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Archive for the ‘Manulife Group Benefits’ Category

Update on Penny’s New Glasses

Posted by themoneyfamily on July 10, 2009

We’ve had Penny’s glasses for just over 2 weeks now. I don’t know how many times I’ve said “Thank God for titanium frames!” She pulls them down and twists them around, and I think they’d be broken by now if they weren’t titanium. But they’re cute!

I didn’t realize that the last couple weeks we had her old glasses she kept pulling them off because of the prescription change. Once we got the new prescription and were waiting for her new glasses to come in, if I tried to put the old glasses on, she’d immediately pull them off again. I should have clued in that it was the 5 diopter difference in her prescription that was doing that! When I put her new glasses on now, she keeps them on.

I need to tighten one of the screws though. I’m not sure if that’s going to be something common or not. I used to have a pair of glasses that needed constant tightening.

As for Manulife covering her glasses, first we were told by Court’s HR department that they “regret to advise there aren’t any other provisions under our plan with regards to the vision expenses.” When I questioned if there was a way to appeal their decisions, we were told they “The policy specifically limits eyeglass coverage to $300 every two years per person. There is a medical expense tax credit when filing income tax that you may be able to claim these expenses under. There are certain minimum dollar or % criteria based on income etc. It would be best to speak to a tax accountant to explain in more detail.”

So, it sounds like a no-go with Manulife. But I didn’t know we could claim our glasses on the medical expense portion of our taxes! We’ll do that for this year’s taxes and see how well that works.

Posted in Manulife Group Benefits, Observations, Penny | 5 Comments »

I still don’t see a difference

Posted by themoneyfamily on June 24, 2009

We picked up Penny’s new glasses yesterday. And I still don’t see the difference when she has them on. I mean, I see that her eye stops wandering (thank God). And I see that while the glasses are in my hand, they’re a toy. I need to put them on her, distract her for a minute with a real toy, and then she forgets the glasses are there. Once she gets tired, she tries to rub her eyes, and the glasses end up getting pulled down. She can’t wear her glasses in the car. With her in the back seat and rear-facing, if she pulls them down, I can’t see or reach to fix it. She CAN wear her glasses to nurse, if we’re laying in bed to do it. If my arm is under her head, I’ll have to take them off. And when she’s laying on the floor on her back, for some reason her glasses push out so they’re not actually resting on her nose. I’m not sure what to do about that, but I do remember another mom mentioning that their child’s glasses did this…

She’s such a smart little girl, and I’m so happy to have her. Sometimes I put her glasses on just so that the world can see my little girl in glasses. We’re going swimming today, and you better believe she’s going to have her glasses on!

Second pair of glasses

Second pair of glasses

The new glasses are Marchon Flexon frames, which are memory titanium. There were these or another pair with a more rectangular shape. I actually like the rectangular shape better, but they were a size 40 and were too big. These are a size 39, and the shape is a little too big for her face, but everyone says they look better than her first pair of glasses. You can see the details on her glasses here.

I’m hoping we can submit these glasses to Manulife for reimbursement. Court’s HR department is talking to someone there about it, so cross fingers. It makes sense to me. Fork out a bit not to help fix Penny’s eyes, and then by the time she’s a teenager, like the doctor said, she maybe won’t need them anymore. Or, if they won’t cover them, we might have to wait longer to get new glasses sometimes (money doesn’t grow on trees, and her glasses are running in the $350 range right now), and this could harm her eyes and make it take longer to fix them. Logical? To me yes, to the company who pays up, who knows? We’ll see where this goes.

Posted in Manulife Group Benefits, Observations, Penny | 1 Comment »

Today’s Technology is Amazing!

Posted by themoneyfamily on June 11, 2009

Penny had an appointment today to get her prescription checked. I’ve been saying that her ophthalmologist believed the prescription would change by this appointment, and boy was he right! Her first glasses were +6.5 and +7.5 and now they are, get this… +2.5 and +5.5!!! Even the doctor was a little surprised.

