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Arch Ophthalmol. 2008 Aug;126(8):1121-6. doi: 10.1001/archopht.126.8.1121.

Health insurance coverage and use of eye care services.

Author information

  • 1National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Mailbox K-10, Atlanta, GA 30341-3727, USA.



To compare realized access or use of eye care services in adults with self-reported vision problems in Canada and the United States.


Using the Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health, we examined the differences in use of eye care services in 2018 Canadian respondents and 2930 American respondents with self-reported vision problems. We performed multivariate logistic regression analyses to estimate the probability that individuals with vision problems and various insurance categories would visit an eye care professional.


Approximately 8.2% of Americans with self-reported vision problems did not have health insurance. Americans without health insurance had the lowest age-adjusted rate of use of eye care services (42%) compared with Americans with private health insurance (67%) or public health insurance (55%) and Canadians (56%). The difference in use of eye care services between Americans without health insurance and Canadians narrowed when adjusted for income level and was almost eliminated when adjusted for having optional vision insurance. Individuals with optional vision insurance and those with higher income levels were more likely to use eye care services.


Americans with vision problems who had health insurance accessed eye care services at a rate higher than or equal to that of their Canadian counterparts. The gap in access between Canadians and Americans without health insurance narrowed after adjustments for income level and optional vision insurance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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