NAVCP and EyeMed Add Support to California Bill Proposing Doctor Review of Children’s Eye Exams

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SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California Assembly Bill 1110, Pupil Health: Eye and Vision Examinations, which would require “a pupil’s eyes and vision to be examined by a physician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist in accordance with specified provisions” has received additional support on April 29 from Eyemed Vision Care and April 24 from the National Association of Vision Care Plans (NAVCP), according to letters sent from both organizations.

The bill, first introduced by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) last month, requires eye exams by an eyecare professional during kindergarten or first elementary school enrollment, and would amend Section 49455 of the state’s Education Code. The California Optometric Association (COA) and VSP Vision Care have both offered their support to the bill, which VMail reported on April 5.

“Vision health is essential to overall health and professional care should begin as early as possible for all children,” said Julian Roberts, NAVCP executive director. “We applaud Assemblywoman Burke for promoting elementary school access to eye exams by an eyecare professional in her state.” NAVCP’s letter of support, posted at www.navcp.org said, in part, “NAVCP represents 19 of the nation’s largest managed vision care companies that work to promote the importance of vision care and provide coverage to over 23 million Californians. Eyecare professionals and major vision benefits companies agree that every child starting school should have a comprehensive eye exam followed by regular vision assessments.”

EyeMed’s April 29th letter, signed by Lukas Ruecker, president, EyeMed, stated, “EyeMed, the vision benefits company of choice for the City of Los Angeles, the University of California System and many other California employers, supports California Assembly Bill 1110. Requiring a pediatric eye exam at the start of a child’s formal education and regular vision appraisals through Grade 8 is good health care and makes good sense. The need is clear. Eighty percent of childhood learning is visual, and twenty-five percent of U.S. children have an undiagnosed vision problem significant enough to impair academic performance. With A.B. 1110, California has the chance to join the ranks of other progressive states that have already enacted regulations for eye exams and vision screenings for schoolchildren.”