March is Save Your Vision Month as declared by the American Optometric Association. It is designated to raise awareness for comprehensive & annual eye evaluations.
- Good vision does not equate to good eye health.
- Blindness caused by uncontrolled diabetes continues to increase.
- Dry eye (aka dry macular degeneration) is twice as common in women as in men.
- It was predicted that by 2020, 40 million Americans would be affected by reduced vision (even blindness) due to age-related disease.
- About 80% of vision problems are preventable via early detection in an eye exam.
- Less than 45% of Medicare eligible individuals had an eye exam in 2017.
Your Eyes Are The Window To Your Health
Eye exams are key to determine your risk for conditions such as cataracts, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. However, eye exams are also beneficial for the early detection of non-eye related health concerns. Some of these conditions include hypertension, autoimmune disorders, metastatic cancers, and inflammatory conditions (e.g. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, lupus, etc.).
- While many insurance companies urge their policyholders to receive an eye exam every other year, it is important to have an annual eye exam. This is especially true if you are at risk of disease due to family history.
- Don’t use tobacco products.
- Besides carrots, green and leafy vegetables are great to maintain eye health such as spinach or kale.
- Wear good & quality sunglasses. Also make sure to wear protective eyewear when working with sharp objects or chemicals (e.g. bleach or nail polish remover).
- Exercise! Eyes require good blood circulation and oxygen exchange to work effectively. Use the talk/sing test as mentioned in our February newsletter.
- Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes when using electronics (your T.V. included).
- If you use contacts, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders! Also make sure to replace your contact lens case frequently as they are a wonderful source for bacterial growth.
“It’s not normal to be losing vision as you get older, and there’s usually an underlying reason,” says Rahul Khurana, a physician and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
It’s tax season! The only form you may receive from Medicare is a 1095-B relating to your Part A coverage. You do not need to include this form for your taxes, it is just for your own records.
Does Medicare Have Vision Coverage?
Coverage for specific tests or procedures is offered if you have cataracts, diabetes, or age-related macular degeneration. However, regular eye exams are not covered, and neither are glasses or contact lenses. As a new patient an exam could set you back $250 on average or $155 for an established patient without insurance let alone the cost of glasses! With stand-alone vision insurance though, you can dramatically reduce your cost.
Need Dental, Vision, and Hearing Coverage?
Dental insurance is hard to come by with both Medicare and Medigap plans. It is usually a separate plan you have to purchase in addition to Medicare or Medicare Supplement plans because neither give you much coverage. We have options for dental insurance that include vision and hearing, that are the most affordable.
Speak with one of our licensed agents about the Dental, Vision & Hearing plans we can offer you! Remember, our services are free to you!