Eye Exams

Your eye exam coverage depends on:

  • Who you are
  • Your TRICARE plan
  • Your age

You may need a referral or authorization before you get an eye exam. For the best information, please enter your profile at the top of the page.

Routine Eye Exams

A routine eye exam checks your vision and eye health. You can visit an Optometrist An optometrist is considered a “primary eye care provider.” Optometrists focus on regular vision services (eye exams, screenings, etc.) and can prescribe drugs, rehabilitation, eyeglasses and contact lenses. or Ophthalmologist An ophthalmologist is considered a “specialist” so you will need a referral and/or authorization, depending on your health plan option. Ophthalmologists provide regular vision services (like an optometrist) but they also provide medical and surgical services for your eyes. for a routine eye exam.

  • You’ll get a prescription for glasses or contacts if you need them
  • A routine eye exam is more than the simple vision screening test your primary care doctor may do with a standard eye chart

In general, TRICARE covers routine eye exams:

  • As needed for active duty service members to maintain fitness for duty
  • Once a year for active duty family members
  • Every two years for all other TRICARE Prime beneficiaries  (e.g. retired service members, their families, etc.)
  • Once a year for diabetic patients in TRICARE Prime

Well-Child Eye Exams

TRICARE covers well-child eye exams from an Optometrist An optometrist is considered a “primary eye care provider.” Optometrists focus on regular vision services (eye exams, screenings, etc.) and can prescribe drugs, rehabilitation, eyeglasses and contact lenses. or Ophthalmologist An ophthalmologist is considered a “specialist” so you will need a referral and/or authorization, depending on your health plan option. Ophthalmologists provide regular vision services (like an optometrist) but they also provide medical and surgical services for your eyes..

  • Every two years
  • Between the ages of three and six
  • includes screening for amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes)

Ophthalmic Services

TRICARE covers eye exams and other specialized services to diagnose or treat eye conditions.

Last Updated 4/7/2014

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