California Health Insurance Carriers Expand Vision Coverage
Blue Shield of California and Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Company, independent licensees of The Blue Shield Association and Blue Shield Health Plans; have announced plans to expand vision coverage. Strong advocates of vision health, the companies have always recognized the importance to overall health and wellness of providing medical coverage for vision care and eyewear. All Blue Shield of California medical insurance plans always included coverage for annual eye exams and eyewear including shatterproof polycarbonate lenses for wearers who require them. Now the plans have expanded to cover Photochromic lenses, for patients that have had them prescribed by an eyecare professional.
Photochromic lenses like Transitions Lenses, one of the nations leading brands, are those that change color when exposed to sunlight, eliminating the need for a second pair of prescription sunglasses. Like prescription sunglasses, Transitions lenses have been shown to block 100% of UVA and UVB radiation. Photochromic lenses not only reduce glare which increases visual acuity, especially important in potentially dangerous situations like driving or operating other motor vehicles, but UVB and UVA radiation have been shown to be a cause of several forms of preventable blindness. Thus the reasoning behind Blue Shields decision to add medical insurance coverage for the Photochromic lenses. Bob Repke VP of Blue Shield's Ancillary Division explains. "Eye health is integral to overall health and wellness, and to many people's job performance as well. As more doctors prescribe photochromics to enhance and protect eyesight, we are making sure our vision plan members are covered for their eyecare needs."
That Blue Shield recognizes the value of improvements in vision care and is helping their membership gain access to the latest in state of the art vision correction devices and materials is being embraced by the eyecare community. The idea that health insurance plans are covering not only traditional vision correction products, but products that are used to enhance the quality and safety of everyday life shows they have made great strides forward in recognizing the overall health impact of such products.
Annual eye exams as provided for by The Blue Shield of California Plans are useful medical tools. They not only can detect and correct covered vision problems, but a yearly eye exam can also reveal glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other diseases, even ones not directly of the eye such as diabetes, hypertension, and brain tumors. Said one eyecare professional, "The eyes may or may not be the window to the soul, but they certainly tell us a heck of a lot about what is going on inside of your body".