Hawaii Optometric Association Votes To Support Inclusion of ‘Stand-Alone’ Vision Plans

HONOLULU—The Hawaii Optometric Association (HOA) said it has voted unanimously to support the inclusion of stand-alone vision plans in the Hawaii State Insurance Exchanges at a meeting here on Feb. 21.

In a statement provided to VMail, the association said, “The HOA Board and membership fully understand the important service that stand-alone plans provide to their patients. Stand-alone plans allow the more than 500,000 individuals in Hawaii with the accessibility and choice to continue seeing their optometrist for primary eyecare. With the dynamic and constant changes in health care, commonality of purpose should be paramount for optometrists as they work together to provide patient access to their practices.”

The discussion about whether stand-alone vision plans will be permitted to provide this benefit independently of qualified health plans continues to be debated across the country as each state establishes the parameters of its own insurance exchange as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gradually approaches full implementation in 2014. VMail reported in mid-February that the California Optometric Association voted to support the inclusion of stand-along vision plans in that state during the group’s annual meeting.