UnitedHealthcare enhances eye program to help members access care for nearsightedness and reduce exposure to blue light
UnitedHealthcare vision members in six areas – Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C
UnitedHealthcare is investing in new ways to help children and adults across the country access testing and treatment for nearsightedness, helping address an increasingly common vision issue caused in part by the ongoing use of digital devices.
Through multiple initiatives, UnitedHealthcare is working to help make access to care for nearsightedness, also called myopia, more affordable and accessible for eligible members, while separately helping reduce excessive exposure to blue light for children and adults.
What this means
UnitedHealthcare vision members in six areas – Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C. – now have access to a complimentary comprehensive assessment for myopia ($200 value) and a discount of $250 off the first year of myopia management treatment for new pediatric patients.1 These appointments, which are an additional option and will not count toward any visits covered under the member’s plan, are offered in collaboration with Treehouse Eyes, a leader in childhood myopia management treatment. The goal is to expand this discount program to additional UnitedHealthcare vision members in more cities later this year and into 2024.
In addition to this value-added discount, UnitedHealthcare has recently joined the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC), which seeks to promote public awareness of nearsightedness in children as a treatable disease and advocate for the use of interventions that have been shown to slow the progression of this condition. By joining the GMAC, UnitedHealthcare will be further strengthening a group of leading ophthalmic companies and eye health associations focused on addressing the growing consequences of myopia.
Why this is important
The prevalence of nearsightedness, which is the inability to see far-away objects clearly, has increased in recent years due to reduced outdoor activities and increased time spent reading and using electronic devices. One in three children nationwide experience this issue, which is linked to a greater risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, myopic macular degeneration and other eye diseases. By 2050, up to half of the global population may be affected by nearsightedness.
In addition to the value-added discount and involvement with the GMAC, UnitedHealthcare recently donated funds to help meet the technology needs of students, plus screen protectors from Eyesafe to help reduce excessive exposure to blue light. The following school districts each received a $20,000 donation to help meet the educational needs of their students, plus the option for 100 screen protectors with blue light filtering properties to retrofit existing digital devices: Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District #11 (MN), Aurora Public Schools (CO), Cleveland Municipal School District (OH), and Roanoke City Public Schools (VA).
These programs are part of the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Eye Care Program, which is focused on addressing the unique eye-health challenges young people face. Other initiatives include discounts for UnitedHealthcare Vision members on Dell XPS laptops and Eyesafe® Blue Light Screen Protectors; and an enhanced eye care benefit for UnitedHealthcare vision members at no additional cost that provides children with coverage for a second covered eye exam and additional pair of glasses if their vision prescription changes 0.5 diopter or greater.2
For more information about myopia management treatment, click here for a beginner’s guide.