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What should I bring to my exam?

  • Insurance Cards & ID
  • A dated copy of your previous eyeglass and/or contact lens prescription if possible

  • The glasses you are using if possible
  • Some patients prefer to bring a driver since they will be dilated (this is not mandatory).
  • Method of payment to cover your copays for exams and materials
  • A list of questions you may want to ask the doctor

Do you know what my copay will be, how much my contact lenses will be, how much my glasses will cost etc?

The Tacoma Eye staff works very hard at helping you estimate how much a patient’s out of pocket cost can  be.  However the final decision is made by your insurance company after the exam is complete. Once they determine how much they are willing to pay, an explanation of benefits (EOB form) will be mailed to you from your insurer(s).  Read it carefully.  The ultimate responsibility for payment is that of the patient or guardian.

What is the difference between Vision insurance and Medical insurance?

Now more than ever insurance is complicated and seems to cover less and less.  We hope this information will help you.

Vision Plans cover routine vision screening services such as periodic eye examinations and refractions (determining the eyeglass prescription.) Some vision plans will also offer benefits on materials. These benefits may take the form of allowances toward materials and contact lens fittings. Benefits vary greatly and it is important for patients to communicate with their vision plan to know what is covered.

Examples of Vision Insurance are: VSP, Davis Vision and EYEMED

Medical insurance, on the other hand, covers medical eye care like eye emergencies and diseases (Dry eye, Glaucoma, Diabetes, Macular Degeneration).  Often, diagnostic tests such as specialized photography and specialized visual field evaluations are covered as well. Most insurances have deductibles and co-pays associated with your coverage. Please check with your nsurance plan to know what your deductible is.

Examples of Medical insurance are: Aetna and Regence.

Sometimes we see patients “out of network”. In these cases, we will give you the documentation you will need to be reimbursed by your insurance.

Please read the “explanation of benefit” (EOB) forms you get from your vision insurance and medical insurance carriers carefully.

HSAs and Flex Spending Accounts may be used to cover prescription eyewear.

Some patients may prefer to not use insurance and pay cash for their exams, please check with our front desk on discounts for “private pay”.

For Example:  If you are coming in for a yearly vision exam and want to see if your eyeglass prescription has changed you typically use a vision plan to cover a portion of the visit cost. If you were hit in your eye with a stick while cleaning the yard and came in to see us we would bill your medical plan.

Most often what occurs is a patient comes in for their annual eye exam and we may discover signs of macular degeneration (for example) and schedule you to return for additional testing.  Typically the first appointment will be billed to the vision insurance and the follow up visits and testing are billed to your medical insurance.

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