While lockdown and social distancing measures have been in place to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting your optician for routine appointments has been off the cards too.

Eye examinations suspended in the wake of the outbreak were swiftly replaced by phone and video consultations with opticians to chat through any concerns patients might have during the pandemic. As lockdown eases around the UK, visiting the opticians will now be a huge priority for many, therefore.

Even if you haven’t experienced any optical problems during this period, an eye examination should always be an essential part of your health routine. If you already have health insurance in place, it’s also well worth checking what your private medical insurance policy covers with this in mind, and while NHS eye doctors begin the lengthy process of catching up.

It’s important to remember that an eye test is more than a simple test of your eyesight. An optometrist checks your eye health but also other general health issues during an eye examination too. During a regular eye examination, your eye doctor can also detect early signs of eye conditions before you even notice them and provide practical advice and solutions to prevent anything from getting worse than it needs to.

Does my PMI cover my eye health?

Optical cover is a form of health insurance that covers eye treatments. Most health plans include some level of optical cover but remember to read your policy carefully. Not all healthcare insurance policies routinely cover eye tests, for example, so it’s always worth seeing what your policy covers you for. 

While surgery to remove cataracts would be covered by most PMI policies, everyday eye care (check-ups and glasses etc.) are not typically covered unless you choose an add-on option.

For example, our partners at Aviva’s standard health insurance doesn't cover the cost of eye tests, but with optional dental and optical cover you can claim up to £200 to help with keeping your eyes in check and the costs associated with this (with a £50 excess).

Similarly, AXA has a Dentist and Optician Cashback offer which cover for 80% of your optician’s fees for prescribed glasses and contact lenses, equivalent to up to £200 each year, and offers £25 a year towards the cost of eye tests, so it’s always worth looking at what different policyholders can offer.

Why should I have it?

Most people take out private medical healthcare because it can mean faster treatment, bypassing long waiting times (which may be even longer due to the halting of healthcare services industry-wide during the pandemic) and better hospital accommodation.

It is inevitable that all the choice and extra resources this affords has a price attached, therefore. The price you pay ultimately depends on your policy, who in your family you choose to insure, and what their individual healthcare needs may be.

When it comes to finding the best eye health cover for you and your family, the good news is there’s a lot of choice. If you’re unsure which is suitable for you and your circumstances, call our freephone Health Insurance number 0800 862 0373 and we’ll go through the options with you.

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