Tick tock! Your 2017 health benefits may be up at the end of December. Along with the holiday season comes the end of the year rush to get your eye exam and use your vision insurance benefits and/or your flex spending account. It gets REALLY busy the last week of the year…so don’t miss out on your opportunity to see the Eye Doctor this year…use your vision benefits today!
Maximum Annual Benefits
Typically, your insurance company will offer a maximum amount of benefits that can be used during the calendar year. Insurance is typically on a use-it-or-lose-it basis: you can use the benefits any time during the year, but you can’t roll the benefits to the following calendar year. So, you need to make sure that you schedule time for your eye exams before December 31st.
Even though most insurance plans have a cut-off date at the end of the year, there are certain situations when benefits can rollover to the next year. The best thing that you can do is talk to your insurance company to understand your benefits. Then, you can be sure that you are using your coverage within the right timeframe.
Remember your flexible spending account can be used to help you purchase those new frames or lenses you need to get.
Alberta Health Coverage
Did you know Alberta Health covers annual eye exams for children from ages 0-18 and for adults aged 65 and up.
In addition, Alberta Health also covers Albertans of all ages for visits related to medical eye problems, such as eye infections, trauma, eye diseases, or other medical eye-related concerns.
During these visits, Alberta Health does allow the glasses prescription to be checked, and only relevant testing will be done (this is NOT a full exam). If you have any concerns about your eye health or vision that you feel needs attention, other than needing glasses, Alberta Health will often, but not always, cover this examination.
Examples of such problems include eye trauma, conjunctivitis (pink eye), eye infections, ocular allergies, feeling something in the eye, seeing floaters or flashes of light in your vision, eye pain and so forth.
Alberta Health also realizes the benefit of annual dilated health examinations for those with diabetes of any age. Alberta Health will pay for these visits as well. During these visits, the glasses prescription will not be checked. Our doctors will then send a report to your family doctor informing them about the presence or absence of diabetic related problems in the eye.
***These types of visits are separate from your regular complete eye examination (which Alberta Health does not cover for those between ages 19 and 64). If you have diabetes, please call today to book an annual dilated eye examination.
Currently, Alberta Health does not cover the cost of glasses unless you meet certain criteria. If you are over the age of 65, Alberta Health will possibly contribute a certain amount towards glasses depending on your income.