Aging and Your Eyes

Aging can bring changes that affect eyesight. Some changes are more serious than others.  Older adults can protect their vision by practicing healthy habits, like not smoking, making smart food choices, and maintaining a healthy weight[1].   Older adults should have regular eye exams so vision problems can be caught early1. Early detection increases the chances of maintaining healthy vision in senior years.

See an eye care professional right away if you1:

  • Suddenly cannot see or everything looks blurry

  • See flashes of light

  • Have eye pain

  • Experience double vision

  • Have redness or swelling of your eye or eyelid

A wide variety of options are available to help people with low vision live and work more effectively, efficiently, and safely. These tools include1:

  • Large-print reading materials,

  • Magnifying aids,

  • Electronic reading machines,

  • And computers with large print and a talking function.

An annual eye exam can help catch devastating eye diseases, like glaucoma, early[2].  Older adults should talk to their doctor about checking regularly for diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases can cause eye problems if not controlled or treated2.   Also, older adults experiencing vision problems should talk to their eye doctor to learn whether it is safe for them to be driving.

[1] "Aging And Your Eyes." National Institute on Aging. NIHSeniorHealth, 30 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Dec. 2014.

[2] "Adult Vision: Over 60 Years of Age." Adult Vision: Over 60 Years of Age. American Optometric Association, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2014.

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment ended on December 7. If someone missed the Open Enrollment Period and is truly dissatisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan, there is a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) that lasts from January 1 to February 14 of the following year. A person in a Medicare Advantage Plan can leave their plan, switch to Original Medicare, and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage during this period. Learn more about joining a health or drug plan.
There are specific times when a person can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or Medicare prescription drug coverage . They can also make changes to existing coverage:

1. If they first become eligible for Medicare or turn 65 during the Initial Enrollment Period
2. During certain yearly enrollment periods
3. Under certain circumstances that qualify the person for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

Learn more about the Medicare C & D enrollment periods and be sure to take advantage of everything Medicare has to offer.

[1] Understanding Medicare Part C & D Enrollment Periods. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Oct. 2012. Web. Dec. 2013.

BPHC released the new Governance PIN (  There will be multiple opportunities for training regarding the new PIN, including TA calls specific for consultants and for special populations.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released Policy Information Notice (PIN) 2013-01: Health Center Budgeting and Accounting Requirements. The PIN is available at: