Diabetes can lead to eye diseases that cause eventual blindness. Detecting eye disease early can ward off debilitating results. Almost 35,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts have diabetes. However, a large proportion do not have regular eye exams as a part of a routine diabetes maintenance program.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and American Optometric Association (AOA) have teamed up to offer a program to help avoid blindness associated with diabetes. Their program, called National Eye Care Project, is for diabetics age 65 or older with Medicare. It offers medical and surgical eye care to financially disadvantaged seniors. The program provides medical eye care to all seniors who have not had an eye exam in the last three years. There is no cost to participants; both the deductible and co-payments are waived. Eligible participants receive:
- A comprehensive medical eye exam
- One year of treatment for any condition diagnosed at the initial visit
- No out-of-pocket expense with Medicare coverage
The AOA has also set up a Diabetes Hotline to match patients with participating optometrists in the area where they live. For more information about the NECP, call 1-800-222-EYES (3937). For the Diabetes Hotline call 1-800-262-3947.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.