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Basic eye-health and vision-care services free of charge
Information from American Optometric Association website:

  • More than 40 million low-income, working people in the United States cannot afford the cost of routine eye care or the health insurance that covers it. As income earners, they don’t qualify for government aid and private health-care assistance.
  • Now a year-round program, VISION USA can help these people by providing basic eye health and vision care services free of charge to the many uninsured low-income people and their families who have no other means of obtaining care.
  • VISION USA, started nationwide in 1991, is a program developed by doctors of optometry who are members of the American Optometric Association. Approximately 314,000 low income working Americans have benefited from free eye exams through VISION USA.


Here are the general eligibility requirements, although they may vary by state. To receive free services, individuals must:

1. Have a job or live in a household where there is one working member;
2. Have no vision insurance;
3. Have income below an established level based on household size; and
4. Not have had an eye exam within 2 years.

If an individual or family is eligible, they will be matched with a volunteer doctor of optometry who will provide a comprehensive eye exam at no charge. The doctors are donating their services and may be limited in some areas. Eyewear may also be provided at no cost or for a small fee/donation in some states.

How To Get Care

For specific information on how to apply, go to the VISION USA website at:

  • Write to VISION USA, 243 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141.
  • Or call 1-800/766-4466, 7 a.m.-9 p.m., CST, Monday through Friday.

For additional information contact:

Ms. Carol Glick, VISION USA National Coordinator
243 North Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: 314/991-4100, ext. 261
Fax: 314/991-4101
E-mail: [email protected]

Related Information

As part of VISION USA’s support of "America’s Promise," we made a commitment to provide information on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). SCHIP provides affordable health insurance to children and youth in working families. To obtain information about the free and affordable coverage available in your state, you can call a toll-free hotline 1-877-KIDS NOW. This number will connect parents of potentially eligible children directly with people in their state who can assist them in enrolling in the state children’s health insurance programs. Please note, the program may be called something other than SCHIP in your state.

In 1999, VISION USA joined forces with America’s Promise, The Alliance for Youth, founding chairman General Colin L. Powell. With over one million children in this country not getting basic eye care, VISION USA hopes to help these children, families and individuals by providing examinations and doctors willing to help.

VSP, the nation’s largest provider of eye care, is the exclusive sponsor of the VISION USA program.

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