What is “Refraction" and why is this service often not covered by Medicare or some private insurance companies? If you are confused about this topic, you are not alone. Refraction is the part of the eye exam where you look through a machine called a phoropter at the eye chart. We than flip different lenses in place and ask, "Which view is clearer, number one or number two?"
Why is Refraction necessary? Many think that refraction is only necessary if you want to purchase new glasses. While we do need the refraction information to write a glasses prescription, this is not the main reason our doctors want this portion of the exam completed.
Refraction is a key part of a comprehensive eye examination and should be done at each and every complete eye exam. Without this testing, our doctors cannot determine your best possible vision. Many patients think their vision is just fine but then a change is noted during the exam. Without doing the refraction, we have no way of knowing if the change is simply due to an outdated glasses prescription or if something more serious has occurred like progression of cataracts or macular degeneration.
Why does Medicare generally not cover refraction? Medicare and many private insurance companies do not cover aspects of your medical care that they deem as “routine.” While this aspect of your eye exam is routine, that does not mean it is not vital in allowing our doctors to optimize your vision.
Still confused? Ask any member of our staff at your next appointment.
Dr. Mark German is an optometrist specializing in general eye care and hart-to-fit contact lens patients. He accepts patients of all ages into his practice and most insurance plans. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.