We cannot leave the month of June without noting that it is Cataract Awareness Month. Why is it so important? Over 24 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness both in this country and worldwide. A cataract is when cells build up on the lens of the eye causing it to cloud. Light has trouble passing through, and it becomes difficult to see. While anyone, even children, can develop cataracts, most are age-related. Therefore they affect seniors the most.
Cataracts are also one of the simplest causes of blindness to treat. The clouding of the eye lens can be repaired in as little as 20 minutes with outpatient surgery. In fact, over 3 million Americans have this surgery each year. The treatment consists of removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one. The replacement, known as an intraocular lens, or IOL, has a 95% success rate. It is one of the safest and most successful surgeries in the country.
If you think you have cataracts see your opthamologist. In the meantime, avoid or delay cataracts by avoiding smoking, protecting your eyes from UV rays or injury, and eating healthy foods.
Cataract surgery with basic lens implants is covered by Medicare. There is even an exception to one of Medicare’s rules-after you have the surgery Medicare will cover one pair of eye glasses or contacts! Contact your Medicare representative for details to find out the specifics regarding your Plan, and make sure you get your glasses or contacts from a supplier that accepts assignment. Again, talk to your representative to avoid any pitfalls such as the possibility of having advanced implants not being covered, or having to pay for your glasses or contacts up front then submit for reimbursement (and then possibly having to appeal a denial.)
If you don’t have a representative, we always recommend having an agent to help you with those little bumps in the road and questions. Feel free to call us at 785-270-4593 or you can get a list of agents from your state insurance commission.
Questions? Please contact Century at 785-270-4593 or 1-800-227-0089 for assistance or to make an appointment.