Fair Square Medicare Wordmark

Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Eye Exams?

Older woman during an eye exam
By Daniel Petkevich
Jan 11, 2023

You've got coverage for one exam each year

Treating your diabetes can be overwhelming, especially considering the cost of insulin. While Medicare does not typically cover routine eye exams, there is an exception for screening diabetic retinopathy. You will have coverage for a one exam each year through Medicare Part B.

Stay Up to Date on Medicare!

Join the Fair Square Medicare Newsletter to stay informed on cost savings, changes to Medicare, and other valuable healthcare information.

What is Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)?

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover medically necessary services, like doctor's services and outpatient care. It also covers preventive services to help maintain your health and manage chronic conditions. This includes an annual eye exam for diabetic retinopathy if you have diabetes.
Your Medicare-approved eye doctor will check the back of your eyes (retina) to look for signs of damage from diabetes. This eye exam must be done by an eye doctor who is legally allowed to do the test in your state. Medicare Part B covers this eye exam annually for those with diabetes.

What services are covered by Medicare Part B for diabetic retinopathy exams?

Medicare Part B covers one eye exam for diabetic retinopathy each year if you have diabetes. The exam must be done by an eye doctor legally allowed to do the test in your state. This eye exam helps your doctor detect any signs of damage from diabetic retinopathy. Your doctor will check the back of your eyes (retina) for signs of diabetic retinopathy. If the doctor finds any damage, they'll recommend treatment to help prevent vision loss and other complications caused by diabetes.

Who can perform the exam and where?

The eye exam for diabetic retinopathy must be performed by an eye doctor who is legally allowed to do the test in your state. You should contact your Medicare-approved provider to find out if they offer this service and where it can be performed.
It's important to keep up with your recommended screenings, as early detection of diabetic retinopathy can help prevent vision loss. Knowing what is covered by your Medicare Part B plan can help you get the care you need to stay healthy.

How often should you get an eye exam for diabetic retinopathy?

If you have diabetes, you should get an eye exam for diabetic retinopathy once a year. This exam is vital to help detect any signs of damage from the disease and help keep your eyes healthy. Regular check-ups, prompt diagnosis, and treatment can reduce the risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.

Tips to prepare for your appointment

  1. Make sure to bring your Medicare card or other insurance cards and any paperwork needed for your appointment.
  2. Don't forget to mention if you have diabetes when making the appointment so they can set aside enough time for the exam.
  3. Bring a list of all current medications, including vitamins and supplements, that you are taking to the appointment.
  4. Wear your corrective lenses, if needed, so that your doctor has an accurate view of your eyes.
  5. Have a friend or family member come with you for support and help ask questions at the end of the exam.
  6. Ask any questions you have about the exam process or what to expect.
  7. Write down any instructions from your doctor about follow-up care or tests after the exam is completed.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your eye exam for diabetic retinopathy goes as smoothly as possible and helps maintain your eye health.

Know the risks

Risk factors associated with diabetes and vision loss include the duration and degree of glucose control, age, gender, ethnicity, and family history. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any risk factors you may have and how they can be managed. Early detection is critical in preventing vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy usually has no signs or symptoms in its early stages. That's why it's essential to have regular eye exams as your doctor recommends. Late-stage diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss if not treated promptly. Some common symptoms of late-stage diabetic retinopathy include:
  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • The presence of floaters in your vision field
  • Sudden vision loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately to get the care you need.

Resources available to help manage diabetes-related vision issues

There are many resources available to help you manage diabetic retinopathy and other vision issues related to diabetes. Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have about managing your health and finding support. They can provide helpful information on organizations that specialize in providing assistance for those with diabetes-related vision problems. The

American Diabetes Association (ADA)

is a great resource for information on diabetes-related vision problems. They offer free online services such as education and support groups, nutrition advice, and more.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It is important to speak with your healthcare provider about any questions or concerns related to eye exams for diabetic retinopathy, risk factors, and resources available to help manage diabetes-related vision issues. Keeping up with recommended screenings can help detect signs of damage caused by diabetic retinopathy and reduce the risk of vision loss. Talk with an expert at Fair Square Medicare for all your Medicare questions.

Stay Up to Date on Medicare!

Join the Fair Square Medicare Newsletter to stay informed on cost savings, changes to Medicare, and other valuable healthcare information.

