Does Walmart Vision Center Accept Medicare?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • You may be able to use your Medicare coverage at Walmart Vision Centers if you have a Medicare Advantage plan with vision benefits that’s accepted at your Walmart location. Not every Walmart vision center accepts Medicare, so always call ahead or verify in person.

Many Walmart locations throughout the U.S. have their very own vision centers staffed with licensed optometrists. In fact, Walmart is now the third-leading provider of optical goods in America.

Many Walmart vision centers accept multiple types of insurance, including Medicare. Not every Walmart vision center is guaranteed to accept Medicare, so always call ahead or verify in person before receiving any services or products. If your nearest Walmart vision center does not accept Medicare, you may be able to find another location that does.

If a Walmart vision center accepts Medicare, they must also accept Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap). And many Walmart vision centers may also accept Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans. (More on Medicare Advantage vision coverage below.)

Does Medicare Pay for Glasses and Eye Exams?

While Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not cover routine vision care, which includes eyeglasses and eye exams, many Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) offer vision coverage.

Medicare Part B will cover the cost of one pair of corrective lenses following a cataract surgery to implant an intraocular lens. The benefit includes one set of corrective lenses with standard frames or one set of contact lenses. In such a case, you would pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount after you meet your annual Part B deductible.

Medicare Advantage plans often include vision coverage. These plans are sold by private insurance companies and include all the same coverage as Original Medicare while also adding some benefits not found in Original Medicare. These additional benefits may often include vision, dental, hearing, prescription drug coverage and more.

Medicare Advantage vision coverage will vary by plan, but coverage for annual eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses are often included. They also can include discounts on laser eye surgery or other procedures.

Medicare Advantage costs typically include a monthly premium (though many plans feature $0 monthly premiums) along with a deductible and coinsurance or copayments.

These plans are offered by many of the nation’s leading insurance carriers and are often accepted by Walmart vision centers. Once again, confirm your insurance coverage with Walmart first or contact your plan to learn where you may be able to use it. Medicare Advantage plans may come in the form of an HMO plan (which may limit use to a network of participating providers) or a PPO plan (which may grant more freedom to see additional providers).

You can compare Medicare Advantage plans online to find out what the plans available near you cover and where they are accepted. 

What Other Eye Care Services Does Medicare Cover?

Original Medicare’s vision care is limited. Aside from the corrective lenses following cataract surgery, the only other vision care covered by Original Medicare includes:

  • Glaucoma tests every 12 months if you’re considered to be at high risk
  • Annual eye exams for diabetic retinopathy if you have diabetes
  • Certain tests and treatment for eye diseases if you have macular degeneration

Medicare Advantage plans that include vision coverage, however, typically provide more vision benefits than Original Medicare.

How Much Is an Eye Exam at Walmart Without Insurance?

According to VisionCenter.org, an eye exam at Walmart will likely cost at least $75 without insurance. The cost of an eye exam may vary by location.

That cost is similar to the estimated cost of eye exams without insurance at other major retailers such as Target, Costco and LensCrafters but may be more expensive than at Sam’s Club. However, an eye exam at Walmart may be cheaper than the national average without insurance, which is estimated at around $95.

Does Walmart Vision Center Offer Good Service?

Walmart vision centers offer a good value on frames and lenses. They prioritize affordability, so your selection of high-end brand name products may be limited.

Optometrists at Walmart vision centers are fully licensed and certified.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for HelpAdvisor.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of federal benefits and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as VoxMSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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