Financial Assistance for Eye Care
Many state and national resources regularly provide aid to people with vision problems. The National Eye Institute, which supports eye research, does not help individuals pay for eye care. However, if you are in need of financial aid to assess or treat an eye problem, you might contact one or more of the following programs.
You may also contact a social worker at a local hospital or other community agency. Social workers often are knowledgeable about community resources that can help people facing financial and medical problems.
EyeCare America - 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 to eligible candidates age 65 or older. 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. Telephone: 1-877-887-6327. Website: http://eyecareamerica.org.
Lions Clubs International Foundation - is a service organization whose local club members are all volunteers. A local Lions club in or near your community may sponsor a program that may help you buy corrective eyewear or obtain eye health care. To find a Lions club near you, access the Club Locator http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/find-a-club.php.
VISION USA - coordinated by the American Optometric Association (AOA), provides free eye care to eligible uninsured, low-income workers and their families. Telephone: 1-800-766-4466. Website: http://www.aoa.org/visionusa.xml.
MISSION CATARACT USA - 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. Website: http://www.missioncataractUSA.org.
InfantSEE - is a public health program designed to ensure early detection of eye conditions in babies. Member optometrists provide a comprehensive eye and vision assessment for infants within the first year of life regardless of a family’s income or access to insurance coverage. Telephone: 1-888-396-3937. Website: http://www.infantsee.org.
For more information, and links to programs that provide eyeglasses, etc, please visit http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/financialaid.asp