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Does Medicare Cover Eyelid Surgery?

Yes, Medicare typically provides coverage for eyelid surgery, known as blepharoplasty, but only under specific circumstances. Particularly, Medicare covers the surgical procedure when necessary for medical reasons, such as improving your field of vision, rather than purely for cosmetic purposes. Patients need a medical recommendation from a Medicare-approved ophthalmologist and must meet additional requirements before Medicare covers the cost of eyelid surgery.

What Is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure that is performed to repair droopy eyelids. The surgery removes or adjusts excess skin, fat, or muscle from the upper or lower eyelids. The excess flesh may accumulate due to natural aging, caused by the skin losing elasticity and the muscles supporting the eyelids weakening over time. In some cases, the issue can also be caused by injuries or certain health conditions.

Types of Eyelid Surgery

There are several different types of eyelid surgery. While some are covered by Medicare, others are not. Here’s a look at a few common options and their Medicare coverage status.

  • Functional Blepharoplasty: Removal of the upper eyelid skin causing visual impairment. Medicare may cover this treatment.
  • Cosmetic Blepharoplasty: Performed primarily to enhance the appearance of the eyelids. Medicare does not cover this treatment.
  • Eyelid Cancer Surgery: Removal of cancerous cells from the eyelids, using special techniques to preserve the surrounding healthy skin. Medicare typically covers this treatment.
  • Ectropion/Entropion Surgery: Correction of eyelids that fold inwards or outwards, causing discomfort or vision issues. Medicare typically covers this treatment.

Understanding Medicare Coverage for Eyelid Surgery

Medicare eyelid surgery is typically covered by Medicare Part B when a doctor has documented that the procedure is medically necessary. Before the surgery is covered, patients must meet the Medicare criteria for eyelid surgery, as explained below. 


  • Diagnosis: A medical professional must have completed a physical examination and diagnosed the patient with excess eyelid skin.
  • Obstruction: The eyelid in question must be causing at least a 30% or 12-degree visual field obstruction, as demonstrated by visual field testing performed by a Medicare-approved ophthalmologist.
  • Medical Necessity: A Medicare-approved physician must recommend the surgery and/or state that the procedure is medically necessary.
  • Documentation: Photographs or other visual documentation of the condition must be provided to Medicare for review.

Part B Coverage

While Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services, outpatient services such as medically necessary surgical procedures like blepharoplasty are typically covered under Medicare Part B.

Patients are typically responsible for some out-of-pocket costs related to services covered under Part B, including an annual deductible of $226 in 2023. Once the deductible is met, you must pay a 20% coinsurance, and Medicare pays the remaining 80% of the Medicare-approved amount.

How Does Medicare Advantage Cover Eyelid Surgery?

Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are administered by private insurance companies and are mandated by CMS to provide at least the same coverage as Original Medicare. Often, Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits not provided by Original Medicare. Review your Medicare Advantage plan’s documentation to understand the coverage and out-of-pocket costs for eyelid surgery.

How Much Would Eyelid Surgery Cost with Medicare?

The cost of eyelid surgery depends on several factors, including the specific type of surgery you need, average costs in your region, and where the surgery is performed.

On average, without Medicare coverage, blepharoplasty costs about $1,450 when performed at an ambulatory surgical center and about $2,279 when performed at a hospital’s outpatient department. 

After paying the $226 deductible, a Medicare-covered patient is responsible for 20% of the cost, totaling approximately $289 for surgery performed at an ambulatory surgical center and $455 for surgery performed at a hospital outpatient department.

Medicare Advantage Costs

With a Medicare Advantage plan, costs for blepharoplasty may include:

  • Premiums: A monthly amount paid regardless of whether you receive medical services. The standard Part B premium in 2023 is $164.90. 
  • Deductibles: An annual amount that must be paid before the Medicare Advantage plan begins to pay.
  • Copayments: A set dollar amount for each service received (e.g., $15 for each doctor’s visit).
  • Coinsurance: A percentage of the Medicare-approved amount the patient is responsible for paying. The coinsurance is typically 20% under Original Medicare but may differ for a Medicare Advantage plan. 

Out-of-pocket costs can vary widely depending on your specific plan and provider network. Some plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs for procedures performed by in-network providers.

Medicare Advantage plans are also required by law to have an annual out-of-pocket maximum. Once the maximum has been reached, no further out-of-pocket payments are due until the beginning of the new plan year. In 2023, the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,300. However, some types of Medicare Advantage plans may have lower annual maximums. 

Putting It All Together

Blepharoplasty can significantly improve your quality of life if you suffer from impaired vision due to droopy eyelids. Medicare, particularly Part B and Medicare Advantage, may cover blepharoplasty if it’s deemed medically necessary. By clearly understanding your coverage, you can make informed decisions regarding your health and overall quality of life.

es, Medicare requires specific tests before approving coverage for eyelid surgery. First, a visual examination must be performed by a Medicare-approved ophthalmologist. The examination must show at least a 30% or 12-degree obstruction of your field of vision due to an excess of upper eyelid skin.

Excessive eyelid skin must be diagnosed through a physical examination, and photographs and other visual documentation must be submitted to Medicare for review.

Yes, Medicare typically covers the cost of necessary post-operative care, such as the costs associated with follow-up visits to your doctor. However, you may still be responsible for meeting your deductible and paying the required copayments and coinsurance.

Regarding medications, some drugs administered during outpatient procedures may be covered under Medicare Part B. However, prescription medications are generally covered under Medicare Part D, so it’s essential to review the specifics of your policy to understand exactly what is covered and what you need to pay out-of-pocket.

If you have more than one insurance policy in addition to Medicare, the coordination of benefits (COB) procedure determines which of your insurance plans becomes the primary payer. The plan that is the primary payer covers the cost of the procedure up to its coverage limits; then, the secondary insurance may cover some or all of the remaining costs.

For example, a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy can help cover the coinsurance for Part B associated with your blepharoplasty procedure. However, the exact coordination process can vary, so it’s wise to consult with your insurance providers to ensure you fully understand your coverage.

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