Health care reform and vision benefits: Bringing the facts into focus

When it comes to health care reform, most people’s minds first jump to medical benefits, and that makes sense considering the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have the biggest impact on that area of health care. However, the new legislation will trigger some changes in ancillary benefits, such as vision, as well. And whether you have glasses, contacts or 20/20 vision, the ACA will require changes in vision coverage policies that may impact your family.

With that in mind, we’re focusing the wide lens of health care reform to give you a clear picture of the future of vision benefits:

Pediatric Vision Benefits

Starting January 1, 2014, the ACA will require most forms of individual and small group health insurance to cover a minimum set of health benefits referred to as Essential Health Benefits (EHBs). EHBs encompass 10 categories of health care coverage – one category is pediatric vision services, which entails routine eye exams, glasses and contacts. This means individual and small group insurance coverage must include these pediatric vision benefits for kids 19 and younger.

What does this mean for Mom and Dad?

For adults seeking vision coverage, most insurers will continue to offer standalone vision policies that can be purchased as an addition to a family’s general health insurance plan. Consumers can compare vision plans and explore their options on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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