Optician, Optometrist, Opthalmologist

What’s the difference between an optician, optometrist, and an ophthalmologist?

OPHTHALMOLOGIST

An ophthalmologist, or “eye M.D.” is a medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists and opticians in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. An ophthalmologist is licensed to practice both medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders.
While ophthalmologists are trained to care for all eye problems and conditions, some specialize in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care. This person is called a subspecialist. Subspecialties may include glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, neurology, plastic surgery and more.

OPTOMETRIST

Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. An optometrist is not a medical doctor. An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college. They are licensed to practice optometry, which primarily involves performing eye exams and vision tests, prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. This is probably who you are seeing for your eye appointments!

OPTICIAN

Opticians are simply technicians trained to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists, but do not test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Opticians are not permitted to diagnose or treat eye diseases.
Source: American Association for Pediatric Opthalmology and Strabismus

Getting Ready for Open Enrollment 2020

Open Enrollment is right around the corner and it is a great time to review your benefits. How often did you go to the dentist this past year? Are you filling maintenance prescriptions that might be cheaper through mail order? Did you complete your two-step wellness incentive tasks? These are questions to consider when thinking about next year’s benefit elections.

IMPORTANT: All Open Enrollment meetings will be virtual this year!

Due to COVID-19, System Benefits Administration has made the decision to conduct virtual open enrollment meetings by Webex Presentations throughout the month of July. A calendar is posted on the Open Enrollment website and below with information on how to attend your virtual Open Enrollment meeting. Please record this information in advance so you are ready to either call in or log into your meeting by computer.

Here are plan updates for September 1:

  1. The A&M Care full-time premiums are remaining the same for the 5th year in a row; however, other plan premiums, including part-time premiums and the graduate student plan premiums, are changing. Please review the premium sheets found on the A&M System Benefits Open Enrollment website.
  2. Family, group, and marriage counseling will now be covered by the A&M Care, J and 65+ health insurance plans.
  3. A new coverage tier is being added to the A&M Care 65 Plus and A&M Care Plans. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas-designated Blue Distinction Centers have a proven record of delivering specialty care and results. Blue Distinction Center care includes the following categories: bariatric surgery, cardiac care, knee/hip replacement, spine surgery, and transplants. This tier will be covered at 90% coinsurance for inpatient services. The benefits of the Blue Distinction Centers are available to 65 PLUS plan members, but there is no plan savings since, in most cases, Blue Cross and Blue Shield pays what Medicare does not pay for inpatient hospitalizations.
  4. Polycarbonate lenses and standard anti-reflective lenses are now covered in full for participants and dependents enrolled in the vision plan.
  5. The vision premium will have a small increase $.60 per month for employee only and $1.72 for employee and family and include the above additional coverage.
  6. Every 6 years, the A&M System Benefits Administration office is required to bid the insurance plans. This year, during the Request for Proposal process, a new Life Insurance carrier was selected. The Hartford will be the new carrier for FY21, however, there will be no plan changes.
  7. The MDLIVE Virtual Visits copay will decrease from $20 to $10 for the A&M Care, J, and 65 Plus plans. Virtual Visits is a way to conduct doctor’s or behavioral health appointments for non-emergency conditions by phone, video, or the MDLIVE app 24/7. To register for MDLIVE, go to MDLIVE.com/bcbstx and enter the information found on your ID card.
  8. Dependent Life Insurance Plan B has been split into Spouse Life B and Child Life B. This change has not changed the coverage amount and slightly lowered the premium for some enrollees. The premium is now: Spouse Plan B – $1.05; Child Plan B – $0.32 (for one or multiple children).
  9. The Healthcare Flexible Spending Account maximum annual election will increase from $2,700 to $2,750.
  10. The credit hour requirements for voluntary graduate students will be changed from 6 to 5 hours. Continuation coverage for the Graduate Student employee Plan (Grad Plan) will be reduced from 6 months to 3 months.
  11. During a recent records audit, we determined there is no provision to name an alternate beneficiary for Dependent Life Insurance. The beneficiary is the employee or retiree, and if deceased as well, the benefit will go to the estate.
  12. Livongo for diabetes and hypertension, Omada for pre-diabetes and pre-hypertension, and Hinge Health for musculoskeletal conditions are being added as Blue Cross and Blue Shield partner programs. These programs are based on eligibility or diagnosis, and include digital tools to assist with these chronic conditions such as a scale or virtual therapy courses. There will be more information provided about these programs after September 1.

 

Virtual Open Enrollment Calendar and Meeting Presentation Schedule

July 1 – July 31

Below you will find the morning, afternoon, and Retiree Meeting presentation schedules. If your campus or agency meeting is shown on the calendar in the AM, use the AM Presentation schedule for reference. You may join the Webex at any time during the meeting to listen to the vendor presentation for which you are most interested. Click the calendar above, and click on your campus or agency name to quickly get to the Webex meeting for your event. You may also drop off the meeting at any time. You will need the Webex information below to dial in. You may also have received this information from your benefits office via email invite. Please record this information ahead of your meeting.

