Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Financial Aid For Eye Care

Please, don't neglect your eye care because of financial difficulties. Contact any of the following agencies to see if you qualify for services.

Eye Exams and Surgery

  • 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 callers through its seniors and Diabetes EyeCare Programs. 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.

    Toll Free: 800-222-EYES (3937)

  • VISION USA, coordinated by the American Optometric Association (AOA), provides free eye care to uninsured, low-income workers and their families.

    Toll Free: 800-766-4466

  • Lions Clubs International provides financial assistance to individuals for eye care through local clubs. A local club can be found by using the "club locator" button found on their website at If you are unable to find your local Lions club, contact the LCIF Grant Programs Department at 630-571-5466 x393.

  • Mission Cataract USA, coordinated by the Volunteer Eye Surgeons' Association, 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, usually in May.

    Toll Free: 800-343-7265

  • Knights Templar Eye Foundation provides assistance for eye surgery for people who are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources. Mailing address:

    1000 East State Parkway, Suite I
    Schaumburg, IL 60173
    Phone: 847-490-3838 Web:

  • National Keratoconus Assistance Foundation provides financial support to patients who need surgical and optometric treatment for keratoconus and other corneal problems. This organization does not have a phone number available to the public.


  • InfantSEE is a public health program designed to ensure early detection of eye conditions in babies. Member optometrists provide a free comprehensive infant eye assessment to children younger than one year.

    Toll Free: 888-396-3937


  • Sight for Students, a Vision Service Plan (VSP) program provides eye exams and glasses to children 18 years and younger whose families cannot afford vision care.

    Toll Free: 888-290-4964

  • New Eyes for the Needy provides vouchers for the purchase of new prescription eyeglasses. Mailing address:

    549 Millburn Avenue
    P.O. Box 332
    Short Hills, NJ 07078-0332
    Phone: 973-376-4903

Prescription Drugs

  • 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. Mailing Address:

    P.O. Box 4182
    Poplar Bluff, MO 63902-4182
    Toll Free: 866-694-3893

  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance offers a single point of access to more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 150 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.

    Toll Free: 888-477-2669

Government Programs

  • Medicare Benefit for Eye Exams For People with Diabetes -- People with Medicare who have diabetes can get a dilated eye exam to check for diabetic eye disease. Your doctor will decide how often you need this exam.

    For People at Risk for Glaucoma -- Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss. People at high risk for glaucoma include those with diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, or African Americans age 50 or older. Medicare will pay for an eye exam to check for glaucoma once every 12 months.

    Patients must pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount after the yearly Part B deductible.

    Toll Free: 800-633-4227

  • State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) For little or no cost, this insurance pays for doctor visits, prescription medicines, hospitalizations, and much more for children 18 years and younger. Most states also cover the cost of dental care, eye care, and medical equipment.

    Toll Free: 877-543-7669
    Web: Insure Kids Now!

You may also wish to 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.

Prescriptions 4 Free

Use this website to enroll in a free Patient Assistance Program that US drug manufacturers have established in order to assist the financially stressed individuals or families who have no other prescription drug insurance coverage, have low income, or are not eligible for 3rd party assistance such as Medicare. Over 1,300 prescription drugs are currently covered under the free Patient Assistance Programs, so saving potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars is just a few clicks away.

Click this link to visit

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.