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Free Eye Exams for 65-Plus

Free eye exams may be a click away — at EyeCare America. This online service, sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, arranges screenings with local volunteer ophthalmologists for certain older Americans who do not belong to an HMO or have no coverage through the Veterans Administration.

To qualify, you must also be 65 or older and not have seen an eye doctor in at least three years. You can get up to one year of follow-up care for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam, at no cost. Volunteer ophthalmologists will waive copayments, accepting Medicare and other insurance reimbursement as payment in full. If you have no insurance, you will receive this care at no charge.

People of any age who are determined to be at increased risk for glaucoma (by age, race or family history) may also qualify for exams if they haven't had an eye exam in the past year. Insured patients may be responsible for copays, but there's no cost to the uninsured.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.