I’m on a roll. In my last post, I wrote about how hard it is to get a wheelchair. This time, it’s glasses.
I wrote in my last post about learning that, with my publicly funded insurance, I can get one wheelchair, either manual or power, every 7 years (or is it 5?). Never mind that I’ve had my manual chair for about 20 years, and never mind that it’s critical I have a reliable, not-too-old power wheelchair. I am eligible only for one or the other.
Last week, I learned that the situation is even worse when it comes to eye glasses.
I suspected again when I went to my eye doctor a couple weeks ago after more than 2 years that the place is too high-end (too Claremont!) for me. Sure enough, I ended up with a co-pay for my exam – no, they don’t take Medi-Cal – and they don’t take my supplemental insurance, VSP (through HealthNet), for glasses. After taking the prescription, I went to a place that takes VSP and was told that VSP only covers 20% of the cost of lenses and frames. And, no, the place doesn’t take Medi-Cal.
I was frustrated and alarmed and made further inquiries. This is what I learned: even if I find a place that takes it, Medi-Cal only pays for an exam every 2 years. And that’s it. Medi-Cal doesn’t pay for glasses.
In what world does this make sense? The question I have is why bother with the exam? Why does Medi-Cal pay for an exam when it won’t pay to remedy a problem that is found?
Isn’t this a definition of cruelty?As with the wheelchair, I am fortunate in that I am not completely reliant on this insurance. What about people who are, and what about those who, God forbid, only have Medi-Cal? Is seeing and reading really not that important? Perhaps this is why many poor people don’t vote – they can’t see to read to get information about what’s going on.