Glaucoma: Government Benefits

If you or a loved one has glaucoma or is at risk for low vision, you’ll have medical expenses for examinations, medical treatment, and low-vision aids and services. Federal, state, and local government agencies can help cover these costs by providing free or low-cost services or directing people to sources of assistance.

Living with Low Vision: Federal Benefits Programs

If you’re having difficulty paying for eye care services or medical treatment, you may qualify for one or more of these federal programs.

Medicare

This federal health insurance program is for people age 65 or older who are receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Prescription drug coverage is also available. To receive Medicare assistance, you must meet specific eligibility requirements.

Learn more about Medicare and how to apply at http://ssa.gov/medicare/ or call 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227).

Medicaid

This federal program, administered by state agencies, is for individuals and families with low incomes and resources. Eligibility and benefits vary by state. People can apply through their state's Department of Human Services or Medicaid Assistance Program.

Find out whether you qualify and how to apply at http://medicaid.gov/ or call 1-877-267-2323.

Social Security

This federal program provides retirement income, disability payments, and other payments to workers who contributed to the plan when employed and their dependents. The program also provides financial assistance to those who are legally blind or who have vision problems that prevent them from employment.

Learn about the different types of Social Security benefits and how to apply at http://ssa.gov/ or call 1-800-772-1213.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA ensures access to and provides coverage for eye care services for veterans who are eligible for health care coverage. To receive VA assistance, veterans must meet certain eligibility requirements. Learn more about the program and apply at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/ or call 1-877-222-VETS (8387).

State and Local Benefits Programs

Each state and territory in the United States has programs that can help you find affordable health care services that cover vision care.

State and Area Agencies on Aging

State Agency on Aging offices are located in each state’s capital city, and many states also have local offices. They provide information on:

  • Nutrition and support services
  • Elder rights programs
  • Long-term care
  • Ombudsman programs
  • Legal services
  • Elder abuse prevention

Check your phone book or search online by state and city for “agency on aging.”

State Departments of Health and Social Services (DHSS)

State HHS offices are located in state capitals and often in other cities and towns. They can provide information on:

  • Support and respite services
  • Facilities
  • Financial assistance
  • Regulations and licensing

Check your phone book or search online by state and city for “departments of health and social services.”

Resources for People with Glaucoma

BrightFocus Foundation has compiled contact information about services and organizations that can help people with glaucoma and other types of low vision:

Please note that these organizations are not affiliated with BrightFocus. BrightFocus is not responsible for the content of these websites and does not endorse or recommend any particular program offered by these organizations.

Don't miss out.
Receive research updates, inspiring stories, and expert advice
Keep me informed about: *
Please select at least one.
You must select at least one disease category.
Please enter your first name.
Please enter your last name.

Related Experts & Advice

  • Image provided by NeoMedix, manufacturer of Trabectome (www.trabectome.com)
    Expert

    Trabectome Surgery and Glaucoma

    Trabectome surgery, a minimally invasive glaucoma procedure, involves the use of an FDA-approved handheld device. The treatment increases the amount of fluid that drains from the eye, thereby lowering eye pressure. Learn more about this surgery and important questions to ask your doctor.

    March 18, 2019
  • A gentleman with glaucoma is talking to his pharmacist about two medications
    Expert

    Top 10 Tips for Reducing the Costs of your Glaucoma Medications

    If you or someone in your family has glaucoma, the cost of the glaucoma eye drops may be a challenge each month, especially when considering that many people are also taking medications for other chronic diseases. Since glaucoma is generally a lifelong condition, it is essential to identify a long-term strategy for treatment, and financial burden is important to consider. This article provides some tips to help you reduce the financial burden of your glaucoma treatment.

    March 13, 2019