Medicare & You: Glaucoma


Hi, I’m Angela James at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. I’ve got some important information to share with you about glaucoma awareness. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve. This nerve sends information from your eyes to your brain. When glaucoma damages your optic nerve, you begin to lose patches of vision, usually side vision. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to learn more about glaucoma and whether you’re at risk. For most people, glaucoma doesn’t have to lead to blindness. Here’s where Medicare can help. Medicare covers a glaucoma test once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma. Not sure if you’re at high risk? If you can answer “yes” to any of these 3 questions, then your risk of getting glaucoma may be higher. 1. Do you have diabetes or a family history of glaucoma? 2. Are you African American and 50 or older? 3. Are you Hispanic American and 65 or older? If you answered “yes,” don’t worry – just make your appointment for a screening instead. There are a few things to consider when you make your appointment: First, the screening must be done or supervised by an eye doctor who’s legally allowed to do this test in your state. Secondly, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Medicare Part B deductible applies. Or, if you get the test done in a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay a copayment. To learn how you can join the ongoing fight against vision loss, visit the Prevent Blindness website at PreventBlindness.org. For more information about your Medicare benefits, visit Medicare.gov.

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