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    newperson2012 posted:
    Was just told I have cataracts but insurance won't pay for it yet. I am on Medicare. What determines when Medicare will pay? Can I ask the doctor to do the cataract removal & I will self-pay? What would the average cost be?
    Alan M Kozarsky, MD responded:
    Medicare coverage is generally available when your vision is substantially impaired by opacity of the crystalline lens (cataract) and this interferes with your everyday tasks. Visual impairment that can't be addressed with a change in eyeglasses.

    On the other hand, the cataract procedure can be performed in the absence of a medically significant cataract. This is a reasonable course of action when a person wants to have decreased dependence on glasses, is in the cataract age group, and is not an ideal candidate for LASIK. We call this a clear lens extraction or refractive lens exchange; it is cataract surgery without a medically significant cataract. The out of pocket cost is determined by the surgeon but is often $3000 to $5000 per eye.
    newperson2012 replied to Alan M Kozarsky, MD's response:
    Thank you, Dr. Kozarsky
    The information you provided is very helpful in order to make a good decision.

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