Use your FSA Health Benefits Dollars Before December 31
If you participate in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer’s “Cafeteria Plan” benefits program, time may be running out. Some plans require the money you contributed to be spent by December 31, or you risk losing it. Here is a list of vision-related services and expenses that may qualify for reimbursement:
- Eye Health Examination
- Contact Lenses
- Prescription Sunglasses
- Laser Vision Correction
Please check with your plan administrator to determine the specific requirements of your plan. Beat the year-end rush. Call 210-732-3200 to schedule your appointment today.
There could be many reasons why your child won’t wear the glasses prescribed. The first thing you should do is have the fit of the glasses checked; no one wants to wear glasses that are uncomfortable. Next, have the prescription checked by the person who prescribed the glasses. If the glasses fit properly and the prescription is correct then it may be that the feel of the glasses, and seeing clearly are simply unfamiliar experiences. It may be asking too much to expect your child to wear the glasses all of the time in the early stages. Make sure that you understand what the glasses are for, and when it is most important for your child to wear them.
You can then encourage your child to wear his/her glasses in a number of ways:
- put the glasses on when he/she is doing an activity with you that is enjoyable. This way your child will learn to associate wearing glasses with a pleasant experience. If necessary, make it a short experience, and build up time gradually.
- put the glasses on in front of a mirror so that your child sees themselves with the glasses on. Children like looking at their own reflection and often forget they have glasses on.
- if you or another member of the family wears glasses, make a big show of putting them on for particular tasks. Most children love to copy others.
- if your child won’t wear their glasses at home then perhaps he/she will wear them at school. Chat to the class teacher and ask for his/her help in trying to persuade your child to keep the glasses on.
Some children do not like objects near their face. Others do not like change. But once your child learns that the glasses will not hurt and gets used to seeing more clearly, he/she will be happy to wear them. Start slowly and build up the wearing time gradually. If your child still refuses to wear his/her glasses, don’t turn it into a battle. Children learn quickly that a great way to get attention from parents is to throw their glasses across the room. What a great game! Most children grow out of their reluctance to wear glasses. Continue to take your child for routine eye exams annually and discuss any concerns with the optometrists.
That’s a great question, I see many patients that want to come to our office but don’t have their vision benefit with us. That means in many cases that we are an out-of-network provider. Usually you can come to our office for vision care and receive a partial reimbursement from your vision plan. If we are not on your vision plan you can still submit your claim to your benefits department for a reimbursement to you from your plan. You would pay us for our exam services and materials. We will give you a superbill aka billing statement and codes which will allow your benefits department and vision care plan to determine how much they would reimburse you for our services. It is still advised that you check this out in advance of using our services.
Recently, we purchased a Fundus Camera for our practice. Without going into a technical discussion of exactly what a Fundus Camera does, it essentially takes a photo of the back of the eye. The highly specialized image documents a baseline image that can be used for comparison over time. As we age and our bodies change, so do our eyes, which is why it is great to have a standard to compare by and see any changes over time. In addition to setting a standard, this screening can be used to diagnose potential eye diseases.
While the economy is down, it might not make sense to most optometrists to make capital equipment purchases. However, Dr. Maredia feels that a Fundus Photo screen is an excellent compliment to a comprehensive eye examination. We strive to be the best eye doctors in San Antonio and in order to accomplish this, we must have the right tools to do the job.
Please call us at 210-826-3937 to find out more details about this new equipment.
The options available to you in vision plans can be a little daunting. If you’ve chosen your
vision insurance through your employer, your HR department and the insurance company literature—and websites—are a good place to start to understand what your vision insurance plan does and does not cover.
In general, there are two types of vision insurance plans:
Vision Benefits Package
Often purchased as an addition to traditional employer-provided healthcare, this type of vision insurance includes a fixed set of benefits related to eye health and maintenance, such as routine eye exams and testing, discounts for corrective eyewear, even benefits that reduce the cost of eye surgery. Vision insurance like this typically includes a “network” of participating eyecare professionals who have agreed to honor the plan particulars. Continue reading
Group vision insurance can be obtained through your company, association, school district, etc., or through a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid. Also, as an individual, you have the option of purchasing your own vision benefit plan.
Vision insurance is often a value-added benefit included in indemnity health insurance plans, health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and plans offered by preferred provider organizations (PPOs):
- Indemnity health insurance is traditional insurance, which allows policyholders to access medical providers of their choice.
- An HMO is a group of healthcare professionals – doctors, laboratories, hospitals and the like – employed to provide health care services to plan members at discounted rates. Usually, health plan members are required to access health care only from HMO providers.
- A PPO is a network of healthcare professionals organized to provide healthcare services to plan members at a fixed rate below “retail” prices. Plan members may opt to access out-of-network providers, but usually at a greater cost.