Eye Care Insurance

Many companies offer eye care insurance (ECI) as part of their overall benefits package to their employees. That is the good news, but the bad news is that in difficult economic times many of these same companies will drop their sponsorship of this insurance in order to save on the overall cost of their benefits plan. While all of us treasure our sight as a very precious gift, without insurance many people will allow themselves to go without needed vision exams and other eye care treatments, opening the door to many needless vision problems that could be avoided with proper treatment. This is really no different than the neglect many give to their teeth when there is no dental coverage. But there are a number of eye care plans that are reasonably priced and can deliver much needed care for perhaps our most important sense.

There may be a difference between the term eye care insurance and vision insurance. ECI may denote more medical coverage for actual medical problems with one's vision. Vision insurance may be more devoted to the hardware needs of policy holders such as eyeglasses and contact lenses. This is not an across the board pronouncement, but just something to be considered when hearing those two terms. All of us really do know how important our sight is, yet Christians live by a different standard. They realize that the most important things in life are those things that cannot be seen with our physical eyes. "For we walk by faith and not by sight." (II Corinthians 5:7)

Most policies will cover the following vision issues: discounts on exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses and vision exams. Most vision experts advise to have at least one vision examination each year because many physical problems that may be in their genesis can be identified with an eye exam. High blood pressure, diabetes, brain tumors and other serious physical ailments can be seen in a vision assessment. Many eye care insurance policies will allow exams either by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. If there is any hint of a serious vision problem, an ophthalmologist should be considered. This doctor is actually an MD who has specialized in vision care. This physician may also be a surgeon who can do surgery on the ocular system and even some neurologically related issues.

The second aspect of vision care that will be covered in most policies will be a big discount on eyeglasses. The policy will typically cover one pair of standard frames and one pair of lenses. The word standard will probably be the byword for most eye care insurance policies. Standard frames for eyeglasses will probably not mean those designer frames by some snooty designer whose name you can't pronounce. And really, who goes around checking out names on glasses anyway?

Most eye care insurance policies will cover single vision lenses or standard lined multi-focal lenses. And depending on the policy, it's possible they may only be glass. Glass lenses are ok because they don't scratch like plastic lenses do, but if a person has a very strong prescription with a thick lens, the eyeglasses might get quite heavy on the face. Some policies may allow plastic lenses with a scratch resistant coating while other policies will make owners pay extra for things such as tinting and no line bi-focals. A standard eye care insurance policy will probably allow one new eyeglass frame every twelve or twenty four months and a change of lenses each year.

When it comes to contact lenses, policies may vary from company to company but a fairly standard policy will probably cover new lenses each year. There are at least thirteen different kinds of contact lenses and most of them will probably not be covered in a standard eye care insurance policy. Contact lenses are made for almost any vision problem. Toric lenses are for astigmatism, prosthetic lenses can cover up eye injuries or disfigurements and bi-focal contacts are for...well, you know. These many different kinds of contacts can be colored but don't count on that option be covered in a standard vision policy. In fact, any unneeded options on any visual correction device will probably not be covered under most eye policies. But the actual cost of eye policies are so low that their yearly price will almost certainly be made up by the vision exams alone.

Some eye care insurance companies will provide at least some coverage for laser eye surgery. This type of surgery, performed in a surgeon's office, can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. With this surgery, a thin flap in the cornea is created using a laser, then the flap is pulled back and some part of the cornea is removed, depending on what kind of vision impairment is detected. With nearsighted person the cornea is flattened and with farsightedness, a steeper cornea is formed and astigmatism is cleared up by smoothing an irregularly shaped cornea. The average cost of laser eye surgery is about twenty two hundred dollars and vision care policies will vary on how much they pay for the surgery and sadly, many policies may not cover the surgery at all because it is viewed as being cosmetic and not necessary. Our eyesight is so important that it cannot be taken for granted through a regular omission of care and treatment that can be provided by professionals. Thus all who are fortunate to have vision policy coverage ought to gladly take advantage of all yearly benefits the policy provides.

