located behind the iris (the part of your eye with color). Your lens is able to change shape, which allows it to properly focus light. In turn, this allows images to be put into focus, no matter if they’re far away or close. As we age, the lens begins to thicken and harden. With cataracts, the lens starts to break down. The broken pieces of the lens then begin to clump up, which is what leads to the clouded vision.
How cataracts are treated
The best way to treat cataracts is with cataract surgery. It’s often the best decision for people who are losing quality of life due to vision loss. If cataracts aren’t repaired, they will continue to degenerate. However, they won’t cause any eye damage is they’re left unattended. There’s no need to think that an immediate surgical repair is needed.
During cataract surgery, the lens is removed and replaced with an artificial counterpart. That new artificial lens will then permanently become part of the eye. For certain people with other eye conditions or diseases, the use of an artificial lens may not be an option. In cases like this, the cloudy lens gets removed and vision is corrected using glasses or contact lenses.
Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover cataract surgery?
Original Medicare is comprised of Part A and Part B. Because cataract surgery will typically be performed as an outpatient procedure, Medicare Part B will be the main source of coverage.
Medicare Supplement Plan G, a Medigap plan, may provide additional coverage beyond what Original Medicare covers.
Plan G coverage will include Medicare Part A hospital costs, coinsurance, copayments and coinsurance, and the Part A deductible. For Medicare Part B costs, Medicare Supplement Plan G includes copayment and coinsurance costs and excess charges. It doesn’t, however, cover any out-of-pocket costs of the plan’s deductible.
With cataract surgery most often being performed on an outpatient basis, it’ll be covered under Part B. Then, your Medicare Supplement Plan G will cover the associated costs, excluding the annual Part B deductible and the Medigap plan’s premium payments. Premium amounts and deductibles will vary for each plan. It’s important to talk with your provider to make sure you’re familiar with the associated costs before having cataract surgery.
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