How Much Does Medicare Pay for Cataract Surgery?

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The Cost of Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery can be expensive, but the cost varies based on a few factors, including:

  • Geographic location
  • Type of surgery
  • Type of intraocular lens (IOL)

According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the average cost of cataract surgery in the United States is around $3,500 per eye. This price includes the cost of the surgeon, anesthesia, and facility fees.

However, the cost of cataract surgery can be much higher, depending on where you live and the type of surgery you need. For example, if you live in a high-cost area, such as New York City, the cost of cataract surgery can be as much as $8,000 per eye.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare Part B covers the cost of cataract surgery and related services, including:

  • Preoperative exams
  • The surgery itself
  • One pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses after surgery (if medically necessary)
  • Follow-up care

Medicare covers 80% of the cost of cataract surgery, and patients are responsible for the remaining 20%. However, if a patient has a Medicare Supplement plan, it may cover some or all of the patient’s share of the cost.

What to Expect During Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a relatively simple procedure that is performed on an outpatient basis. Here’s what to expect during the surgery:

  • The surgeon will administer eye drops to dilate the pupil and numb the eye.
  • The surgeon will make a small incision in the eye and remove the cloudy lens.
  • The surgeon will insert an IOL to replace the natural lens.
  • The surgeon will close the incision with a tiny stitch or self-sealing technique.

The entire surgery usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete, and patients can return home the same day.

After the surgery, patients may experience some mild discomfort, but this usually goes away within a few days. Patients should avoid strenuous activity and lifting heavy objects for several weeks after the surgery.


Cataract surgery is a common procedure among seniors covered by Medicare. While the cost of the surgery can be significant, Medicare Part B covers most of the cost. Patients should expect a relatively simple procedure that takes less than 30 minutes to complete.


  • Cataract surgery can be expensive, with an average cost of around $3,500 per eye.
  • Medicare Part B covers 80% of the cost of cataract surgery, and patients are responsible for the remaining 20%.
  • Cataract surgery is a relatively simple procedure that takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

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