Most people in the U.S. are required to carry medical insurance. Vision insurance, on the other hand, is not required and can be purchased as a supplemental plan. Because medical and vision insurance are separate plans, some people get confused about which services are covered under each plan.
To help you understand, your eye doctor explains the rationale behind having your vision insurance separate from your medical insurance.
Why Vision Insurance Is Separate From Medical Insurance
There’s no single reason behind medical insurance being separate from vision insurance. One factor that contributed to this is the relatively recent development of the field of optometry compared to other branches of medicine. In fact, eyeglasses in the past were created by craftsmen instead of medical professionals, and it wasn’t until the last several decades that contact lenses became mainstream and procedures such as LASIK were developed.
When an Eye Exam Is Covered Under Medical Insurance vs. Vision Insurance
Due to the separation of medical and vision care benefits, you may be confused as to whether your eye exam will be covered by your medical policy or your vision care plan. The answer is that it depends on the reason for your visit to the eye care specialist. If the nature of your concern is “medical,” such as allergies, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, then the eye exam should be billed with your medical policy carrier. If you scheduled an appointment with your optometrist for a routine eye exam, however, then most likely this is considered a benefit under your vision care insurance. The same usually goes for any preventative eye care service or product. Eyeglasses and contact lenses are often discounted as well under vision insurance.
For more eye care information, complete our form to request a visit. We serve Alexandria, Arlington and the surrounding VA communities.