Call-in Information: 1.855.282.6330 (toll free)
Password: benefits

Access Codes:

TAMIU:  145 341 0876
TAMUCC: 145 785 9574
TAMU-HSC: 145 382 8386
TAMU-K: 145 824 7915?
TAMU (7/13): 145 609 6860
TAMU (7/14): 145 315 7150
TAMUS: 145 679 8555
AgriLife: 145 158 5324
TEEX/TFS/TTI: 145 241 9072
TEES/COE: 145 679 3032
Retiree Meeting: 145 623 6773
WTAMU:145 385 2677
PVAMU: 145 500 0676
TAMUSA: 145 440 6709?
TAMUCT/TAMUT: 145 959 8925
TAMUC: 145 261 3887
Tarleton: 145 863 7222

Need a New ID Card?

Misplacing your insurance ID cards can be a pain when trying to go to an appointment or get a prescription! You can follow the steps for each insurance plan below to get a new ID card, and then keep them all in one place. MyEvive also has the ability to save images of multiple ID cards, so all you need is your phone and the MyEvive app the next time you need your card. 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
1. Log in to your Blue Access for Members account at https://bcbstx.com/tamus
2. From your dashboard, click the image of the ID card on the left hand side.
3. You can print a paper copy of your ID card, or order one from this page!
4. If ordered, a new ID card will be mailed to the address on file within two weeks.

Express Scripts
Retirees on the 65 plus plan and their spouse will have separate ID Cards.
1. Log into your Express Scripts account.
2. Select the Account tab from the main menu.
3. Click Member ID Card.
4. Download your card from this screen.

Superior Vision
Although you are not always required to present your vision ID card, it is good to keep for your records.
1. Go to Superiorvision.com and select “Member Log in” in the top right.
2. Log in using your username and password.
3. From the home page, select Print ID Card from the menu.

All of these accounts can also be linked to MyEvive with single-sign-on capability! This means, once you log in through MyEvive once, you can go straight into your vendor account from the MyEvive app.

 

Superior Vision Online Partnerships

Superior Vision Online Partnerships

Beginning March 4, 2020, Superior Vision has partnered with Glasses.com and 1-800 Contacts to provide an in-network online shopping solution that includes seamless integration with your vision benefits and automatic claims submission. Both vendors feature mobile app and online ordering, virtual customer service, speedy delivery, and a pay-over-time solution.

In order to complete your purchase on Glasses.com:

  1. Go through the Checkout process until you reach the Order Confirmation Page.
  2. In the top right of the page, click the “Vision Insurance” radio button and enter your information.

In order to complete your purchase on 1-800 Contacts:

  1. Go to SuperiorVision.com and select “Shop Online”.
  2. Go to 1800contacts.com and enter the name and DOB on your vision insurance card.
  3. It populates your benefit information. Select “Use insurance on my order” and proceed to shop for your brand preference.
  4. Continue to checkout and enter or upload your prescription. Give 1-800 Contacts permission to verify your prescription with your provider.

If you have any issues, contact the customer service team of the respective website from which you are trying to order. If for some reason they are unable to verify your insurance, please contact Superior Vision at 844-549-2603.

Glasses.com Flyer

1-800 Contacts Flyer

Using Your Benefits While Traveling

Using Your Benefits While Traveling

Using Your Benefits While Traveling

The holidays are approaching and this is the most popular time of year for employees to travel. Make sure you are covered if you need medical care while traveling.

First– Save all of your information

Do you know your Group Number and Insurance ID by heart? No? That’s okay. The MyEvive app lets you save space in your carry-on and upload your insurance ID cards to your phone! Download it using the Employer Name: Texas A&M University System.

Medical and Prescription Drug

You should keep a list of your emergency contacts on hand, and save the Blue Cross and Blue Shield BlueCard customer service number: 1-866-265-1212. A Benefits Value Advisor can help you find in-network services in the region you are traveling. The BlueCard Program* helps Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) members get needed health care when you travel outside your plan service area.

If you need a prescription drug supply for a period longer than 30 but less than 90 days, have your physician write a prescription for the needed dosage and send it directly to Express Scripts (ESI) with one mail-order copayment (twice the retail pharmacy copayment).

  • Your 90-day mail-order prescription should be sent to:
    Express Scripts, Inc.
    P.O. Box 650322
    Dallas, Texas 75265-0322

Or, you may ask your doctor to call 1 888 327-9791 for instructions on how to fax the prescription to Express Scripts. Your doctor will need to use your social security number or ESI member ID number to complete the transaction. (Only doctors can fax prescriptions to ESI.)

If you have more than one prescription filled, send one copayment for each prescription. Be sure to start this process at least three weeks before your departure date. First-time orders arrive within 8 to 11 days. Refills usually arrive in less time – 7 to 9 days. The best time to reorder is when you have about a 14-day supply of your medication remaining. This will help ensure that the medication is received when it is needed.

Vision

The only thing worse than getting sick while traveling is losing your contact lenses. Pack at least two extra pairs of contact lenses while traveling so you have replacements. To locate a network provider in the area in which you will be traveling, or to get information on how the plan handles claims for services you receive while traveling, contact Superior Vision at (844) 549-2603.

Dental

Within the United States, you may use any licensed dentist for covered services. Generally, you will pay less out-of-pocket by using a PPO network. Delta Dental’s National Dentist Directory is online at www.deltadentalins.com.

*The BlueCard Program is not available for Medicaid and Medicare Advantage members