Supporting children’s eye health with UnitedHealthcare Children’s Eye Care Program

UnitedHealthcare has launched a vision program to help children across the country reduce exposure to blue light, support overall eye health and help address unique eye-health challenges young people may face amid COVID-19.

The new enhancement for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Eye Care Program is designed to help reduce the prevalence of digital eye strain among young people – a growing concern given people spend an average of 13 hours per day on digital devices.1 Key details include: 

  • To help with distance learning, 5 school districts  across the country will receive a combined $100,000 to help meet the educational needs of their students, including to potentially purchase laptops with embedded blue-light filtering technology that may help students reduce the risk of digital eye strain amid the growing use of distance learning due to COVID-19. The blue-light blocking technology may help provide protection from potentially harmful blue light, which is especially important given children’s still-developing eyes.2

  • Enhanced eye care benefit at no additional member cost-sharing for standard and premium anti-reflective coating on eyewear for dependents under age 19 enrolled in eligible employer-sponsored plans, helping prevent potentially harmful reflective glare and reduce the risk of digital eye strain. The enhanced benefit is available to new UnitedHealthcare Vision customers with 100 to 1,000 eligible plan participants.* The enhanced benefit builds on an existing program for UnitedHealthcare vision plan participants that provides members up to age 13 a second covered eye exam and additional pair of glasses if their vision prescription changes by 0.5 diopter or greater; a comparable benefit design is available to UnitedHealthcare vision plan participants who are pregnant or breastfeeding.**

*Enhanced benefit design available to new UnitedHealthcare vision customers with between 100 and 1,000 eligible plan participants and case effective dates between Oct. 1, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021.

**Second covered eye exam and glasses is per plan or calendar year depending on the policy and requires applicable copays; second pair does not include contact lenses.   

  • UnitedHealthcare and Eyesafe will host the Blue Light Summit 2020 on Oct. 15, bringing together world leaders from consumer electronics and health care to discuss the connection between blue light, screen time and eye health. A separate webinar for parents, teachers, school administrators, employers and all consumers is scheduled for Oct. 13, with information about ways to help reduce blue light exposure amid the increased prevalence of distance learning due to COVID-19. Click here to register for the Blue Light Summit 2020 and click here for details about the educational webinar

In advance of the Blue Light Summit 2020 and webinar, Eyesafe, a leader in screen time and blue light solutions, and UnitedHealthcare have issued the Screen Time 2020 Report, including data on screen time and blue light exposure. The Screen Time 2020 Report reveals that 94% of eye care providers surveyed are “very concerned” to “somewhat concerned” about the impact of digital device screen time on their patients’ eyes. Among employers, more than 77% of respondents are “somewhat” to “very concerned” about the impact of digital device screen time on their employees’ eyes and health.3

Digital eye strain, which is caused by prolonged use of computers, smartphones or tablets, and may cause symptoms such as sore, tired, watery or dry eyes, headache, or sore neck, shoulder or back. More than 50% of computer users may experience digital eye strain.4

Please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative with questions.

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Footnotes

  1. Eyesafe, 2020, https://eyesafe.com/covid-19-screen-time-spike-to-over-13-hours-per-day
  2. The American Optometric Association, 2020, https://www.aoa.org/Documents/OptometryCares/Blue%20Light%20Impact%20in%20Children.pdf
  3. Screen Time 2020 Report survey of 157 eye care professionals and 500 employers, July 2020
  4. BMJ Open Ophthalmology, 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/