How long will it take?
An eye appointment differs from a regular doctor's visit in that it requires a certain amount of workup. As a rule, new patient visits take longer due to the amount of information that needs to be collected from the patient. Please note that a new patient appointment may take up to 3 hours depending on the reason for the visit. This is specially true when there is diagnostic testing involved.
What should I bring?
Please make sure to have all pertinent documents with you on the day of your visit. These include a photo identification (driver's license, state ID, passport), your insurance cards, a referral from your primary doctor (if applicable), a list of current medications, your pharmacy's name and phone number, your copay/coinsurance. If you are coming for a second opinion or transferring care to us, it will be helpful if you bring records from your previous eye doctors with you.
Don't forget your glasses! Please bring all the eyeglasses that you regularly wear. They will help us determine the best prescription at the time of the visit.
It is also a good idea to have someone with you who can drive you. In 90% of cases, a patient will have their pupils dilated for the exam, which can make vision blurry and sensitive to light for a few hours.
Will my visit be covered?
Your health insurance will cover any visits with a medical reason, as long as the doctor participates with the insurance plan. Some medical insurances allow an annual routine visit. A routine visit is the one that is usually made yearly to check for a change in the eyeglass or contact lens prescription or one where there are no visual complaints. Some health insurances are paired with a Vision Plan, which will cover routine visits and pay towards a new pair of glasses or contact lens supply. You may check with your employer or directly with your insurance carrier to determine if your insurance includes a routine visit or if you have a separate Vision Plan.
Another important point is that a large number of insurance plans (including Medicare) do not cover the Refraction. This is the test that is done in the office to determine if your vision can be improved with glasses ("Which one is better? One... or two?"). This test is an important diagnostic tool for the doctor and it may be performed more than once a year if necessary. You have the option to refuse a refraction if you wish, but that will mean that you will not be given an updated prescription on that visit.
What if I only have Medicare?
If you have Medicare but no secondary, supplemental or HMO plan, then you will be responsible on every visit for the 20% of the total. If a refraction was done, that will also be charged. If we are one of your first doctors seen during the year, you will be charged for your Medicare deductible.
We hope this section has been helpful and will be happy to take care of eyes!