Cataracts are among the most common eye conditions worldwide, so unsurprisingly, cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed medical procedures. It is the only treatment for cataracts, and it’s highly effective. 

Even if you’ve lost your vision due to cataracts, the procedure can restore it by removing them. Cataract surgery is medically necessary as it removes your cataracts and prevents further vision loss. 

For that reason, cataract surgery is usually covered by health insurance. However, what insurance covers depends on a few factors. Keep reading to find out what insurance covers with cataract surgery!

When Insurance Covers Cataract Surgery

Cataracts develop on the eye’s natural lens. They typically develop slowly, meaning it can take several years before symptoms become noticeable. 

In these early stages, health insurance will not cover cataract surgery. The procedure must be medically necessary for it to be covered by insurance. 

Cataract surgeons recommend that patients undergo cataract surgery once cataracts begin affecting their quality of life. Cataract symptoms include blurry vision, poor night vision, increased glare, halos around light sources, light sensitivity, and decreased ability to see contrast. 

These symptoms often start mild and get worse over time. When these symptoms make it hard for you to perform daily tasks, most cataract surgeons will recommend cataract surgery. At that point, health insurance will cover at least part of the cost of surgery.

Cataract Surgery Coverage

Almost all private health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover cataract surgery. However, insurance may not cover the total cost of surgery. 

For example, under certain Medicare plans, 80% of the cost of surgery is covered, and you’re expected to pay the remaining 20% as a copay. Some providers and plans will cover more or less. 

Before getting cataract surgery, check your plan and determine what your specific plan covers. But almost all insurance plans will cover at least part of the surgery cost. However, they tend only to cover one kind of IOL, a monofocal lens.

IOL Coverage

An IOL, or intraocular lens, is a lens that replaces your natural lens during cataract surgery. A cataract forms on your natural lens, and to remove it, your natural lens is removed during cataract surgery. 

It’s then replaced with an IOL to ensure you’ll see clearly. There are several kinds of IOLs, but only the standard option is covered by most insurance plans. 

This option is called a monofocal IOL. A monofocal lens helps you see at one distance, either up close or far away. You’ll need glasses to see at the opposite distance. 

Some patients can have monovision when one monofocal lens is put in one eye to see up close and another in the other eye to see at a distance. Choosing monovision helps you see decently between the two distances as the eyes work together. 

However, not everyone can adapt to monovision, and even when they do, it doesn’t provide the best vision possible, especially for active patients. 

Lifestyle Lenses

Lifestyle lenses are designed to provide the best vision possible for active patients. They’re made to give you better vision at greater distances and reduce your dependence on reading glasses and other visual aids. 

They can correct presbyopia and refractive errors to give you sharp vision so you can see well for various activities. However, Lifestyle Lenses are not usually covered by health insurance, so you need to pay extra for them during cataract surgery.

However, many patients find the added benefits of these lenses are well worth the additional cost. We also offer several premium options at Loden Vision Centers, which include the following lenses:

Symfony IOL

The Symfony IOL is an extended depth of focus lens. This means that instead of helping you see at just one distance, it enables you to see within an extended range of distances. 

With this IOL, you’ll see better up close, at a distance and middle distances.

Vivity IOL

The Vivity IOL is a multifocal lens. This means it’s divided into sections that alternate between two refractive powers: one for seeing up close and one for seeing far away. 

Your eye automatically looks through the part of the lens that best helps you see what you’re looking at. But this lens is a special multifocal because it’s non-diffractive. 

That means the transition between the different sections is blended. The Vivity IOL can help you see at a wide range of distances while lowering the risk of visual aberrations caused by diffractive multifocal IOLs.

Eyhance IOL

The Eyhance IOL is an enhanced monofocal lens. It can give you something similar to monovision in both eyes as the lens isn’t uniform but instead transitions from one refractive power in the middle to another at the edges of the lens. 

PanOptix Trifocal Lens

The PanOptix trifocal IOL is like a multifocal but divided into three sections. One to help you see up close, one to help you see far away, and one to help you see at a middle distance. 

Being divided into three sections allows patients to see very well, especially up close and at arm’s length, dramatically reducing and potentially eliminating the need for reading glasses.

Light Adjustable Lens (LAL)

The Light Adjustable Lens is the only IOL customized to your post-surgical vision. The Light Adjustable Lens is implanted like any other IOL, but after healing from surgery, it’s adjusted to fit your vision. 

Your cataract surgeon can change the shape of the photosensitive material it’s made of to fit it to your vision, giving you clearer vision and reducing the need for other visual aids.

Choosing the Right IOL for You

There are many IOLs to choose from. Your eye doctor can help you decide which is best for you, but you must also consider your budget. If you have the financial means, lifestyle IOLs are an excellent choice that provides you with crisp, clear vision at various distances. 

Are you ready to improve your vision? Change your life for the better by scheduling a cataract consultation at Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN, now! Why wait if you can change your life with better vision?