Vision Coverage for Children and Adults
Most health plans cover medically necessary visits to an eye doctor. Sometimes they cover routine eye exams too, but to get complete vision coverage you may have to go to other sources. This article will tell you about those sources.
Private Insurance Options. The health insurance you get through your employer or the Health Insurance Marketplace might cover some eye care, but usually not eyeglasses for adults. The Affordable Care Act requires most plans to provide vision coverage for children. You can check with your health insurance carrier to see how much eye care they will cover. A stand-alone vision plan can cover eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses for the whole family.
Government Coverage. Medicare and Medicaid both cover medically necessary eye care, though Medicare doesn't usually cover routine eye exams or eyeglasses. Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) both cover children's eye care, including eyeglasses. For adults aged 21 and over, each state decides whether Medicaid will pay for routine eye care or not. If you're a veteran, you could get Veterans Affairs (VA) help with your vision care, including discounts on eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Other Ways to Save on Eye Care. A flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) can help you save money on eye care. You can also try discount websites, retail stores, universities and colleges with optometry or ophthalmology programs, and community health centers to see if they offer low-cost eye care and/or eyewear.
Charitable and Public Sources of Free or Low-Cost Eye Care. There are several nonprofit organizations that provide free or low-cost eye care for people in need. These include New Eyes, VSP Eyes of Hope, All Children See, InfantSEE, EyeCare America and Prevent Blindness.