Man getting eyes calibrated by optometrist

Optical health insurance

Most extras policies include optical health insurance

Prescription glasses and contact lenses aren’t covered by Medicare, which is why it’s important to take out extras cover from a private health fund.

Private health insurance provides cover for an extensive range of optical services and treatments. Get money back on glasses, contact lenses or those prescription sunnies you've been meaning to get.

Compare extras cover for optical - from $4 per week

Simply refine your search by 'Optical' on the results page.

Are glasses and contact lenses covered by health inCONsurance?

Australian private health funds provide cover for a wide range of optical services and treatments through their extras cover policies. some of these include:

  • Prescription glasses and contact lenses.
  • Rebates on prescription sunglasses and prescription swimming goggles.
  • Eye check-ups.

If you want cover for major optical procedures, for example cataract or eye lens surgery, you’ll need to take out hospital cover from a private health fund. These services are typically only included in high-level hospital cover policies, which attract higher premiums than basic policies.

However, it’s important to remember that levels of cover vary between funds and that some services, for example laser eye surgery, only receive restricted cover. It’s essential to read the fine print associated with your policy to work out exactly what is and isn’t covered.

Can I buy glasses from anywhere and still get a refund?

Australian private health funds will pay benefits for prescription glasses and/or contact lenses purchased from the vast majority of registered optical dispensers and eyewear stores across the country. If you’re ever in doubt about whether a particular purchase will be covered, check with your health fund for confirmation.

However, if you prefer to do your shopping online, be warned that not all online optical retailers will be covered by your fund. With this in mind, check to see whether your health fund provides a list of online optical stores where you can buy the products you need and still access a full or partial refund.

Can I get cover for sunglasses?

If you need prescription sunglasses, these will be covered by your health fund in the vast majority of cases. Check with your health fund to confirm this before parting with any money.

However, non-prescription sunglasses are typically not included in your extras cover, but you may still be able to take advantage of discounted sunnies thanks to your health fund’s partnership with an eyewear retailer.

Can I get cover for laser eye surgery?

If you’re thinking of undergoing laser eye surgery so you can wave a permanent goodbye to prescription glasses and contact lenses, you should be aware that:

  • Procedures of this type are not covered by Medicare (unless it is required to treat certain eye diseases).
  • It’s also not covered by many private health funds, although some funds will offer a limited level of cover as part of their top hospital or comprehensive extras policies.

Even if your health fund says it covers laser eye surgery, check the fine print for more information on exactly how much of the total cost of the procedure will be covered. Also, keep in mind that:

  • Lifetime limits often apply to cover for laser eye surgery, as opposed to the annual limits quoted for many other extras services, so make sure you’re aware of the maximum level of cover available.
  • You will typically have to serve a waiting period before you can access any benefits for laser eye surgery. Waiting periods vary from one fund to the next, but expect to have to wait one or possibly two years before you can claim a benefit.

Australian health funds that offer optical health insurance

Below are a few of the finder.com.au panel that cover Optical in extras. We've displayed the yearly limit. They also include other benefits such as dental - using the range of extras covered is a great way to get value for money.

Provider Limit and Waiting Period Additional inclusions Cost per month Apply

HCF

Silver Plus

$200

2 Months

General Dental

Pysio

$28.75 Go to site

ahm

Black 60

$200

6 Months

General Dental

Pysio

$32.41 Go to site
cua logo

CUA

Classic Extras

$200

6 Months

General Dental

Pysio

$55.03 Go to site

*Price based on a single living in NSW, always check for combined limits
* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.
Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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