The Ontario Association of Optometrists plans to withdraw from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) effective September 1, says the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

This will affect individuals who have been eligible to receive one major eye exam every 12 months, plus any minor assessments. It will also affect those of any age with certain medical conditions including glaucoma and retinal disease who receive eye exams covered under OHIP.

Those affected should be aware that these services cannot, by Ontario law, be charged to private health insurance.

Ontario regulation prohibits optometrists from billing direct to patients, to workplace health insurance, or to individual private insurance for any services provided to those eligible under OHIP. 

Residents of Ontario between the ages of 20 to 64 may continue to receive eye examinations under the terms of their workplace health insurance or individual private insurance plan.

We are very curious about how this will be handled by the authorities.

It will likely end up being similar to the way that dentist’s bill for services.

But until then, there is real uncertainty about our eye examinations and the delays in care that might occur.

Raymond Rupert patient advocate.