• The Affordable Care Act’s Children’s Eye Health Benefit

    Written by: Shirley Dang and Dan Gudgel
    Aug. 04, 2014

    Through the Affordable Care Act, parents in the United States can now sign up for health insurance plans that will provide their children with full coverage for childhood comprehensive eye exams and glasses or contact lenses for correcting vision.

    Initially, the health care law provided coverage for child vision screenings during well-child visits. However, recent changes to the Act make it easier for families to follow-up on eye problems identified through screenings. The American Academy of Ophthalmology – along with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus – recommends that children receive vision screenings at regular intervals.

    A vision screening is a quick and simple check of a child's vision, to identify any problems with how their eyes are working. Although a vision screening can be performed by a doctor during an office visit, they are also often performed by other trained healthcare workers at places like schools, health centers and community events.

    If, during a vision screening, a child's eyes or vision appear to be weaker or less developed than they should be, they need to be seen by an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. Vision screening can identify who may need further tests, but a comprehensive eye exam by an expert will be needed to find the actual cause of the vision problem.

    Visit www.healthcare.gov to learn more about state health insurance exchanges and the new vision benefits available under the Affordable Care Act.

    See also: Vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams.