Doctor Oz did a show called Insiders Guide to Getting the Best for the Least. One segment Dr Oz did included the best places to get cheap glasses and senior discounts for eye checkups, plus help for Preventive Services like pap smears, colon cancer screenings, vaccinations and children’s check-ups.
Ophthalmologist Vs Optometrist Vs Optician
Dr Oz was joined by Dr. Mildred Olivier, an Ophthalmologist, who explained the difference between an Ophthalmologist, an Optometrist and an Optician. An Ophthalmologist is an eye medical doctor who can do more complicated exams and eye surgeries. An Optometrist can test if you are near sighted, far sighted, and give you glasses prescriptions. Sometimes an Optometrist can do exams for eye diseases too. An Optician just sells glasses and fills prescriptions, but cannot do any exams on your eyes.
UPDATE: Based on a request to update / correct the definition of an Optometrist by some readers, I would also like to offer the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s description of the nature of work of an Optometrist: “Optometrists, also known as doctors of optometry, or ODs, are the main providers of vision care. They examine people’s eyes to diagnose vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, and they test patients’ depth and color perception and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses, or they may provide other treatments, such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation. Optometrists also test for glaucoma and other eye diseases and diagnose conditions caused by systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, referring patients to other health practitioners as needed. They prescribe medication to treat vision problems or eye diseases, and some provide preoperative and postoperative care to cataract patients, as well as to patients who have had corrective laser surgery. Like other physicians, optometrists encourage preventative measures by promoting nutrition and hygiene education to their patients to minimize the risk of eye disease.” Hope this clears up any confusion!
Dr. Olivier said that you can often find the best price on contacts online, but then if you go back to your provider with the price your find, they will often match the price. Great tip!
Senior Eye Discounts
Dr. Olivier said that you can get Senior Discounts from doctors who volunteer to help by going to EyeCareAmerica.org. You won’t have to pay a copay and they won’t charge you for a whole year, plus your prescriptions will be mailed for free to your doctor for you to pick-up apparently. You can also find good deals through AAA and AARP often.
Cheap Glasses Website
Dr Oz showed a website called EyeBuyDirect.com where you can buy glasses frames for as cheap as $8 per frame, plus you can see how you look in the glasses by uploading a photo of yourself.
Affordable Care Act & Free Preventive Services
Regina Benjamin, the US Surgeon General, joined Dr Oz to explain how new insurance plans must cover preventive services under the Affordable Care Act. This means that you can’t even be charged a co-pay for the following Preventive Services: Mammograms, Pap Smears, Colon Cancer Screenings, Vaccinations and Children’s Check Ups.
Plus, now your child in college can stay on your health insurance plan until they are 26 years old, which is great for kids who have a first job that does not include health insurance. In addition, by 2014 there will be a change in health insurance plans so that they cannot discriminate against pre-existing illnesses. If you have a pre-existing condition and have not been able to get insurance for 6 months, you can apply for an insurance program with your state. Just visit HeathCare.gov and put in your zip code, and it will tell you exactly where to go and what to do.