Medicare covers vision in some circumstances, as of 2014. The scope and type of coverage depends on whether the patient has Medicare Part A, Part B or Part C.
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and only covers vision when the condition is considered a medical issue, such as an emergency or traumatic injury that requires admission to a hospital. Routine vision exams and eye refractions are not covered, and beneficiaries must pay the full cost.
Medicare Part B is medical insurance that covers yearly glaucoma screenings for high-risk individuals, cataract surgery, the artificial lenses and vision correction products associated with the surgery, and treatment for macular degeneration.
Medicare Part C is offered by private insurers and offers the same or similar benefits as Medicare, plus routine vision, dental and drug benefits.