UnitedHealthcare Medicare Vision Coverage
- UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans typically offer vision coverage, which isn’t offered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B). In this review, we outline what UHC Medicare vision benefits might be available where you live, how much they may cost and how you can enroll.
Vision coverage typically comes as an optional add-on to most health insurance policies or is purchased as a standalone product. Many Medicare beneficiaries must tap into the private sector to obtain vision coverage, as routine vision care is not covered by the federally funded portion of Medicare known as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
As one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, UnitedHealthcare covers vision in a few different ways. The company has standalone vision policies and vision care riders for some insurance plans. For Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare offers UHC Medicare Advantage plans, many of which include vision coverage.
How Can I Get UnitedHealthcare Medicare Vision Coverage?
UHC Medicare Advantage plans can cover a number of vision services, including:
- Annual eye exams
- A new set of frames, lenses or contact lenses every year
- Discounts on laser eye surgery
- Prescription lenses coverage, including single vision, bifocal and trifocal/lenticular lenses
Free routine eye exams are included in most plans, along with an annual allowance for contacts and frames with full coverage of standard lenses.
All UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans also cover cataract surgery and other eye procedures and screenings that are covered by Original Medicare, such as glaucoma tests, macular degeneration tests and treatment and eye exams for people who have diabetes.
How Much Does UHC Medicare Vision Coverage Cost?
The cost of UHC Medicare Advantage plans with vision coverage will vary according to the benefits offered and the location in which the plan is sold. Below are some plan cost examples for UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans with vision coverage.
Please note that UnitedHealthcare offers a number of Medicare Advantage plans in partnership with AARP.
Am I Eligible for Vision Care Through AARP/UnitedHealthcare?
To be eligible for a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan with vision coverage, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
UnitedHealthcare’s vision coverage is elective immediately, meaning there is no waiting period to use the coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans often come in the form of HMO or PPO plans, which means your plan may feature a network of preferred eye doctors and vision care centers.
AARP, through UnitedHealthcare, has a large network of eye doctors all over the U.S. who accept the company’s vision insurance. To find an eye care provider near you who accepts UnitedHealthcare vision insurance, you can enter your ZIP code into the UnitedHealthcare Find a Doctor search tool.
How Do I Enroll in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Vision Plan?
If you already receive Social Security retirement benefits (or retirement benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board) at least four months before you turn 65, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B three months before your 65th birthday.
If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you can manually sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, which starts three months before your 65th birthday and continues for six months total. Once you enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B, you can enroll in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plan with vision benefits.
If you’re already enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, or if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan but want to switch to a UHC plan with vision coverage, there are certain times of year when you can enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan.
Unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you typically have to wait until the fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period (also called the Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP). This period lasts from October 15 to December 7 every year.
Learn more about how you can enroll in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan with vision benefits.
UnitedHealthcare. (Sep. 30, 2020). Health benefit strategies for brokers and consultants. https://www.uhc.com/broker-consultant.