Elective Surgery Financing

Sources for elective surgery financing are lenders who work with people who have excellent, average and even marginal credit. Elective surgery is a growing field. Their main purpose is to extend a person's life or to improve the quality of life; either physically or psychologically. Cosmetic and reconstructive procedures fall into this category. A recontoured nose, vision correction, and an eyelid lifts are all considered cosmetic in nature. These procedures are usually done primarily for aesthetic reasons. On the other hand reconstruction procedures are performed due to abnormalities of the structures of the body. Such abnormalities could be caused by injury, infection, or disease. There is even the likelihood that developmental abnormalities and birth defects are the underlying reason for this course of action. Some of these surgeries include tubal ligations, implantation of pacemakers, removal of tumors, repair of a cleft palate, skin grafting after burns or flesh eating bacteria attacks. Nonetheless, whether done to improve function or to approximate a normal appearance, these processes can have aesthetic outcomes; as well. The fact that there are aesthetic outcomes is irrelevant to the availability of elective surgery financing.

In some cases, health care insurance will take care of, either all, or most of the bill. The balance can be supplemented with elective surgery financing. Insurance companies are typically very skittish about funding operations that they feel are frivolous. Included in that category would be cosmetic procedures. Whether we like it or not, people judge themselves and others by the image that is projected. Some people are able to pull off a very confident image in spite of their aesthetic appeal. Most people are not as fortunate. Generally, when people look into a mirror and are repulsed by what they see, they seek to change it. Sometimes that means surgery. The debate from insurers continues to be adamantly against procedures that have aesthetic outcomes as the goal. Doctors attempt to offer care to the whole person. The whole person includes, how a person feels about themselves. Going into debt by procuring elective surgery financing is a small price to pay; for many individuals who want to improve their image. Not taking this aspect of a person's health into regard is actually a losing proposition for the insurance company. People that don't feel good about themselves often overeat (or under eat or binge and purge), engage in self-destructive behaviors (like drugs and unprotected sex), or allow fears and phobias to consume them. Of course, it is not the fault of the insurance company that someone would engage in self-destructive behaviors, but those behaviors also leading to people losing their jobs; no longer carrying health insurance and thus completing the cycle. Even so, when there is no insurance available for these procedures there is always the option of elective surgery financing. If aesthetic outcomes are the by product of treatments, so be it.

Lenders, who offer elective surgery financing, basically come in three varieties. The particular method of financing doesn't matter to the health care provider. There are those who offer unsecured personal loans to anyone who qualifies, those who lend for elective procedures only, and those who offer health related lines of credit. The first type is very traditional. People will complete the loan application. The application will be screened and underwritten using a set of guidelines that is basically the same whether the person is buying a car, furniture, or a face lift. The person's credit score is pulled from one of the three credit reporting agencies. Income is sourced and verified. Debts are calculated and confirmed. All discrepancies are explained and documented. If the person qualifies, a specific amount and term is set up along with a repayment schedule. Repayment for these types of loans may actually be scheduled to start before the person is thoroughly healed from the procedure. "Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. (2 Kings 20:5)

Some lenders are specifically set up to deal with elective surgery financing. They have been established for the purpose of working with doctors and patients who need help in this arena. Such a lender may be available directly to patients on the open market, while others are only available with a referral from a doctor. It is really a win-win for a lender to work directly within the medical community. Doctors can feel confident that when they refer a patient for financing that the company is truly working in the best interest of the patient. The patient can feel hopeful that the financing will go through. After all, the lender is niched in the medical market. In addition to lenders that have planted their feet on medical soil, there are the companies that offer a line of credit type option that's usually set up as a credit card. Once a person has applied, they can use the account over and over again. The application is underwritten in much the same way as a credit card. The account works like a line of credit in that the person has an upper limit, but there are no restrictions on how many times a person can use it. Regardless of how a person obtains the money, elective surgery financing is available for those with excellent, average and marginal credit.





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