Covered California To Post Vision Plans on Exchange Website
Last week, Covered California issued a request for proposals for vision plans interested in selling coverage to exchange consumers, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Under the Affordable Care Act, vision care is not considered an essential health benefit.
Meanwhile, Covered California in 2012 voted to bar stand-alone vision plans from the exchange during its first year.
The exchange later amended the policy, but federal rules "complicated the offering," according to the Business Journal. Legislation to fix such issues failed.
Details of Vision Plan Offerings
According to the RFP, Covered California will not sell vision coverage directly on the exchange. Instead, it will host links to websites of different vision plans.
According to exchange spokesperson Roy Kennedy, consumers will be able to visit the links all year rather than only during open enrollment periods.
Covered California is expected to announce selected vision plans in during the week of Dec. 21. The estimated term of the contracts is Jan. 15, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2016.
Jim McGrann -- president and CEO of VSP Global, a vision care provider that had threatened to leave the state after the exchange's 2012 vote -- said, "Providing access to vision care coverage through Covered California is a step in the right direction to help close the gap in access to eye care and ensure that all Californians receive the best preventive health care possible."
Kirk Rothrock -- CEO at Superior Vision, which also offers vision coverage in California -- said the move represented a "step forward in providing an affordable benefit that will improve quality of life for Covered California consumers" (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.