Michigan Optometric Association rejects vision plan effort to limit full-scope optometric care

May 24, 2012

By an overwhelming 6 to 1 margin, the Michigan Optometric Association (MOA) voted on May 9 to reject a plan backed by vision plans and their representatives seeking to gain control over how optometric care will be delivered in the state health insurance exchange now being created. Instead, MOA doctors support moving toward integrating vision and eye health coverage and assuring the seamless delivery eye health care by optometrists.

“The MOA’s decisive action represents another tremendous victory by optometry for ODs and our patients across our state and will help ensure that the full pediatric vision care essential benefit that we worked so closely with the AOA to get into the law will be offered right here,” said Matthew J. Maki, O.D., immediate past president of the MOA.

In 2010, at the urging of the AOA, Congress declared pediatric vision care to be essential and, at the same time, required vision coverage to be integrated into medical plans for the millions of children who will gain health insurance starting in 2014.

Although vision plans will be allowed to partner in state health exchanges with qualified health plans to cover pediatric vision care – which the AOA and state associations are insisting must include a comprehensive eye exam and follow-up care – Michigan doctors said “NO” to allowing segregated stand-alone plans to restrict the benefit to limited vision services severed entirely from the patients’ comprehensive health coverage.

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