Senior Glaucoma Test

Does Medicare Cover Glaucoma?

Medicare Part B does cover Glaucoma Tests

Medicare.gov says Medicare Part B does cover glaucoma tests once every 12 months if you are at high risk for glaucoma. Medicare considers you at “high risk” if you have one or more of the following:

  • You have diabetes
  • A family history of glaucoma
  • You are African American and age 50 or older
  • You are Hispanic and age 65 or older

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

If any of the above applies to you, Medicare will cover your glaucoma test. So what exactly does Medicare pay?

Does Medicare Cover Glaucoma - doctor examines the eye of senior

How much does Medicare cover for Glaucoma Test?

Does Medicare Cover Glaucoma - Senior Glaucoma Test

Medicare pays 80% of your glaucoma test. Consequently, you pay the other 20% and the Part B deductible. Furthermore, you pay a copayment in an outpatient hospital setting. 

However, a Medicare Supplement Plan, such as Plan G, can pay 100% of your Part B coinsurance and copayment costs. Call 1-855-368-4717 to speak with a licensed agent at Senior Healthcare Direct. We can help you choose the best Medigap Plan that’s right for you.

Why get a glaucoma test every year?

According to the CDC.gov, half of the people with glaucoma don’t know they have it. Early diagnosis provides you the opportunity to take prescription eye drops to stop the progression of glaucoma. Furthermore, there is no cure for glaucoma, and it’s a leading cause of blindness.

Now that you know why you need a glaucoma test every year, what exactly is glaucoma?

Senior eye drops

What is Glaucoma?

What is Glaucoma illustration of eye anatomy

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says, “Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve.” Glaucoma usually occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. As a result, eye pressure increases and damages the optic nerve.

The Mayo Clinic eye anatomy illustration shows glaucoma causes abnormally high pressure in your eye. This illustration shows the most common form of glaucoma called “Open-angle” – the drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris remains open. This type of glaucoma results in “patchy blind spots” often in both eyes, and “tunnel vision” in advanced stages.

5 Steps to Prevent Glaucoma and Vision Loss

By taking the following steps, you can help prevent glaucoma and vision loss. For those who have glaucoma, step number four can slow its progress.

  1. Regular dilated eye examinations can help detect glaucoma in its early stages. If you are at high-risk for glaucoma, Medicare covers your eye exams once a year. 
  2. Ask your relatives, “Does our family have any history of glaucoma?” If your mother or father had glaucoma, you are at high-risk for glaucoma, and Medicare will cover your glaucoma eye exams.
  3. Furthermore, high blood pressure or poor blood circulation can increase your glaucoma risk (aar.org). Therefore, the Mayo Clinic advises, “moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure.” 
  4. Moreover, the Mayo Clinic says people with glaucoma who regularly take prescribed eye drops “can significantly reduce the risk that high eye pressure will progress to glaucoma.”
  5. Finally, serious eye injuries can lead to glaucoma, so wear eye protection. For example, when working with power tools, use safety goggles. When playing sports like racquetball, wear safety glasses. 
Medicare does cover glaucoma eye dilation exam
Senior gets his pupils dilated for his glaucoma eye exam.
Senior ladies walking outside may help prevent glaucoma
Moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma.

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Last Updated on June 18, 2021 by Brian Kondas