LOW VISION RESOURCES BY STATE
“Medicaid offers enrolled children a comprehensive benefit, called Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT). At a minimum, EPSDT must include age-appropriate vision assessment and services to correct or ameliorate vision problems, including eyeglasses (Perkins and McKee).”
Medicare Benefit for Eye Exams: Diabetes – People with diabetes can get a yearly dilated eye exam to check for diabetic eye disease. Glaucoma – People at high risk for glaucoma are entitled to an eye exam once a year. Patients must pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount after the yearly Part B deductible.
InfantSEE® is a public health program that provides comprehensive vision assessment by member optometrists to ensure early detection of eye conditions in babies during the first year of life, regardless of a family’s income or access to insurance coverage.
Eyes of Hope* gift certificates and Sight for Students* is a Vision Service Plan (VSP) program that provides free eye exams and glasses to eligible low-income and uninsured children 18 years and younger.
New Eyes purchases new prescription eyeglasses through a voucher program for children and adults in the U.S. who cannot afford prescription glasses on their own.
OneSight’s OnSite Voucher Program, by having visual and financial needs verified (see website), a referral letter and valid prescription may be provided to a participating location to receive a pair of glasses at no charge. If one doesn’t have a valid prescription less than two years old, one can ask the onsite doctor at the optical retailer if an eye exam may be donated or they can reach out to Prevent Blindness for help.
New Eyes: Find free or low-cost eye exams by state
EYEWEAR & EYE HEALTH CARE
Lions Clubs International, a volunteer service organization with local chapters, sponsors community programs that may help with the purchasing of corrective eyewear or obtaining eye health care for individuals that meet their criteria. Use the Club Locator on the organization’s website to find a Lions Club near you.
AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION-CO-PAYMENT FOR PHARMACEUTICAL TREATMENT
Patient Access Network helps eligible underinsured patients afford the copayments for pharmaceutical treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
EyeCare America is a public service foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Provides comprehensive eye exams and care for up to one year, often at no out-of-pocket expense, eligible for those 65 and older through its seniors and Diabetes EyeCare Programs. Its Glaucoma EyeCare Program provides a glaucoma eye exam. The EyeCare America Children’s EyeCare Program educates parents and primary care providers about the importance of early childhood (newborn through 36 months of age) eye care.
Mission Cataract USA coordinated by the Volunteer Eye Surgeons’ Association, is a program providing free cataract surgery to people of all ages who have no other means to pay. Surgeries are scheduled annually on one day, usually in May.
Operation Sight is the ASCRS Foundation’s U.S.- based charitable cataract surgery program. Its mission is to eliminate treatable cataract blindness in the United States. By leveraging the combined strength of established charitable organizations and ASCRS-member volunteer surgeons, Operation Sight is providing needed care to those unable to access or afford surgery.
Vision Impairment Resources
- Be My Eyes – See the world together
- Hadley Vision Resources | 100 Years of Empowering Adults with Vision Loss
- VisionAware | American Foundation for the Blind (afb.org)
- Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired | Braille Institute
Perkins, Jane, and Catherine McKee. “Issue Brief: Vision Services for Children on Medicaid a Review of EPSDT Services.” National Health Law Program, 11 May 2015, healthlaw.org/resource/issue-brief-vision-services-for-children-on-medicaid-a-review-of-epsdt-services/#.WyqP12cah5I. Accessed 26 Sept. 2021.