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Under the Biden administration, eye care insurance should become more accessible. The administration hopes to make vision coverage a standard feature of most public health care plans.
Biden was a key player in getting the Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010. Under his new administration, President Biden hopes to expand public health care by making it more affordable and comprehensive.
Currently, vision coverage is not included in most standard health care plans. Supplemental vision plans must be purchased by employers or individuals.
Looking ahead, President Biden hopes to get vision care included on all public health care plans. He wants to expand access to Medicare and create a public insurance option that includes coverage for vision care.
Expanding health care access across the U.S. is a clear priority of the Biden administration. Exactly how this will happen is yet to be seen, as President Biden will likely be met with opposition along the way.
If President Biden’s insurance plans are successfully implemented, many Americans may experience more affordable access to health care, including vision coverage.
The Future of Vision Insurance Under Biden
The Biden administration has many big issues to tackle. One of the top priorities is making affordable health care available to more Americans. In addition to making it more accessible, the Biden administration hopes to expand standard covered services to include vision care, among other features.
If the Biden administration is successful, more Americans will automatically be covered for standard vision care. Supplemental vision plans will also remain an option for employers, individuals, and families to purchase.
Biden & the Affordable Care Act
In 2010, the Obama-Biden administration signed the Affordable Care Act into law, providing affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans. The Affordable Care Act made health coverage accessible to people with preexisting conditions, eliminated annual and lifetime limits of coverage, and extended coverage to young people up to the age of 26, among other important features.
As president, Biden will focus on expanding the Affordable Care Act by providing more choices, further decreasing health care costs, and making the health care system easier to navigate. President Biden hopes to increase the Affordable Care Act so that nearly every American has the option for public health insurance, should they want it.
Key points of President Biden’s expansion plan include:
- Boosting the value of tax credits to reduce premiums.
- Expanding coverage to more working and low-income Americans.
- Premium tax credits for families.
- Lowering coverage deductibles.
- Ending “surprise” billing.
- Limiting launch prices, as well as price increases, for drugs.
President Biden’s plan to expand health care across America will make it more accessible and helpful to millions of American. Various facets of health care, including women’s health, mental health, and vision care coverage will also be expanded.
How Vision Insurance Currently Works
Currently, most vision coverage must be purchased as a supplemental plan. Few standard health care plans include vision coverage. Employers can purchase group vision care insurance plans, though they are not required to. If you don’t have an employer-sponsored vision plan, you can purchase an individual policy for you and your family.
Individual vision policies are offered by many health insurance companies, with costs as low as $10 per month. Most plans come with a premium and/or copay, so annual costs are a bit higher once all expenses are added up. The benefits offered by each policy vary from company to company and from plan to plan.
Standard features of basic vision coverage plans include:
- An annual eye exam.
- One pair of new glasses or contact lenses per year.
Beyond the basics, the majority of vision plans offer discounts for additional pairs of glasses, upgrades to lenses and frames, and LASIK. Fuller plans are likely to extend discounts and coverage for additional eye surgeries and the treatment of certain eye diseases.
Vision insurance, like standard heath insurance, can be tricky to navigate. When shopping for a plan, it is important to pay attention to all possible fees, allowances, discounts, and requirements for use of in-network or out-of-network doctors. While it can be complicated to decipher, vision insurance provides significant help, making vision care affordable and accessible to those who need it.
The Future of Vision Coverage
As part of President Biden’s effort to expand Medicare and Medicaid, he hopes to widen eligibility for these programs. Medicare is currently only available to people age 65 and older, and the Biden administration would aim to lower its age requirement to age 60. Services would also broaden.
Dental, vision, and hearing coverage, which are not currently standard coverage options, would become standard components of every health plan. Currently, such benefits can only be obtained by purchasing supplemental policies.
Officials from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) are optimistic that the Biden administration could increase access to ophthalmological services for many Americans. By lowering the age eligibility requirement of Medicare, many older Americans, who are in greater need of vision care, could have access to important vision services.
Likewise, President Biden’s focus on establishing effective COVID-19 relief programs would help to ensure that there is ongoing support for medical practices. Americans would have better access to services, and there would hopefully be high-quality and well-supported programs from which to access services.
During the consultation, we will ask you about your eye health history and your medications, and perform some tests. You will then be examined by the surgeon who will discuss your treatment options. Your personal Patient Counselor will help you throughout the process.
Your Counselor can review payment options and schedule you for surgery and related appointments, such as pre- and post-operative exams. Prior to your procedure you will have a dilated eye exam, and you should discontinue wearing your contact lenses and begin taking eye drops as instructed.
Plan to be at the center for two to three hours the day of your procedure. ICL eye surgery is a fairly brief outpatient procedure. Your surgeon dilates your eyes, and gives you a local anesthetic to numb the area. A tiny incision is made, and the clear lens is slipped between your iris and your eye’s natural lens. The day of your procedure should be a day of rest.
Your Patient Counselor will give you detailed post-operative instructions and eye drop regimen for your recovery. After ICL surgery, you’ll need several follow-ups with your eye doctor. Visual recovery is rapid, and you can expect noticeable improvement within a day or two. Most patients are generally able to return to their normal activities within two or three days following their procedure.
Vision Coverage & the Biden Administration
It is difficult to predict exactly how much the Biden administration will be able to expand health and vision coverage across the country, but it is clear that it is a priority. President Biden has pledged to reverse the trend of cuts to public health care made by the Trump administration over the last four years.
Although he will likely be met with opposition as he tries to expand the Affordable Care Act, President Biden is striving to increase what is covered and make public health insurance available to far more people than it currently is.
AAO Official Voices Optimism for Future of Health Care with Incoming Biden Admin. (November 2020). Ophthalmology Times.
Health Care. JoeBiden.com.
Is Vision Insurance Worth It? What You Should Know. (September 2019). Investopedia.
What Biden’s Election Means for U.S. Health Care and Public Health. (November 2020). National Public Radio.