the eye blog
EYE CARE INFO & UPDATES
How much to get my eyes tested?
At Eyecare Concepts, we believe in providing the highest standards of professional eye care to everyone. That's why we have chosen to provide Medicare bulk billed eye tests for all patients. That means if you have a valid Medicare card, having a standard comprehensive eye test with us won't cost you anything out of pocket.
What about the 1 eye test every 3 years rule?
This is a common question and area of some confusion among patients. Several years ago the government introduced Medicare changes to rebate the full cost of a comprehensive eye test every 3 years (instead of every 2 years). What this means is Medicare pays the eye care practitioner a lesser fee if a patient has another eye test within the 3 year period, if the patient has no vision changes or new signs or symptoms. Some practices introduced private patient fees to cover the fee gap.
It does not mean you should wait the full 3 years before having another eye test. We believe 3 years is far too long between eye tests, especially for children whose eyesight can change rapidly, and people over 60 who have a higher risk of developing eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Medicare will always pay the cost of an eye test when there is a clinical basis for the test — if you have noticed a change in your vision, if your glasses aren't working as effectively, if you have noticed any new symptoms at all (red eyes, sore eyes, halos, floaters, light flashes, headaches, visual disturbance, etc), or you have a recurrent or progressive eye condition or general health condition that can affect your sight — then you should have your eyes checked based on your need, regardless of when your last eye test was.
Our eye test recommendations.
These are our general recommendations for frequency of eye tests:
· Age 3 to 20 — every year, or every 6 months if has noted progressive changes.
· Age 21-60 — at least every 2 years, more often if has vision changes or concerns.
· Age 40+ with family history of eye disease — every year.
· Age 60+ — every year.
· Contact lens wearers — every year.
· Diabetes — every year for a dilated eye examination.
* These are general guidelines and may vary depending on an individual's eye care needs.
All standard eye tests at our practice are bulk billed when a clinical need exists.
How long does an eye test take?
At Eyecare Concepts, your eye care is always our number one priority. Unlike many mainstream optical shops that provide only 15-20 minutes (Medicare's minimum standard) of consultation time with the optometrist, we allocate at least 30 minutes for each comprehensive eye test, and 40 minutes for younger children, elderly patients and more complex cases.
We spend more time with you to ensure every eye check is thorough and that we always provide you with the best, personalised eye care. And you, our valued client, can relax and not feel rushed. Quality of care is what we are known for.
What tests are not covered by Medicare?
Some types of eye tests are not covered by Medicare. Examples are contact lens fitting, tuition and aftercare consultations for a patient with a mild prescription (less than +5D of long-sightedness, -5D of short-sightedness or -3D of astigmatism). Where fees may be charged, we will discuss the costs with you prior to the consultation.
Eye test cost without Medicare?
For patients without Medicare, the cost of a comprehensive eye examination with us is $67. If you are an overseas student with health insurance cover (OSHC), you can usually claim a rebate for the eye test fee through your health insurance provider.
Philip Cheng - B.Optom (Melb) Ocular Therapeutics (GCOT). Optometrist at Eyecare Concepts Kew East, Melbourne. An experienced eye care & contact lens practitioner with expertise in myopia control & orthokeratology.