Students are encouraged to make use of UCSB’s Student Health Eye Care Center, which offers lower rates than many other providers. All students with UC SHIP health insurance receive a discount of 30% and routine eye exams for $40. Beginning in fall 2011, graduate students with UC SHIP health insurance will also have Anthem Blue View Vision insurance coverage, which provides further discounts and can be used at many preferred providers. More information can be found on the Student Health website http://studenthealth.sa.ucsb.edu
, with information for graduate students at www.anthem.com/ca/ucgship
. If you have additional questions about insurance coverage, you should contact the health insurance office at Student Health (see below).
If you are unable to pay for optical care due to financial hardship, you might look into one of the funding sources below or consult the General Purpose Funding
section of this guide. For financial challenges related to complex, ongoing, or long-term medical situations, you can also meet with a UCSB social worker, who can provide referrals, problem-solving assistance, and information on all your options (see below).
AS/EOP Emergency Grants – Optical
These grants are for Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students receiving need-based financial aid who have exhausted other resources. These grants are issued as reimbursement funding for glasses or contact lenses, including the eye exam fee. The maximum grant amount is $300. The purchase needs to have occurred when the student was enrolled in classes. EOP does not cover both glasses and contact lenses. Optical care grants are awarded once every other fiscal year. Regular eye exams alone are not covered unless the service leads to the purchase of glasses or contacts. EOP has also acquired coupons from The Eyeglass Factory for free eyeglasses valued at about $49. This option is an alternative to purchasing glasses through Student Health or other providers. Maximum grant amount:
$300. Turnaround time:
usually 1-2 weeks. The deadline for submissions is every Thursday at 2 p.m. for review for the following week. Required documentation:
A written statement describing the circumstances and the amount requested, to be addressed to the EOP Director; application form (obtained from an EOP counselor); original receipts for items that are being covered; photo ID. How to apply:
Schedule an appointment to meet with an EOP counselor to discuss eligibility and details by calling (805) 893-4758. You do not need to have all of your documentation ready at the time of the appointment.
Social Worker Support
If you are navigating challenging medical, financial, social, familial, and other situations, you can receive support from a social worker. UCSB social workers can help to identify your needs, recommend resources available to you, and work with you on a plan of action. Unlike other services, social workers may be available to students for one quarter after they have withdrawn from UCSB and assist with the transition to community resources. To schedule an appointment, call (805) 893-3087.
Student Health – Health Insurance Information
If you have general questions about UCSB’s SHIP vision insurance, you can visit the Student Health website at http://studenthealth.sa.ucsb.edu
and call the Student Health insurance office at (805) 893-2592. Note: Serious problems involving the eyes may also be covered by your medical insurance. Your SHIP insurance card from Anthem/Blue Cross is used for both the Blue View Vision plan and for medical coverage. For Anthem/Blue Cross customer service phone numbers, see your insurance card or visit their website at www.anthem.com/ca/ucgship
Surgical Eye Expeditions International
This organization provides eye care to Santa Barbara County residents who do not have medical insurance. The organization’s Santa Barbara Vision Care program provides vision screening by appointment only. If eye surgery is needed, this is provided through an application process through S.E.E. International. For more information, visit www.seeintl.org/local/default.asp
or call (805) 963-3303.
“The Jack Canfield Chicken Soup for the Soul” Student Medical Emergency Relief Fund (SMERF)
This fund provides grants to students with expenses related to medical, dental, psychological, and optical emergencies. For the purposes of this fund, a medical emergency is a condition, injury, or illness that poses a risk to a person’s life, long-term health, or well-being and requires timely intervention. Prescription or medical care costs related to ongoing, non-emergency conditions are therefore not covered. In addition, grants are awarded only for medical bills not yet paid. SMERF is for students who were registered at the time of their medical emergency and have exhausted all other resources. EOP students should check with EOP before applying for SMERF. Maximum grant amount:
$3,500. Turnaround time:
Once the student meets with the committee, 48 hours for a decision. Required documentation:
Online application; unpaid medical bills; additional supporting documents upon request. How to Apply:
Fill out an online application at www.sa.ucsb.edu/smerf