Grants of up to €1,000 are to be given towards the cost of medically required contact lenses.
The scheme, being announced by Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, is to be made available every two years for employees and the self-employed.
The support was previously provided every four years.
The changes take effect immediately for people who qualify under the Treatment Benefit Scheme.
The scheme is available to employees, self-employed and retired people with the required PRSI contributions - and to their adult dependants.
It provides for full - or partial - funding for certain dental, optical, aural treatments and medical appliances - as well as a grant towards the cost of a hairpiece, wig or hair replacement.
Minister Humphreys says further changes are also being examined.
"Contact lenses can be a costly expense and this measure is designed to assist people who require specialised lenses for medical reasons.
"The regulations that I have signed today ensure that these people, whether employees or the self-employed, are given the same treatment as those who might use the Treatment Benefit Scheme to receive support towards the cost of a pair of glasses.
"I will continue to examine what further changes we can make to this important scheme so that more of our citizens can benefit".