Did you know that up to 1 in 4 children have a vision condition? Several of these conditions go undetected until later in life when they become debilitating. For instance, amblyopia, or a “lazy eye”, can compromise your child’s healthy eye, leading to either monocular or total blindness. Other common disorders diagnosed in children include refractive disorders or those caused by injury or trauma.
The average vision exam is around $100—and treating conditions like amblyopia can cost upwards of $2,500, which sounds like a hefty price. However, if you’re tentative to take your kids for an eye exam or hoping the vision problem will go away because of costs, the Affordable Care Act, frequently referred to as “Obamacare,” can ease some of your apprehension. Also, your children will not be considered “young adults” until age 20, so even at the age of 19, it is important to communicate regarding their vision and schedule their annual eye exams to maintain optimal vision.
With Obamacare as a whole, if you are making less than 400% of the federal poverty level, which for a family of four is roughly $94,000, then you are eligible for subsidies and reduced premiums. If you make less than 200% (approximately $58,500 for a family of four), then you may be eligible for help with costs.
Are you wondering what this has to do with your child’s vision care?
Under the Affordable Care Act, an amendment has added children’s dental and vision coverage to the 10 categories of essential benefits. Undoubtedly, vision care is essential throughout all stages of life, as age can aggravate many vision conditions and lead to irreparable damage. Unlike dental care, vision is a requirement in benefits packages. They offer at least partial coverage of eye exams and glasses.
As an essential benefit, child vision care is not subjected to any lifetime or annual dollar limits to coverage. You may have to pay the small deductible, but insurance companies cannot take your child’s right to see properly and create a limit for the cost. Vision screenings for children are now covered under preventative care.
Ideally, your child’s first eye exam should occur at least by age 6. Basic eye exams are a part of pediatric checkups, but a comprehensive exam ensures healthy eye development. Through Obamacare, which will require most Americans to have health care by January 1, 2014, your children have easier access to the most essential parts of eye care: early treatment and preventative measures. If your child is squinting or cannot see from the back of the classroom, the Affordable Care Act offers an ease of access to the necessary eye exams. Additionally, if your family has any history of vision conditions, getting your child examined early is essential to preventing a condition’s escalation. There’s no need to hesitate to make an appointment. In fact, it is much more convenient to have eye exams annually, as recommended by the AOA.