How is Vision Care Covered?
Standard health insurance plans typically pay for the treatment and diagnosis of injuries occurring within the eye region, as well as, diseases affecting the eyes. On the other hand, regular health plans won’t cover the costs for routine checks like eye exams, frames for eyewear, and corrective lenses. These additional services can be covered by policies belonging to the category of vision care insurance.
Some large corporations have the capacity to provide this additional coverage to its employees, but most don’t include it in the employee benefits. The US Department of Labor states that there are fewer than 30% of employees that enjoy this benefit.
Generally, vision care insurance pays for yearly eye examinations involving refraction. This is an additional service that assesses the vision of an individual. The costs for contact and eyeglass lenses, including eyeglass frames, are also included in the scope of coverage. Plans may indicate limits as to how many times the policy will pay for lenses and the like. For instance, the insured may be allowed to change them once every two years. Advanced correctional procedures to improve vision like PRK and LASIK are made more affordable through discounts.
Whether you buy a personal vision care plan or be it provided by your employer, you will be asked to get exams and treatment from a group of preferred service providers that are affiliated with the insurer. This is the industry standard. However, occasionally there are insurers that will allow its patrons to avail of such services from any source. If you do choose a service provider that does not belong to the preferred list of affiliates, you will have to shoulder a bigger portion of the expenses.
Optometrists and general ophthalmologists will be the ones to assess the person. A doctor of optometry checks on the individual’s vision. Problems like being farsighted or nearsighted may be diagnosed and provided treatment for by an optometrist. Corrective contact lenses or eyeglasses can be prescribed in such cases. They can also check for other health problems that show signs in the eye region. These include diabetes and high blood pressure. They can also treat “pink eye” or conjunctivitis.
Ophthalmologists have a wider range of expertise because they are medical doctors. They can diagnose injuries and diseases of the eye. Aside from non-invasive treatments, they can perform surgery. When it comes to one’s vision, like the optometrist, an ophthalmologist can also diagnose and treat vision problems.
Not all employers offer vision care as part of their insurance package. These may be availed through organizations like fraternities, alumni association for degree holders, local business groups and religious organizations. Citizens who are over 65 and have the Medicare Advantage Plan may already have vision care coverage, which even provides eyeglasses.
For people who are currently using contact lenses or eye glasses for corrective purposes, it would be wise of avail of a vision care plan. Others may use their regular health insurance policies for routine eye examinations.