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Sum of direct payments made during the year by Tricare for glasses and contact lenses


For all persons, VSEXPTR captures the sum of direct payments made during the year by TRICARE (formerly CHAMPUS) for the purchase of glasses and/or contact lenses. Payments for over-the-counter drugs and indirect payments not related to specific medical events, such as Medicaid Disproportionate Share and Medicare Direct Medical Education subsidies, are not included in this amount. For more information on how MEPS collects expenditure data, please refer to our user note on medical expenditures.


Due to the data collection methodology, it was not possible to determine whether vision items that were reported in Round 3 had been purchased in the first or second year of the longitudinal panel. Therefore, expenses reported in Round 3 were only included in the annual file for a given year if more than half of the person's reference period for the round took place in that year.

Related variables
Variables related to total annual health care expenditures by source of payment, total annual health care expenditures by type of medical service, and total annual health care charges are also available. Please refer to our user note on expenditures for a list of these variables.


VSEXPTR is a 6-digit numeric variable.


Prior to 2009, VSEXPTR includes direct payments for glasses and/or contact lenses from TRICARE, including CHAMPVA. Beginning in 2009, VSEXPTR excludes direct payments from CHAMPVA; instead, direct payments from CHAMPVA are included in VSEXPVA for 2009-forward.


  • 2000-2021: All persons.


  • 2000-2021



This variable has no flags.