Friday, October 3, 2014

Why the Affordable Care Act Does Not Cover Vision

“ will reopen for business on Nov. 15, welcoming millions of Americans to an insurance marketplace that offers medical plans and dental coverage. No one will be shopping for separate eye-care plans, an exclusion that roils companies that sell vision insurance. Even though they aren’t getting new customers, vision insurers still have to pay the Affordable Care Act’s tax on health insurance providers. Why did vision get left out of Obamacare?” asks Business Week. “The answer reveals a lot about the rabbit hole of bureaucracy and political gridlock that’s responsible for so much of American public policy in 2014. Vision plans were originally intended to be part of the exchanges when the ACA was being drafted, says Rob Lynch, chief executive of VSP Global, a vision plan that covers eye care for 67 million Americans. Lawmakers became concerned about how subsidies to help people afford coverage would be split among medical, dental, and visual providers, so glasses got left out. But eye-care plans remained subject to the tax on health insurers. When VSP paid the fee last week, the levy amounted to $25 million. In a letter to the Internal Revenue Service along with the payment, VSP’s general counsel said the company intends to seek a refund.” Read more.

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