AMO eye care and dental benefits on track for substantial improvement by year’s end

Optical and dental benefits for American Maritime Officers members and their families are well on track to improve substantially by the end of this year under a greatly expanded service provider network underway through Blue Cross-Blue Shield.

Out-of-pocket eye care costs to AMO families will decrease significantly through increased market competition and vendor discounts – as much as 45 percent on eyeglass frames, for example.

Blue Cross Vision has already secured more than 150,000 eye care access points nationwide. This network’s new national, regional and online retail service providers include Vision Works, Eye Mart Express, Warby Parker, Costco Optical, America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, JC Penney Optical, Meyer, Target, Pearle Vision, Sterling Optical and National Vision.

More importantly, eye care will be viewed closely by the AMO Medical Plan as an increasingly important health issue. Eye exams performed by medical professionals can detect pre-diabetes risk, diabetic retinopathy, risk of stroke from high blood pressure, heart failure, brain tumors and other potentially fatal conditions. As a result, much more of the eye care cost is likely to be diverted to the AMO Medical Plan – provided such services are performed by ophthalmologists (medical doctors), who can do no more than test your vision and prescribe corrective lenses, as opposed to optometrists.

Dental coverage will be subject to reduced cost as well under Blue Dental Plus, with more than 120,000 providers participating in more than 380,000 locations. Discounts are anticipated to reach between 42 to 52 percent.

When utilizing a network provider, AMO members and dependents will no longer be required to pay the full cost of services up front. AMO families will simply use their Blue Dental/Blue Vision ID cards and claims will be submitted on their behalf and paid directly to the provider.

These improvements will be in place by January 1, 2024. Updates will be provided here as developments occur.

Paul Doell
AMO National President