Risks to Optometry


Because stand-alone vision plans can’t directly participate in the Insurance Exchanges, patient access for independent optometrists could be at risk in three crucial ways:

  1. You could be forced to see more patients from plans like Davis, Spectera, and CompBenefits in the Insurance Exchanges. Current law allows these plans to directly participate in the Insurance Exchanges, while disadvantaging stand-alone vision plans because they aren’t associated with a health plan.
  2. Fewer patients getting eye exams. Research shows that patients with vision care tied to medical plans, as is currently planned in the Insurance Exchanges, have significantly lower eye-exam utilization, which leads to thousands of patients with serious health conditions not getting the preventive care they need.*
  3. You may be locked out of medical plans. Health plans have a long history of discriminating against optometry and there is nothing in the current legislation that guarantees optometry’s participation. The highly touted Harkin Amendment doesn’t guarantee access or parity.

*July 13, 2010 National Association of Vision Care Plans study by an independent research firm.

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