There were only four in my metro area and two of them were Walmarts. I talked to Walmart and they said I had to pay 100% upfront, they would bill for me, and then I might get reimbursed by Medicare up to a year later. That didn't sound at all like a contractual provider.
So I talked to one of the two left and they told me they billed Medicare for me and I only had to pay my co-pay (20%) plus anything extra that Medicare doesn't cover.
Medicare covers basic frames up to $75. Any frame costing more than that, you must pay the extra at 100%. Medicare covers bifocals but NOT "no lines" or progressives. I have worn progressives for the past 12 years so there's no way I was going to try to adapt to a bifocal line. Besides, bifocals would be a problem for me. They would give me close up focus for reading and distance focus for driving. But would not correct my vision enough to have my computer screen in focus. I needed trifocals or progressives.
There was a very limited number of frames under $75 (they tried to sell me titanium frames that cost $250) but I finally found a pair that had nose pieces and no metal touching my face just under $75. My doctor ordered UV protection which Medicare covers at 80%. So overall, I paid 20% for frames, 20% for UV protection, and 20% of the cost of bifocal lenses plus 100% of the difference between the cost of Progressives and bifocals.
Very, very confusing. How do elderly on Medicare understand this stuff? So overall, my new glasses cost me $132 out of pocket. My new ones I bought out-of-pocket last year cost me $289.
Cataract surgery costs: My co-pay under Medicare was $298 per eye, $25 for anesthesia per surgery, $85 for initial eye exam, and $25 for final refraction.
My eye surgeon said that after cataract surgery, I need to have my eyes checked annually from now on (Medicare doesn't cover eye check-ups). And as presbyopia progresses, I'll probably need new glasses every 1-2 years which MEDICARE will never cover.
I seriously wonder why Medicare doesn't cover dental work, hearing aids, and glasses. All of these are necessary to keep an elderly person as socially involved in their world as possible. If they buy cheap, poor-fitting dentures, then they won't wear them and refuse to eat in public (or need a baby food diet). Without a hearing aid, they can't participate in face-to-face conversation or talk to family/friends on the phone. And without glasses with proper correction, they can't see where they are driving those expensive scooters that Medicare buys for them. Lack of social contact is the number one cause of mental decline in the elderly. But our country doesn't WANT people to live long lives. The sooner they die, the less it costs the next generation.
Medicare (and health insurance) is NOT preventive medicine. Yes, they have added a few essentials like mammograms, pap smears, prostate test, bone density testing. But that's it. They don't cover an annual exam, routine blood tests, etc. You have to have a chronic ongoing medical problem that the doctor can bill for to have Medicare cover it. Medicare essentially covers illness and disease.
|Machine: S9 VPAP S BiLevel Machine|
|Mask: AirFit™ F10 For Her Full Face Mask with Headgear|
|Humidifier: S9™ Series H5i™ Heated Humidifier with Climate Control|
|Additional Comments: Pressure Setting 22/18; Pregnancy pillow to keep me sleeping on side; Pad-A-Cheek mask liner|