Recommended Articles

Mouth guard used to help treat sleep apnea
Does Medicare Cover Mouth Guards for Sleep Apnea?
Dec 8, 2022
Hepatitis C stock photo
Does Medicare Cover Hepatitis C Treatment?
Nov 22, 2022
a variety of pills in a daily pill organizer stock image
Does Medicare Cover Vitamins?
Dec 5, 2022
Cover image
The Fair Square Bulletin: February 2024
Feb 15, 2024
senior african american man feeling pain in his knees from arthritis while on a couch stock photo
How Much Does Xeljanz Cost with Medicare?
Jan 25, 2023
Senior woman having vision problems stock photo
Does Medicare Cover Macular Degeneration?
Nov 30, 2022
Cover image
How Much Does a Medicare Coach Cost?
Mar 20, 2023
Cover image
Does Your Plan Include A Free Gym Membership?
Jul 12, 2023
cartoon hospital and male doctor stock image
Can I Have Two Primary Care Physicians?
Oct 3, 2022
woman in a therapist office stock photo
Does Medicare Cover Hypnotherapy?
Nov 22, 2022
surgeons working over a patient stock image
Does Medicare Cover LVAD Surgery?
Nov 30, 2022
Leg bones and knees, 3d rendering. stock photo
Does Medicare Cover Tymlos?
Dec 5, 2022
scleral lenses
Does Medicare Cover Scleral Lenses?
Dec 5, 2022
elderly woman with glasses having difficulty reading her phone stock image
Is Vitrectomy Surgery Covered by Medicare?
Dec 2, 2022
Cover image
Fair Square Bulletin: We're Revolutionizing Medicare
Apr 27, 2023
stack of books stock image
Do You Need Books on Medicare?
Apr 6, 2023
Cover image
Medicare Advantage MSA Plans
May 17, 2023
Gloved hands with a scalpel begin a knee replacement surgery
Does Medicare Cover Iovera Treatment?
Jan 11, 2023

More of our articles

13 Best Ways for Seniors to Stay Active in Philadelphia

13 Best Ways for Seniors to Stay Active in Phoenix

14 Best Ways for Seniors to Stay Active in Nashville

14 Best Ways for Seniors to Stay Active in Washington, D.C.

2023 Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP)

2024 "Donut Hole" Updates

2024 Cost of Living Adjustment

2024 Medicare Price Changes

Building the Future of Senior Healthcare

Can I Change My Primary Care Provider with an Advantage Plan?

Can I Laminate My Medicare Card?

Can Medicare Advantage Plans be Used Out of State?

Can Medicare Advantage Plans Deny Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions?

Comparing All Medigap Plans | Chart Updated for 2023

Do All Hospitals Accept Medicare Advantage Plans?

Does Medicare Cover a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

Does Medicare Cover Abortion Services?

Does Medicare Cover Air Purifiers?

Does Medicare Cover Cala Trio?

Does Medicare Cover Cardiac Ablation?

Does Medicare Cover Cervical Disc Replacement?

Does Medicare Cover COVID Tests?

Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Eye Exams?

Does Medicare Cover Disposable Underwear?

Does Medicare Cover Exercise Physiology?

Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots?

Does Medicare Cover Fosamax?

Does Medicare Cover Geri Chairs?

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Does Medicare Cover Home Heart Monitors?

Does Medicare cover Hyoscyamine?

Does Medicare Cover Inqovi?

Does Medicare Cover Ozempic?

Does Medicare Cover Physicals & Blood Work?

Does Medicare Cover PTNS?

Does Medicare Cover Qutenza?

Does Medicare Cover Robotic Surgery?

Does Medicare Cover RSV Vaccines?

Does Medicare Cover TENS Units?

Does Medicare Cover the Urolift Procedure?

Does Medicare Cover Urodynamic Testing?

Does Medicare Cover Wart Removal?

Does Medicare Cover Xiafaxan?

Does Medicare Pay for Allergy Shots?

Does Medicare pay for Opdivo?

Estimating Prescription Drug Costs

Fair Square Client Newsletter: AEP Edition

Finding the Best Dental Plans for Seniors

Finding the Best Vision Plans for Seniors

How Are Medicare Star Ratings Determined?

How Much Does Medicare Part A Cost in 2023?

How Much Does Medicare Part B Cost in 2023?

How Often Can I Change Medicare Plans?

Is Balloon Sinuplasty Covered by Medicare?

Is Displacement Affecting Your Medicare Coverage?

Medicare 101

Medicare Consulting Services

Medicare Deductibles Resetting in 2024

Medicare Explained

Medicare Guaranteed Issue Rights by State

Medicare Savings Programs in Kansas

Medicare Supplement Plans for Low-Income Seniors

Should You Work With A Remote Medicare Agent?

Top 10 Physical Therapy Clinics in San Diego

What If I Don't Like My Plan?

What is the 8-Minute Rule on Medicare?

What People Don't Realize About Medicare

What You Need to Know About Creditable Coverage

What's the Deal with Flex Cards?

What's the Difference Between HMO and PPO Plans?

Why You Should Keep Your Medigap Plan

Will Medicare Cover it?

Your Medicare One-Stop-Shop

Your guide to Medicare Parts A & B, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap. 100% free.
Get the Fair Square Bulletin

Medicare savings tips, helpful guides, and more.


Medicare 101

Current Clients

Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans

Fair Square 2024

Terms of Use
Notice of Privacy Practices

Virgil Insurance Agency, LLC (DBA Fair Square Medicare) and www.fairsquaremedicare.com are privately owned and operated by Help Button Inc. Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. This is a solicitation of insurance. A licensed agent/producer may contact you. Medicare Supplement insurance is available to those age 65 and older enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and, in some states, to those under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to disability or End-Stage Renal disease. Virgil Insurance Agency is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations and stand-alone PDP prescription drug plans. Each of the organizations we represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal. The plans we represent do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov. © 2024 Help Button Inc

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.