Uninsured Americans Less Likely To Receive Eye Care Than Canadians And Insured Americans

comparison with Canadians, Americans with vision problems are equally or more likely to access eye care services, if they have health insurance. Without health insurance, Americans visit eyecare professionals at lower rates, according to a report released August 11, 2008 in the Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The article highlights barriers to access to regular eye care in both countries: “In both Canada and the United States, general health insurance covers medical payment for eye injury and various eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, and optional vision insurance provides additional insurance coverage for eye examinations, contact lenses and eyeglasses and/or frames, and, in some instances, part of the costs for elective laser surgery for vision correction.” They continue, noting that “many Americans and Canadians have publicly funded or private coverage for optional vision care.”

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