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Financial Assistance and Vision Care Resources


The organizations and resources listed below are available for your reference. Except for Prevent Blindness America's affiliates and divisions, the organizations listed are not affiliated with Prevent Blindness America, nor does their inclusion imply endorsement of their goods or services by Prevent Blindness America.

Financial Assistance Fact Shet

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Prevent Blindness America programs and services in your state
Prevent Blindness America affiliates provide a variety of adult and children's programs that may be able to help you get the eye care you need.

American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
P.O. Box 7424
San Francisco, CA 94120
(415) 561-8500
FAX: (415) 561-8533

Sponsors several public service projects in conjunction with the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, under the umbrella name of EyeCare America. See: Diabetes EyeCare, Glaucoma EyeCare, Seniors EyeCare.

American Optometric Association (AOA)
243 North Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141
(800) 365-2219
FAX: (314) 991-4101

Sponsors VISION USA, a program offering free eye exams all year around. Call (800)766-4466 to request an application or to make inquiries. Or

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
6110 Executive Blvd. – Suite 510
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 231-5944
FAX: (301) 770-1828

Many optometry schools offer low-cost care to people willing to be treated by supervised students. They may also provide free care to people who join research studies.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
(877) 267-2323

Visit the website, call or write with questions that cannot be answered by your local Social Security office.

Diabetes EyeCare
P.O. Box 7424
San Francisco, CA 94120-7424
(800) 272-EYES (3937) 24-hour hotline

Sponsored by EyeCare America through the American Academy of Ophthalmology, they screen callers with diabetes. Those who qualify are referred to a participating ophthalmologist in their area. Patients have to be U.S. citizens or legal residents who are 65 and older, have diabetes, and not been to an ophthalmologist in the last three years.

Elected Official

Check with your state elected official.

Glaucoma EyeCare
P.O. Box 7424
San Francisco, CA 94120-7424
(800) 391-EYES (3937) 24-hour hotline

Sponsored by EyeCare America through the American Academy of Ophthalmology, they screen callers for glaucoma risk factors. Those who qualify are referred to a participating ophthalmologist in their area. Patients have to be U.S. citizens or legal residents, and not had an eye exam in the last year.

Health Department

Call your local office.

The Hill Burton Program
Health Resources and Services Admin.
5600 Fishers Lane – Room 10C-16
Rockville, MD 20857
(888) 275-4772 24-hour hotline

Participating hospitals and other healthcare facilities provide medical care for free, or at reduced cost, to those who meet eligibility requirements based on family size and income. Procedures covered vary from hospital to hospital. Request a list of assisting sites available in your state and apply at the hospital.

Lions Clubs International
300 22nd Street
Oak Brook, IL 60523-8842
(630) 571-5466
(800) 747-4448

Provides financial assistance to individuals for eye care through local clubs. Check your telephone book for the telephone number and address of a local club.

Free Medicine Foundation
P.O. Box 125
Doniphan, MO 63935-0125
(573) 996-7300

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.

Medicare Benefits and Your Eyes
lists of resource links about the new Medicare prescription drug program.

Mission Cataract USA
6716 N. Cedar Ave. – Suite 212
Fresno, CA 93710
(800) 343-7265*

*Please note – you will receive a voice message when you call this number. Leave your contact info and somebody will return your call.

Coordinated by the Volunteer Eye Surgeon’s Association, it 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.

National Council on Patient Information and Education
4915 Saint Elmo Avenue – Suite 505
Bethesda, MD 20814-6082
(301) 656-8565
FAX: (301) 656-4464

They provide free information on their website regarding the safe use of medicines.

National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314

They work to improve social and economic conditions of blind persons. Provides evaluations of present programs and assistance in establishing new ones. Grants scholarships to blind persons. Has a public education program including speakers’ bureau. Has several special interest divisions, including those for diabetics, educators, lawyers, parents of blind children, students and public employees. Have affiliates in all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

P.O. Box 63716
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625-9609
FAX: (419) 858-7221

They provide information obtained directly from the drug manufacturers regarding special programs to assist people who can’t afford to buy the drugs they need.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
950 F Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 835-3400 or (800) 762-4636
FAX: (202) 835-3414 is a new interactive website by PhRMA and 48 of its member companies. This site is designed to help people find patient assistance programs for which they may qualify.

Public Aid

Check with your state, county or city office.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

Contact your local Medicare office for information on qualifying.

Salvation Army

Contact your local office.

Senate Special Committee on Aging Prescription Drug Assistance Programs for Seniors
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G31
Washington, DC 20510

Prescription financial assistance. You must go through your eyecare specialist.

Senior Centers

Contact your local center to see if they have financial resource information in your area.

Seniors EyeCare
P.O. Box 429098
San Francisco, CA 94142-9098
(800) 222-EYES (3937) 24-hour hotline

Sponsored by the AAO and Knights Templar Foundation, they provide a comprehensive medical eye examination and treatment for any condition diagnosed at the initial visit. If a disease is diagnosed and requires ongoing care, treatment will be provided through the project for one year. To qualify, patients have to be U.S. citizens or legal residents who are 65 and older, and not been to an ophthalmologist in the last three years.

Sight for Students, a Vision Service Plan (VSP)
(888) 290-4964
Contact your local Prevent Blindness America affiliate for more details about this children's eyecare program.

This program is in partnership with The Entertainment Industry Foundation, and provides eye exams and glasses to children 18 years old and younger whose families cannot afford vision care.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Call your local Social Security Administration office for information on qualifying.

Social Workers

Contact a social worker at a hospital or other community agency. Social workers are often knowledgeable about community resources that can help people facing financial and medical problems.

Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)

Call your local Medicare office for information.

United Way

Check with your local office.

Talking Books
1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323)
Talking Books is a free library service available to eligible individuals of any age whose low vision, blindness, or physical handicap makes reading a standard printed page difficult. Through its national network of cooperating libraries, NLS mails books and magazines on cassette and in braille, as well as audio equipment, directly to enrollees at no cost.

Vision USA
243 North Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63141

Coordinated by the American Optometric Association (AOA), they provide free eye care to uninsured, low-income, working Americans and their families. Patients cannot have had an eye examination in the past 24 months. Applications may be obtained on the AOA website, along with more information. Click on “Meet the AOA” on the left side of the navigator bar, then look for the VISION USA icon.


The following online directories contain useful information about eye care and low vision resources.

Northern California
Coping with Sight Loss in Northen California

Florida Adult Vision Resource Guide (pdf)

North Carolina
Vision Resources in North Carolina

Vision Resources and Services for Older Ohioans

Living with Sight Loss in Tennessee

Vision Resources and Services for Wisconsin Adults (pdf)
Vision Resources and Services for Wisconsin Children (pdf)

Inclusion of this material does not constitute endorsement by Prevent Blindness America.


This web resource is made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Ophthalmics and (OSI)Eyetech Pharmaceuticals.

Copyright © 2006 Prevent Blindness America ®


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