Covered California has announced that it has selected VSP Vision Care, the nation's largest healthcare organization by membership, to offer access to vision care coverage for adults throughout the state. While still not an "essential benefit'" for adults under the Affordable Care Act, this new pathway to vision coverage helps close the gap in access to eye care for Californians who purchase their health insurance through Covered California.
Consumers can now visit Covered California's website which links to VSP's vision insurance offering. Additionally. consumers will be able to sign up for vision coverage throughout the entire year, instead of only during the Covered California's open enrollment.
An eye doctor conducting a routine, annual eye exam is often the first healthcare provider to detect signs of serious health condition, like diabetes, high cholesterol, and other chronic diseases. In fact, a study by HCMS Group showed that patients whose conditions were detected through an eye exam visited the emergency room less frequently, were less likely to be admitted to a hospital for their condition, and required fewer medications to control their condition, improving their well-being and reducing their healthcare costs.
Vision care is already deemed an essential benefit for children under Covered California, but is not an essential benefit for their parents or other adults who enroll in Covered California. In an effort to connect consumers directly with vision care providers through its web site, Covered California issued a request for proposal in November from vision plans interested in offering vision insurance.