October Legislative Update

By Executive Director Keith Kerns, Esq.

Ohio Vision Services Act

House Bill 275, an initiative promoted by the Ohio Optometric Association, will help preserve the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship and protect Ohio small businesses by focusing on three key issues:

  • Choice of Laboratories. The bill ensures that optometrists and patients are able to utilize the laboratories of their choice when purchasing eyewear and other materials.
  • Noncovered Services and Products. The bill will prohibit forced pricing on the sale of vision materials and services that are not reimbursable under a benefit plan. This tactic effectively removes contracted providers from the marketplace and forces patients to obtain medical devices from other retailers, some of whom may be located outside the state.
  • Choice of Plans. The bill ensures that providers are only obligated to participate in health care contracts and discount plans which they voluntarily choose to participate.

To learn more about HB 275 and get involved, click here.

Sales Tax

Ohio currently requires retailers of prescriptive eyewear to collect and remit sales tax on these medical devices. This creates an unnecessary barrier for patients and places Ohio-based retailers at a competitive disadvantage. Senate Bill 216, introduced last week into the Ohio General Assembly, would exempt the first $500 of the sale of a prescriptive optical aide or component from the state sales tax.  The Ohio Optometric Association strongly backs the legislation.

To learn more about SB 216 and get involved, click here.

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