Children's glasses: how much is covered by health insurance?

Good news for parents: health insurance companies will contribute towards the cost of children's glasses. Source: iStock / grinvalds

Many children need corrective eyewear. But glasses and contact lenses can be expensive. It is a good thing that health insurance companies are contributing towards the cost – and this includes contact lenses for image-conscious teenagers.

Short-sightedness is increasing dramatically worldwide. The number of affected children is also rising in Switzerland. Comparis answers the most important questions on children's glasses and health insurance:

Do health insurance companies contribute towards the cost of children's glasses?

Yes. Visual aids for children and adolescents up to the age of 18 are covered by basic insurance.

Disability Insurance (IV) covers most medical benefits, without coinsurance, related to birth defects for as long as they exist, but only until the age of 20. This also applies to visual impairments.

How much will health insurance companies contribute towards children's glasses?

Children and adolescents who need glasses are entitled to 180 francs a year for glasses or contact lenses under basic health insurance. An ophthalmologist's prescription is required once a year in order for the costs to be charged to the health insurance company. The insurance company pays this amount up to the age of 18.

In the case of very severe sight defects or illnesses, basic insurance pays higher contributions towards glasses and contact lenses – irrespective of the age of the insured person. This applies, for example, to changes in refraction due to illness, adjustments after surgery or corneal diseases. For more information, contact your health insurance company or ophthalmologist.

Comparis tip: Parents should keep an eye out for signs of sight problems in their children. Most visual defects must be treated in childhood to prevent further sight deterioration.

Is there a coinsurance for visual aids?

Yes, out-of-pocket expenses apply to glasses and contact lenses just like other benefits covered by basic insurance. If you have chosen a deductible for the child that is higher than zero francs, you pay the chosen deductible amount and, in addition, the coinsurance of 10 per cent yourself.

Which deductible makes sense for children?

It's worth choosing a deductible of zero francs for children and adolescents. The reason for this is that the discount for a higher deductible is negligible. Children also need to see a doctor fairly regularly.

Is it worth taking out supplemental glasses insurance for children?

Corrective glasses and contact lenses usually cost more than 180 francs. A supplemental insurance policy may therefore be well worth considering. Make sure you compare health insurance products, as supplemental insurance benefits vary from company to company.

Do health insurance companies contribute towards the cost of adults' glasses?

You can read up on that in our article Glasses – when is it worth taking out supplemental insurance?