When treating myopia, the goal is to help your eyes focus on far away objects. The most common way to achieve this is through corrective glasses and contact lenses. Eye surgery, such as LASIK, is available for adults and those with moderate to high levels of nearsightedness. Adults who have developed cataracts may also have their myopia corrected with an intraocular lens (IOL) that replaces the human lens during cataract surgery. The most appropriate treatment depends on your eyes and your lifestyle.
Myopia: Contacts and Glasses
Eyeglasses and contact lenses can correct myopia. However, they cannot stop the eye from growing longer or cure the irregular curve of the cornea that causes your blurry vision.
Surgery can decrease or eliminate dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. LASIK surgery is the most common type of surgery to correct myopia. In adults with cataracts, nearsightedness can also be corrected as part of the cataract surgery procedure.
Will Insurance Pay to Diagnose and Treat Myopia?
Regular eye exams most often include tests that identify nearsightedness, so it generally will not cost extra to be diagnosed. If your insurance plan includes vision benefits, it may pay for most or all of your annual regular eye exams. In addition, most plans provide a discount for prescription eyeglasses and
contacts. This is often a set payment toward one pair of glasses or your annual contact lens supply for a year. The discount/payment can vary. Extras and premium features such as tinted lenses, prescription sunglasses and colored contacts, are not typically covered by standard vision plans. You may have to pay for these out of your pocket.
Generally, the cost of surgery to correct nearsightedness is not covered by insurance because it is viewed as an elective surgery. However, some plans may provide partial coverage when:
- Myopia was a result of another surgery.
- Myopia is very severe. There are no standard guidelines in this area so coverage can vary.
Check to see if your plan provides benefits. Even if no insurance is available, eye surgeons who specialize in these advanced procedures can often offer payment plans that you can take advantage of.
Cataract surgery that also corrects myopia is covered by Medicare and most private plans. However, depending on the lens chosen or if you have surgery earlier than the guidelines allow, you may have to pay some additional out-of-pocket costs and charges.