UnitedHealthcare Launches Children’s Eye Health Program


MINNETONKA, Minn.—UnitedHealthcare is launching a program that will improve access to comprehensive eye exams and prescription glasses for children across the country and help address their unique eye health challenges. UnitedHealthcare said its new Children’s Eye Care Program will help expand access to eye exams and glasses. The new benefits will be available to people enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual UnitedHealthcare vision plans across the country before the end of 2018. “As much as 80 percent of what children learn is through their eyes, so the inability to see can affect their physical, emotional and social development, and academic and athletic performance,” said Tom Wiffler, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits.

“The UnitedHealthcare Eye Care Program can help improve families’ eye health, offering an important reminder to all Americans about the importance of regular comprehensive eye exams and the connection between eye health and overall well-being.”

Here are some of the benefits of the Children’s Eye Care Program:

• Enhanced eyecare benefit at no additional premium for children with UnitedHealthcare vision coverage, providing plan participants up to age 13 a second covered eye exam and additional pair of glasses if their vision prescription changes 0.5 diopter or greater. Because children’s eyesight can change quickly, this enhancement provides important coverage for UnitedHealthcare vision plan participants.

• Free eye screenings, comprehensive eye exams and glasses donations for children in cities across the country during August and September, providing families with access to eyecare during back-to-school season. Any child identified with a vision issue during these events will receive a free pair of prescription glasses if needed. One in four children have an undiagnosed vision problem that, if left untreated, may result in learning issues, and hinder their academic performance and development, according to Prevent Blindness.

To help expand access to eyecare, UnitedHealthcare has provided grants to nonprofit organizations in cities across the country to coordinate free eye exams and glasses donations. UnitedHealthcare has launched community initiatives and participated in numerous public-private collaborations nationwide to address social determinants of health. In Arizona and Wisconsin, UnitedHealthcare recently donated nearly $4 million in grants, some of which will support school-based vision screenings in collaboration with VisionQuest.