Mississippi Optometric Association and Mississippi Vision Foundation to Provide Eye Exams

Mississippi Optometric Association and Mississippi Vision Foundation will again provide no cost eye exams to 3rd graders who did not pass state reading assessment.

The Mississippi Optometric Association and the Mississippi Vision Foundation have announced that they will continue to offer an initiative to provide eye exams at no cost to Mississippi 3rd grade students who did not pass the state reading test and do not have insurance coverage.

Results of the MOA and MVF Third Grade Eye Exam program (aimed at students who did not pass the third grade reading assessment) reveal that 88 percent of the students who received eye exams were found to be in need of some form of visual intervention. Although test scores will not be available for a few weeks, last year 13 percent of Mississippi third graders did not pass the reading assessment. While there are many issues that can affect a child’s inability to read and comprehend, one of those issues can be a vision problem.

For students who are covered through private insurance or CHIPS, doctors will file on that coverage and parents will be asked to cover the co-pay for the visit due to laws which require the doctor to collect this amount. Parents who are unable to pay the out-of-pocket expenses should discuss this with the doctor.

Additionally, any student whose eye exam reveals the need for corrective lenses will be provided glasses.

Elementary principals, to take advantage of the free vision test, parents should:

  • Call their local participating optometrist to schedule an appointment;
  • Tell the receptionist they are scheduling the free 3rd grade eye exam;
  • Bring the letter notifying them that their child did not pass the assessment test with them to the appointment;
  • To locate a local, participating optometrist, visit www.msvisionfoundation.org or call 601.572.0845.

This effort can have a significant impact on these students: statistics show that 25% of all school age children have vision problems and upwards of 80% of those do not get the help they need.