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Spectacle subsidy requests reminder for High Level Subsidy spectacle frames

This update is to provide a brief reminder of the importance of considering cost-effective frames for children accessing the Ministry of Health spectacle subsidy. This is to ensure there is funding available in the budget for all those who need it.

The Ministry of Health will contribute a maximum of $250 towards high level subsidy frames requests unless:

  • there is a significant clinical need for higher-cost frames, or
  • there are no other frames in your service that will meet the clinical needs.

Assessors who are prescribing frames above $250 for high level subsidy should follow the application process for ‘Genuine and Exceptional Circumstances’ and provide their clinical reasoning. You can find out more about this process via the following link:

Information about Genuine & Exceptional Circumstances

In a recent review of High Level Subsidy requests, it was noted that there has been an increase in the number of requests over the $250 threshold—these were submitted through the standard process rather than the process for ‘Genuine and Exceptional Circumstances.’

Bar graph showing the cost of high level subsidy frames over the 2018/19 financial year. 142 requests are between $251 and $300, 7 requests are between $301 and $350, and 2 requests are between $401 and $450.

It is important to consider cost-effective frames in all cases where they can meet the clinical need, but if there is a clinical need for frames costing above $250, these requests should be submitted via the ‘Genuine and Exceptional Circumstances’ request process.

For more information or to refamiliarise yourself with guidelines and criteria, you can access the Ministry of Health Children’s Spectacle Subsidy clinical guidelines via the link below:

View the Ministry of Health Children's Spectacle Subside clinical guidelines manual

Any queries?

Please contact us if you have any queries about this notice.

Enable New Zealand
Phone: 0800 ENABLE (362 253)

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