Common Cataract Concerns & Questions
Welcome to Part 3 of a 3 part series all about cataract surgery.
What is the recovery time following cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is commonly done one eye at a time although it is perfectly safe to have both eyes corrected at the same time. In Australia, due to our Medicare ruling, if you have private health insurance and are covered for your cataract procedure, you will not be fully reimbursed* if both eyes are corrected during the same procedure. Therefore, it is recommended having your procedures on separate dates (if both eyes require surgery).
*Please note: depending on your health fund and level of cover, there may be a small gap for your cataract procedure. Your surgical co-ordinator at Perth Eye Hospital can advise you of the details.
You can drive as soon as your vision is comfortable following your procedure or once you meet driving standards. Eye drops will be provided and are imperative to the healing process. Your doctor should provide you with a medication chart or something helpful to track your daily drops. Full aftercare information will be provided by your doctor and the clinical staff prior to your procedure. Always ensure you contact them if you have any concerns or questions.
Follow this link for more information on aftercare eye drops.
What does cataract surgery cost and will my health fund cover it?
Private health fund
Cataract and eye lens procedures limits and benefits change depending on your choice of hospital product, the level of cover you choose and how long you’ve been an eligible member with your health fund. Most health funds require a 12 month waiting period before you are deemed eligible for an existing health condition.
Some health funds require that you pay a small gap for your procedure. It is important to enquire with your health fund as to your eligibility prior to surgery and what your likely gap is, if any. They will require the provider number of your reputable and listed surgeon. You can obtain this from admin staff at their premises.
Public waiting list
If you are not covered for your cataract procedure via your health fund or are uninsured, you may elect to go on the public waiting list for your procedure. Wait times are subject to the severity of the visual impairment caused by the cataract and government allowance. It is usually a minimum of 12 months wait for the first eye and up to a further 12 months for your second eye. Please enquire with your preferred provider as to their individual waiting time.
If you are uninsured and do not wish to wait for a surgery date via the public system, you can opt to go private uninsured. If you are eligible for Medicare cover and your provider charges within the Medicare Benefit Scheme allowance, you should receive approximately $700 back from Medicare. Please enquire with your provider about the exact cost of your procedure once benefits have been paid and what you are entitled to.