Optometrist Eye Examination Fees - A Comprehensive Guide
04 Aug 2022
"Eye Examination Fee" is often very confusing for patients in BC as there is no standardized cost to the patient. Sometimes people who are supposed to have coverage through the Medical Services Plan (MSP) end up paying extra for their visits.
As a patient-focused optometry office, we hope to clarify some of the confusion surrounding eye exams, and the costs and outline our policy at Evergreen Optometry so that patients are more prepared when selecting their eye care provider.
Are Eye Exams Free?
Eye examinations are not free in BC. However, depending on your age, medical conditions, and social assistance status, the exam fee may be partially or fully covered. You may also have coverage through your extended health insurance providers (Sunlife, Pacific Blue Cross). Please see our direct billings page for our accepted insurance plans.
Who has coverage under the Medical Services Plan?
The BC MSP has Three categories of patients who are entitled to coverage.
Children (Ages 18 and below)
Seniors (Ages 65 and above)
Medically Necessary Exams*
What is a Medically Necessary Examination?
Patients who have a systemic condition with a high risk of ocular complications (Diabetes)
Patients that have injuries, infections, irritations, flashes, and other eye-related symptoms.
More Information Here:
BC Medical Services Plan - Coverage Details
BC Doctors of Optometry Medical Coverage Details
Some clinics may choose to charge a copay in addition to MSP coverage. At Evergreen Optometry we believe patients should have access to medical eye care without worrying about finances and will not charge extra if you fall under one of the above three categories.**
What about Income Assistance, Refugee Programs, and First Nations Health Authorities?
At Evergreen Optometry we consider patients in these programs fully covered for their eye examination.** Please call us if you are unsure of coverage, and we will help you verify eligibility.
BC Income / Disability assistance (aka MHR) - coverage every two years (link)
Refugee Interim Federal Health Program - coverage every year (link)
First Nations Health Authority - coverage every year for kids, coverage every two years for 19+ (link)
What happens during an Eye Exam?
The following procedures are performed during an eye examination with an optometrist doctor:
Visual Acuity Test
Refraction - to obtain a prescription for glasses
Pupil Dilation - drops to help the doctor see into your eyes
Slit Lamp Exam - a microscope to look for any conditions or diseases in the eyes
Binocular Vision Test - a check to see how the two eyes work together
Visual Field Test - a check for unnatural blind spots in your vision
Glaucoma / Cataracts/ Macular Degeneration check
Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy - checks the health of hard-to-see areas of the eyes.
Note: This list is not exhaustive as your optometrist may conduct disease-specific tests if an ocular disease is suspected
Patients often receive a vision check or a sight test which typically covers only the first two tests leading to patients having undiagnosed conditions or problems with their eyes. Many eye conditions, like glaucoma, can be present even if your vision is clear. Adults over 19 are recommended to have an eye examination every one to two years, and children and seniors yearly.
What is our policy here at Evergreen Optometry?
At Evergreen Optometry we focus on your vision and ocular health and believe patients should have more freedom and choices for their glasses needs. Therefore we do not charge extra for a PD measurement/copies/faxes/emails of your prescription and have worked hard to partner with local opticals to make buying glasses simple and hassle-free.
Our standard eye examination is $95. Contact lens exams / evaluations extra. Please contact our clinic for more information.**
We aim to offer a high standard of customer service and eye examination experience. We look forward to servicing you and your family for years to come.
Book an Eye Exam
*exceptions apply, please contact us with your symptoms/conditions
**Evergreen Optometry reserves the right to make amendments to this clinic policy