Northwest Eye is here to help you understand eye health, including how to care, prolong and treat your eyes to maintain the best vision possible. We want to help you understand something else: how you can afford better eye care.
Many Northwest Eye patients are fortunate enough to have all or a portion of the costs involved with their care covered by a medical insurance plan. To be sure, Be Eye Wise and double check with your insurance provider by calling the number on the back of your insurance card or by visiting your insurance provider’s website.
When double checking your insurance, please understand there is a difference between medical insurance plans and routine vision plans. Some individual routine vision plans cover some of the cost of an exam, contacts or glasses. We DO NOT accept Vision Plans. If you schedule a routine annual exam with us and you have a Vision Plan, you will be responsible for paying for the visit out-of-pocket. Since we are a specialty medical practice, many appointments are actually considered medical in nature, so then we’d bill your medical insurance for the visit, not your routine vision plan.
Be Eye Wise and know that even if you have invested in a vision plan, we will still run any associated charges with your care through your insurance company. Most carriers will reduce your allowable amount, even if you don’t technically have vision as a covered benefit under your insurance plan.
Routine Eye Exams vs. Medical Eye Exams
What is the difference between a routine eye exam and a medical eye exam?
Follow the links below or continue reading to better understand the difference between Routine and Medical eye care.
A comprehensive eye exam can be performed by either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. It may include an ophthalmic assistant or ophthalmic technician completing the following portions of the exam:
- A health and medication history
- A vision history
- A refraction or visual acuity test
An Eye Exam completed by the ophthalmologist or an optometrist includes:
- Examination of the external parts of your eyes, including the whites of your eyes, the iris, pupil, eyelids and eyelashes
- A dilated internal eye exam allows the doctor to observe the retina and optic nerve
- They may test the fluid pressure within your eyes to check for signs of glaucoma
The doctor can determine if the visual problems you currently have are normal age-related changes, or are disease-related changes. He or she may order additional testing, refer you to another doctor or specialist, or recommend a treatment. If the doctor’s diagnosis is medical, such as cataracts or conjunctivitis, it will be billed as a Medical Eye Exam. If the diagnosis is related to normal age-related changes in your vision, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism, it will be billed as a Routine Eye Exam.
Questions About my Insurance and Bills
Pay On Line: We make it easy for patients to pay their bills online. We accept Debit, HSA, Visa, American Express, Master Card and Discover.
Insurance: We accept a wide range of health plans. We encourage you to check with your insurance provider to make sure we are in network and that your plan has coverage for the type of services we provide.
Vision Plans: Northwest Eye does not participate with any vision plans. If you have this type of plan, you will be responsible for payment in full for your services.
Prior Authorization: The need for a referral or authorization differs by the insurance plan. Although we do try to assist with prior authorizations, it is ultimately the patient’s responsibility to make sure it is obtained prior to the services being provided.
Commonly Asked Questions
Do I need to provide my insurance information each time I come to the clinic?
Yes, providing your current insurance card at each visit will assist in your bill being processed timely.
When will I receive my first statement?
Once your insurance company has processed your medical claim, you will be billed for any deductibles, copays and other out-of-pocket expenses that your insurance company deems you are responsible for.
When will my payment be due?
Payment is due within 30 days of your first statement date. If this is not possible, please contact our office for assistance.
Please contact our Business office at (763) 383-4130 for any questions regarding your bill(s) or statement(s).