Vision Care Coverage 

Ages 0-18

Alberta Health Care* covers one complete eye exam per year.  Additional exams and/or treatments may be covered based on medical needs.  Ask your doctor of optometry for information about coverage and potential costs for specific visual conditions.  Alberta Health Care* covers medically necessary services, which are listed below. 

Ages 19-64

Alberta Health Care does not cover eye exams, however many Albertans have insurance coverage through their employer or their own medical plan. Inquire at the optometrist’s office regarding the cost of the eye exam, and also about direct billing to your insurance company.  Alberta Health Care* does covers medically necessary services, which are listed below. 

Ages 65+

Alberta Health Care* covers one complete eye exam per year.  Additional exams and/or treatments may be covered based on medical needs, such as glaucoma, diabetes or cataract follow-up or monitoring.  Ask your doctor of optometry for information about coverage and potential costs for specific visual conditions.  Alberta Health Care* covers medically necessary services, which are listed below. 

Medically Necessary/Urgent Care

Doctors of optometry have the proper knowledge, tools and equipment necessary to diagnose, treat or refer to a specialist, if needed.  You do not need a referral.  Most doctors of optometry keep a few daily appointments available for these urgent care. These appointments are covered by Alberta Health Care*.  If you are unsure whether your specific issue would be covered by Alberta Health Care*, ask your doctor of optometry before the appointment. 

The types of care covered include:

  • Eye infections or injuries
  • Foreign objects in the eyes
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Monitoring for diabetes issues, glaucoma and retinal disease
  • Post-operative care for cataract patients



*Check with your doctor of optometry prior to your appointment to determine if there are any additional costs.