Reps. Bilirakis, Maloney Reintroduce Low-Vision Devices Legislation

Posted on 04/12/2017

Posted by Life Science Daily

U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) reintroduced bipartisan legislation last week that would provide Medicare coverage for individuals requiring low vision devices.

“Coverage of low vision devices under Medicare will allow seniors with visual impairments to enjoy everyday activities and age independently,” Maloney said. “For some, reading a book or crossing the street is difficult even with glasses or contact lenses due to blurriness or distortion.”

The Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act would create a national demonstration project to evaluate the economic impact of allowing reimbursement for these devices.

“As someone who lives with visual impairments myself, I understand how important magnifiers and other low vision devices are for visually impaired individuals,” Bilirakis said. “Our bipartisan bill will help seniors access the low vision devices they need to more easily go about their daily lives and enjoy more independence.”

The Department of Health and Human Services would administer the five-year project, which would examine the inclusion of low-vision devices which are currently excluded from Medicare coverage.

“Medicare coverage for low vision devices will significantly improve the effectiveness of vision rehabilitation services that are already covered under Medicare,” Alan R. Morse, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild, a full spectrum healthcare company that caters to the blind and visually impaired, said. “It is time for CMS to correct this inequitable and unjust policy. I thank the Representatives for their continued support of this issue.”