On September 12th, the Legault government announced the start of the See Better to Succeed program. Thanks to this program, the Régie de l'Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) will now offer a $250 refund on prescription glasses or contact lenses for children under the age of 18.
Here are some questions and answers that should help you to better understand the program:
What steps do I need to take in order for my child to benefit from the program?
1-Make an appointment for an eye exam. Eyeglasses or contact lenses must have been prescribed by an eye care professional (by an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist). If your child has had an eye exam in the past year, then it is not necessary for them to see the eye doctor again, this prescription is valid.
2-Choose a frame and determine the lens coating options that will be applied in your child's lenses. If your child prefers to wear contact lenses, the optometrist or the optician can also help you choose the type of contact lens that suits them best.
3-Go to the register and pay the invoice for your child's glasses or contact lenses.
4- Make your refund request by completing this form. The legal tutor of the child (according to the RAMQ) should subsequently receive a check for $250 by mail within 3 weeks of the application. Please note that you must submit the request within 12 months of purchase. It will also be necessary for you to keep the invoice of the glasses or contact lenses with your records for 5 years after the purchase is made.
How often can my child benefit from the program?
You will be able to apply for a reimbursement, in the amount of $250, every 2 years.
Does the IRIS No Matter What Guarantee also apply to glasses purchased through the program?
Absolutely! IRIS will repair or replace your frame if it breaks, no matter what the reason, at no cost within one year of purchase; and at 50% off your original frame purchase price if it breaks within the second year.This warranty is free and included with all glasses purchased from us. It is particularly convenient for children since they tend to have mishaps with their glasses!
Will I pay a fee for my child's eye exam?
Technically, the RAMQ covers the cost of annual eye exams for children under the age of 18. If your child has a valid RAMQ card, normally the fees should be covered.
What happens if the total cost of glasses/contact lenses is less than $250?
If the final amount of the bill is $235, the refund is still $250, even if the total amount is less than the refund amount.
Are sunglasses also eligible for reimbursement?
Since one of the main goals of this program is to allow children to have better vision at school to help them learn better, sunglasses without a prescription are not reimbursed. Security and sports goggles are not eligible for reimbursement either, even with the child's prescription in them.
Are glasses that protect against blue light (such as TrueBlue glasses) covered by the program?
Non-prescription eyewear that protects against blue light are not eligible for reimbursement. However, you can choose to add a blue light filter in your child's prescription lenses and you will be able to get a $250 refund from the RAMQ. Schools are becoming more modern and teachers tend to use digital screens; therefore, we strongly advise parents to add blue light protection to their children's lenses.
Can the program refund my child's prescription glasses if they were purchased online?
Absolutely, as long as your child has a valid prescription that has been prepared by an eye care professional and that the purchase is made from an online Quebec merchant.
Do the IRIS promotions on children's eyewear still apply if I want to take advantage of the $250 refund?
IRIS offers discounts and they are absolutely combinable with the government reimbursement.
What is the effective date of the program?
The start date of the program was September 1, 2019. If you purchased your child's prescription glasses/contact lenses on or after that date, you can submit a claim.
For more information, please visit your nearest IRIS store and refer to the RAMQ’s website.