U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly), along with U.S. Reps. Kim Schrier, M.D., and Suzan DelBene of Washington; and Tom O’Halleran of Arizona, introduced the Medicare Vision Act (HR 4665), a bill that will expand Medicare Part B coverage to include routine vision benefits.
Right now, Medicare only covers surgery and screenings for people who are at a high risk of getting cataracts and glaucoma, but it but does not cover routine eye exams. Only 57 percent of Medicare beneficiaries with vision problems said they have received an eye exam during the previous year. A recent study by University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center shows 92 percent of older adults enrolled in Medicare use eyeglasses.
“Seniors on Medicare should have their vision care covered. Period,” Slotkin said. “Preventative eye exams and corrective lenses are an essential part of healthcare — but can be out of reach to older Americans since Medicare doesn’t currently cover vision care. I’m proud that my colleagues and I introduced this bill to strengthen Medicare and lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors.”
The Medicare Vision Act of 2019 will:
- Expand Medicare Part B coverage to include routine eye exams, procedures, and contact lens fitting services.
- Provide coverage for one pair of eyeglasses or a two-year supply of contact lenses.