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Living with Low Vision:
Information on Financial Matters

People at risk for for low vision may have difficulty paying for examinations, medical treatment, and low vision aids and services. There are many organizations that can help those with financial needs. They may provide free or low cost services or be able to direct people to sources of assistance.

If payment for services or medical treatment becomes difficult, investigate the following payment options:

Government benefits programs:

  • Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older who are receiving Social Security retirement benefits. To receive Medicare assistance, specific eligibility requirements must be met. Prescription drug coverage is also available.
  • Medicaid is a federal program for certain individuals and families with low incomes and resources, typically administered by state agencies; eligibility and benefits vary from state to state. People should apply through the state's Department of Human Services or Medicaid Assistance Program.
  • Social Security is a federal program that provides retirement income, disability payments and other payments to workers who contributed to the plan when employed, and to their dependents.
  • Veteran's benefit programs may be applicable.

Private insurance plans:

  • Medigap is health insurance sold by private companies to supplement, or fill the “gaps,” in Medicare coverage.
  • Managed care health insuranceincludes preferred provider plans and health maintenance organizations.
  • Long-term care insurance is an option if purchased earlier.

Loans and personal savings:

  • Life insurance policies- there are several ways to obtain loans from these policies that do not have to be repaid until death.
  • Mortgages- it is possible to borrow money against the equity in a home through a reverse mortgage.
  • Personal assets - these can include income from stocks and bonds, sale of property, savings accounts and retirement accounts.

For a list of organizations that may help, please see:

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Last Review: 04/26/13


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