I spent the day yesterday checking out other glasses stores, partly to see if anywhere had better selection than eyedesigns, and partly so I can do up some information sheets to put up at the vision clinic at the hospital. My findings so far:

  • Optiks International – down in McKenzie Towne in the old A&B Sound building at South Trail Crossing
    Great selection! Quite a few that would actually fit Penny, who is up to 39 or 40 for lens width. But I am specifically looking for memory titanium frames so that she can bend them and twist them and not break them. Optiks only had one line of titanium (Tommy Hilfiger no less) and none were small enough for her. The prices weren’t a huge difference from eyedesigns’, but they have a special on getting 2 pairs. If you don’t get the 2-pair special, you get 20% off the 1-pair. The gentleman I dealt with was very professional and knowledgeable, and dealt wonderfully with Penny. Once your kids get into about 43/44 size lenses, I would actually recommend going here for selection. They also have a lab on site and a really plush waiting area with leather couches and a big screen TV to watch (you need a big screen while you have no glasses and are waiting for them to be made HAHA!). They also have an optometrist on site. Dr. Winnicki if I remember correctly.
  • Hakim Optical – Chinook and Forest Lawn locations
    Very poor selection of children’s frames. Nothing that fit Penny at all. And I found that the one little wall of children’s frames had the same frames 2 or 3 times, or the same frames in 2 or 3 different colors. The lady I talked to at the Chinook location was wonderful and cheerful, if not quite so knowledgeable. The guy that appeared to be in charge didn’t seem to have time to answer her questions either, so I felt a little put out by asking if the cables on a pair of glasses could be made bigger. But, he did adjust Penny’s current glasses so they don’t dig into her temples quite so badly… The Forest Lawn location supposedly had more of a selection, but that’s where I saw the repeated frames. The 2 ladies were too busy cooing over what a cute little BOY I had to help really. Luckily my little BOY filled his diaper (which have been blowouts because we needed to buy the next size up), so I got to use the excuse and run.
  • Fusion Optical – 32nd Ave in the same parking lot as Safeway, the Salvation Army, Quiznos and Blockbuster
    Great lady there! Not a huge selection of kids glasses, but one cute little pink pair with cables that would fit Penny and she could do them for about $240 (versus $370 for Penny’s current pair, and these ones aren’t covered by Manulife at all). She did say she wouldn’t bother with scratch coating for kids this little because their prescription and/or frames change too often to get your money’s worth right now. I am waiting to see what kind of deal eyedesigns can offer me, and if I don’t like it I’ll go to Fusion.
  • eyedesigns – Varsity Drive by Planet Organic and Once Upon a Child (great for multitasking!)
    eyedesigns is ordering in 2 pairs of Marchon Flexon frames for us to see how they fit Penny. They are also going to do some sort of special deal for me because of having to buy new glasses so soon. We’ll see what happens there!

I also want to put up a list of websites like what I have on the right hand side here: Little Four Eyes, inconSPECuous, Specs4us, Framehuggers, etc. It would be a great support resource for parents there who don’t know what having a little kid in glasses entails. It might be alot of work, but hey… I’m on maternity leave and don’t exactly have alot of stuff to do!

Posted in Appointments, Manulife Group Benefits, Penny | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Random Vision-ness

Posted by themoneyfamily on May 26, 2009

I’ve been trying to join the Yahoo Group for PGCFA (Pediatric Glaucoma and Cataract Family Association. It keeps telling me that my email is not available to join it. WTF?

I’m trying to join because I’m looking for advice. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but I’d like to fight with Manulife Group Benefits to get them to cover Penny’s glasses every time we get them, not just $300 every 2 years. There is an article on the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus regarding this issue: Policy Statements: Aphakic Lenses. I’m not 100% sure, but it would seem to me if the child has intraocular lens implants, the glasses being aphakic wouldn’t apply, because the IOLs would be the aphakic lens and the glasses would be considered cosmetic? But if Penny is farsighted, and doesn’t wear glasses to help correct that, the chances of her having amblyopia are much higher. So both are aphakic? Argh! If anyone has any input on this matter it would be greatly appreciated!

Posted in Manulife Group Benefits, Observations | 2 Comments »