P: 360-733-4800  •  Location Map

Vision vs. Medical

In order to better prepare for your visit we would like to provide an explanation of Medical and Vision focused exams.

For insurance purposes, eye exams are broken into two categories: Medical Exams and Vision Exams

Medical insurance will not pay for routine eye care. Vision insurance will not pay for medical eye care.

Northwest Eye Clinic will provide excellent care regardless of the type of exam you have, however, understanding the difference between Medical Exams and Vision or Routine Exams helps us bill your insurance properly and helps to prevent unexpected out of pocket expense for you. As the patient you are responsible for understanding your benefits and limitations of your insurance regardless of medical or vision. Please note that Northwest Eye Clinic does not directly bill any vision plans at this time.

Medical Exams:

Medical Exams include evaluation, assessment, and/or treatment for medical conditions related to the eyes including, but not limited to, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye, infection or injury. Medical Exams are billed to your medical insurance.

Vision Exams:

Vision or Routine Exams include a general screening for eye disease and a refraction (a measurement done to prescribe glasses and/or contact lens).

Routine eye examinations DO NOT include focused evaluation or treatment of medical conditions (corneal disorders, diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, or dry eye). Should a medical condition be discovered during your Vision or Routine Exam your exam may change to a medical exam or you may be scheduled for another appointment to complete further medical evaluation.

Other Testing:

Contact Lenses:
Additional fees apply for contact lens evaluation and/or fitting. This is due to the supplemental examination, consultation, and follow up required for individuals who wear contact lenses or who are being fit for new contact lenses. Fees vary based upon the complexity of the service rendered and the type of contact lens involved. Your vision insurance may cover these fees, but you are responsible for any amount that is not covered.

Contact Information

P: 360-733-4800
To schedule choose Option 3

F: 360-733-2879

Hours of Operation

8 AM to 5 PM
Monday thru Friday.
A physician is on-call after hours for emergencies.

Pay Your Bill Over the Phone

Simply call 360-733-4800 and select 4 for the billing department.


Northwest Eye Clinic
3015 Squalicum Parkway
Suite 260
Bellingham, WA 98225