A picture of Representative Carolyn B. Maloney
Carolyn M.
Democrat NY 12

About Rep. Carolyn
  • Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013

    by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney

    Posted on 2013-12-12

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    MALONEY of new york in the house of representatives Thursday, December 12, 2013 Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, it is estimated that more than 60 million Americans are at risk of serious vision loss--a number expected to increase as the baby boomer generation ages. Along with my colleague Rep. Gus Bilirakis, I am proud to introduce legislation to support Americans with limited or impaired vision. For someone with a visual impairment, reading a book or crossing the street could be blurred or distorted even with the help of glasses or contact lenses. In many cases a physician can prescribe magnifiers or special optical devices to help an individual remain independent. While there are a wide variety of options to help people with low vision, currently, there is an exclusion from Medicare coverage for devices that include a lens to aid vision or provide magnification of images for impaired vision. Ultimately, not having these assistance devices could shift more individuals from independent living to care facilities or nursing homes.

    To understand the impact of covering these devices for America's seniors, we are introducing the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013. This legislation would create a five- year national demonstration project administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate the economic impact of allowing reimbursement for certain low vision devices under the Social Security Act. Coverage of such devices could help Medicare beneficiaries with low vision lead healthy, safe, and independent lives.


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