Insurance Status of Chrystalens/AIOL

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Byron L. Reed, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. My doctor has been watching the development of Crystalens, and
    accommodative lenses in general, for the last year as a possible
    treatment option for my rapidly advancing cataracts in both eyes.

    As you probably know, Crystalens is not a Medicare-accepted treatment,
    so private insurance companies are unlikely to cover it at all.
    Considering the costs associated with the procedure, I will probably
    be forced to accept the traditional synthetic replacement lenses, one
    at a time, as it becomes "medically necessary."

    This bothers me a great deal. I'm still in my thirties, both eyes are
    in the -9 to -10 range, have astigmatism, and a scleral buckle in one
    eye. This product seemed a perfect miracle, except for the
    insurance/cost aspect.

    I was looking at the Crystalens site when a statement struck me rather
    cold: "If you've already had cataract surgery, you're not a candidate
    for the Crystalens procedure." The reason is not given as to why this
    is so, but I will assume it is because the muscles that accommodate
    the natural lens are severed and then wither away to useless nubs. Is
    this correct?

    If so, then being forced to accept an approved non-accommodating
    replacement lens is being forced to permanently sacrifice a perfectly
    operative structure of the body, without any possibility of recovering

    How does this stand legally? At what point does your desire to be made
    as whole as possible give way to the insurance companies' desire to
    save money? I wonder if a person could challenge the current
    situation based upon the notion that accepting a relatively
    debilitating procedure is not in the best interest of their health,
    considering the options.

    What are your thoughts? How do we effect a change in the status of
    this procedure?


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    Byron L. Reed, Aug 8, 2004
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  2. Byron L. Reed

    Dr Judy Guest

    The insurance companies will insure anything but it means the premium will
    be higher. You need to tell your employer and employee bargaining group
    that you want this covered; they can check what the increase premium cost
    will be. You will then need to convince your fellow employees to accept
    that increased cost as part of the next pay raise/ benefit review and
    instead of increased pay or pension or other benefits.

    Dr Judy
    Dr Judy, Aug 8, 2004
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