Health care and healthy vision– two things most Canadians take for granted. Luckily it is because most provincial medical systems provide many advantages to their citizens. Here in Alberta, you might be surprised what costs Alberta Health covers. Read on to learn what is and is not paid for at the optometrist by presenting your health care card.
Regular eye exams are vital to healthy vision. Do not pass up on yearly visits to the optometrist, as many eye problems have symptoms only a doctor can see. Consult the categories below to see what exam costs Alberta Health will cover:
Ages 0-19 & 65+ – One eye exam per year (in Alberta only). Some follow-up exams may be covered for patients with specific medical needs,
Ages 19-64 – Only medically necessary optometric exams are covered. Costs for non-essential exams range from $75-130.
A big term with a simple meaning; Alberta Health defines it as immediate treatment “for a medical condition, episode of illness or trauma.” Some examples:
- Infection or injury,
- Foreign object,
- Sudden changes to vision,
- Sudden pain.
Remember, the final say on what is deemed necessary is up to the optometrist that performs the procedure. Make sure to ask your doctor before any exam begins to be sure of any costs.
GLASSES & CONTACT LENSES
Unfortunately, Alberta Health does not cover the cost of glasses or contact lenses. Some people with special needs (i.e.: seniors) may be eligible for reimbursement, but it is best to assume you are responsible for you and your family’s eye wear costs.
Consider the following dos and don’ts to make the most of your personal health investment:
- Do get an annual contact lens fitting: contacts are not “one size fits all”. Consult your optometrist for the best fit for you.
- Don’t feel pressured: You are not required to buy glasses or lenses from the optometrist that performs your medical services,
- Do shop around: Compare all “deals” or “sales” to get the best price,
- Don’t be afraid to ask: A qualified doctor will address any & all questions,
- Do get coverage: Personal or group insurance can cover many extra costs.
Remember: if in doubt, ask! We’re happy to answer any question you might have here at the Vision Gallery. Our experts will guide you to the best eye wear choice for your health and style.