Cataract is characterized by the clouding of the eye’s lens and has been found to be a leading cause of blindness. However, the good news is that it is easily treatable with the corrective surgery costing up to $3,500. The surgery replaces the natural lens with an artificial one and is carried out in the outpatient setting. For those of you who find it unaffordable, we have compiled a list of financial resources that can help you pay for the cost of cataract surgery.
Mission Cataract USA
Mission Cataract USA offers free cataract surgery to patients who cannot afford it. To be eligible to receive help you are required to fit in one of the following circumstances: have poor vision that is cataract-related and uncorrectable with glasses; have visual impairment that significantly interferes with daily activities; and have no access to Medicaid, Medicare, private health insurance, or any other means to pay for it.
Lions Club International
Lions Club International also provides financial assistance to help patients with the cost of cataract surgery. The Lions Club International conducts free eye exams for children and free cataract surgical services to children in need. Also, this organization provides financial support to adults with vision problems. You can find your nearest club by visiting the official website.
American Optometric Association
Patients looking to pay for the cost of cataract surgery can contact The American Optometric Association through the AOA Foundation’s Optometry Cares Program. this program offers free eye tests to people who fall in the low-income category. You will be required to show documentation to show your financial circumstances. Through the Vision USA service, the program offers eye glasses at reduced or no cost.
To be eligible for the program, you should meet the following requirements:
– lack any public or private forms of insurance
– meet certain income guidelines outlined by the program
– not have had an eye exam in the last two years.
Surgical correction of cataract is also covered by Medicare. However, it pays those expenses that are directly related to cataract disease only. That is to say, if you had a condition that is not covered by Medicare before developing cataract, you may be able to get the condition corrected during cataract surgery but Medicare will not cover it. Your surgeon will be asked to bill you separately on the procedures that are unrelated to cataract correction. Your surgery will be covered under Medicare Part B; you may have to pay 20% Medicare Part B coinsurance for the surgery and your Medicare deductible.
In addition, Medicare covers the cost of pre-surgery examinations (to discuss your cataract and anesthesia during surgery), follow-up care, and for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and intraocular lenses. You need to pay 20% of the amount approved by Medicare and your Medicare deductible.
You could use online fundraising to seek help from family and friends. Online fundraising is easy to use. Simply by signing up online for free, you can start raising funds within 10 minutes of creating your page.
Once you sign up, you need to personalize your fundraising page by writing about your story, your health condition (a descriptive note on how cataract is interfering with your life), and your financial situation. Adding photos and even videos to help engage your viewers can increase your donations tremendously. The more you work on your story and are genuine with the amount you are asking for, the more likely family and friends will lend a hand to donate.
Once you are happy with your fundraising page, you can share the unique link of your page among your family, friends, and colleagues. This can be easily done with the help of social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter or by sending them an email to friends and family.
online fundraising is a great alternative to traditional ways of seeking financial assistance. It can help pay for the cost of cataract surgery much quicker then seeking assistance from the state department or from a non-profit organization.
1. Get free cataract surgery and eye exams with sight and vision grants: http://grantsguys.com/free-cataract-surgery/
2. How the program operates: http://www.aoafoundation.org/vision-usa/how-the-program-operates/
3. Medicare and cataracts surgery: http://www.ehealthmedicare.com/about-medicare/cataracts/