Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Veterans eligible for eye exams and glasses

From: Director, RAO Baguio

Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 4:36 PM


Subject: RAO Bulletin Update 15 Jan 2008

RAO Bulletin Update Partial reprint

15 January 2008


VA EYE CARE: Eye-care services are available at the VA Medical Center. The following veterans are eligible to receive eye care and eyeglasses from VA:

• Veterans rated 10% or more service-connected for any condition;

• veterans rated service-connected for an eye condition that requires corrective lenses;

• former prisoners of war;

• veterans enrolled in a VA-approved Vocational Rehabilitation Training Program; and

• veterans in receipt of increased VA nonservice-connected pension based on need of regular aid.

For more information on VA eye care, call your local VA Medical Center. [Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin Gregg K. Kakesako article 13 Jan 08 ++]



MEDICARE EYE CARE: Medicare covers most doctor services and routine medical care required to keep you healthy. However, there are some services, such as eye care, that Medicare will only cover in very limited circumstances. For instance, Medicare will only pay for routine eye care if`

• You have diabetes. Medicare will pay for an eye exam once every 12 months to check for vision loss due to the condition; or

• You are at high risk for glaucoma. Medicare will cover 80% of the cost of an eye exam by a state-authorized eye doctor once every 12 months, after you pay your Part B deductible. You are considered to be at high risk for glaucoma if you have diabetes; have a family history of glaucoma; are African American and age 50 or older; or are Hispanic and age 65 or older.


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which damage to the nerve located in the back of the eye (the optic nerve) results in loss of eyesight. Over three million Americans, and nearly 70 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Although the most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, glaucoma can affect people of all ages. If glaucoma is not treated, vision loss may continue, leading to total blindness. There’s no sure way to prevent glaucoma, but early treatment helps slow the disease and prevent blindness. Note: if you have Medicaid health coverage, then you are eligible for routine eye services through Medicaid. Medicare will also pay for certain nonroutine eye-care services if they are related to a chronic eye condition, such as cataracts or glaucoma. Medicare will cover

• Surgical procedures to help repair the function of your eyes due to these conditions. For example, Medicare will cover surgery to remove the cataract and replace your eye’s lens with a man-made intraocular lens.

• Eyeglasses or contacts only if you have had cataract surgery to replace your eye’s lens with a man-made lens (an "intraocular" lens). Medicare will cover the dark glasses that you must wear immediately after surgery to protect your eyes, as well as a standard pair of untinted prescription eyeglasses or contacts if you need them after surgery. If it is medically necessary, Medicare may pay for customized eyeglasses or contact lenses.

• An eye exam to diagnose potential vision problems. If you are having vision problems that may indicate a serious eye condition (for example, having constant double-vision, progressive blurring vision or the decrease of sight on the edges of your vision), Medicare will pay for an exam to see what is wrong, even if it turns out there is nothing wrong with your sight.

[Source: The Medicare Counselor Jan/Feb 08 ++]

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