July 6, 2013

Financial Assistance for Eye Care

Posted in: Daily Living

At one time or another, we all need help. With the high cost of medical care and prescriptions, it is good to know that there is assistance for those of us who qualify. This is a compilation of agencies and organizations that welcome your call.

First inquire about assistance from local and state agencies:

Local – Contact a social worker at a local hospital or community agency.

State – Find agencies listed by state on the MD Support web site at www.mdsupport.org/resources/agencies_us.html

Then contact these organizations:

EyeCare America® Program

P.O. Box 429098
San Francisco, CA 94142-9098
Phone: (877) 887-6327
Fax: (415) 561-8567

EyeCare America, sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides eye care to US citizens and legal residents through volunteer ophthalmologists, often at no out-of-pocket cost to those who qualify. Visit our website to find out if you or someone you know qualifies for eye care. More than 90 percent of care provided is at no out-of-pocket cost to EyeCare America patients.

To be eligible for the Seniors program, you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Are age 65 or older
  • Do not belong to an HMO or have eye care benefits through the VA
  • Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years.

If you are not eligible for the Seniors program, you may qualify for the Glaucoma Program, which provides a glaucoma eye exam at no cost to those who are uninsured.
To be eligible for the Glaucoma program, you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Do not belong to an HMO or have eye care benefits through the VA
  • Have not had an eye exam in 12 months or more
  • Are at increased risk for glaucoma, determined by your age, race, and family history of glaucoma.

Association of Blind Citizens – Operates the Assistive Technology Fund, which provides funds to cover 50% of the retail price of adaptive devices or software.
Telephone: (781) 961-1023

Co-Pay Relief Program – part of the Patient Advocate Foundation, this service helps pay for the co-pays for pharmaceutical treatments such as Visudyne, Macugen and Lucentis. All patients who carry primary insurance (even Medicare) are eligible. Reimbursements are possible retroactively for up to a year.
Telephone: 1-866-512-3861

Directory of Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs – Published by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, identifies company programs that provide prescription medications free of charge to physicians for their needy patients.
Telephone: 1-800-PMA-INFO
Address: 549 Millburn Ave, P.O. Box 332, Short Hills NJ 07078-0332

Eylea 4U – Helps eligible patients who have unmet medical needs, are uninsured, or lack coverage receive EYLEA® (aflibercept) injection free of charge.
Telephone: 1-855-395-3248

Genentech Access Solutions – Patient assistance support is for eligible patients in the United States who don’t have insurance coverage or who can’t afford out-of-pocket co-pay costs for Lucentis (bevacizumab) injection.
Telephone: 1-866-724-9394

Lions Clubs International” – Provides financial assistance to individuals for eye care through local clubs. There are Lions Clubs in most localities, and services vary from club to club. Check your telephone book for the telephone number and address of your local organization.
Telephone of National Office: (630) 571-5466
Address: 300 E 22nd St, Oakbrook IL 60523

The Medicine Program – Assists people to enroll in one or more of the many patient assistance programs that provide prescription medicine free-of-charge to those in need. Patients must meet the sponsor’s criteria. The program is conducted in cooperation with the patient’s doctor.
Telephone: (573) 996-7300
Address: P.O. Box 4182, Poplar Bluff MO 63902-4182

Mission Cataract USA – Coordinated nationally by the Volunteer Eye Surgeons’ Association providing free cataract surgery to people of all ages who have no other means to pay. Free eye examinations and surgeries are scheduled annually on one day, usually in May.
Telephone: (559) 797-1629

New Eyes for the Needy – Provides vouchers for the purchase of new prescription eyeglasses.
Telephone: (973) 376-4903
Address: 549 Millburn Ave, P.O. Box 332, Short Hills NJ 07078-0332

Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation – Holistic support for people living with retinal vein occlusion, macular disease and uveitis. Online patient portal.
Telephone: 1-866-316-PANF (7263)

Patient Access Network Foundation – Provides financial assistance to individuals who are insured, but have difficulty accessing specialty medicines due to high co-pays and deductibles.

Rx Assist – Help in accessing pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs.

S.E.E. International – Free sight-restoring surgery for patients who are not eligible for any other social service programs. Referral required from a recognized social service organization.
Telephone: (805) 963-3303/1-80020-TO-SEE (86-733)
Address: 7200 Hollister Ave, Unit A, Goleta CA 93117

Sight for Students – A VSP Vision Care (VSP) program providing eye exams and glasses to children 18 years and younger whose families cannot afford vision care.
Telephone: 1-800-877-7195

Social Security Administration
Telephone: 1-800-772-1213

Vision USA– Coordinated by the American Optometric Association (AOA), provides free eye care to uninsured, low-income workers and their families. Screening for the program takes place only during January of each year, with exams provided later in the year.
Telephone: 1-800-766-4466
Address: 243 North Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis MO 63141

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