I’ve been through SO MANY dilated eye exams over the past 35 years as a T1.
In my case - I don’t know if this is true for everyone - the retinal exam is covered by my health insurance and NOT by my vision insurance. This is true if an opthalmologist does it at least. (I know that most optometrists have fancy-pants cameras these days too and it would not surprise me if they billed to vision insurance.)
As Sam19 points out, the boundary between optometrist and opthalmologist is not always so clear. In my case the optometrist measures me for glasses (refraction) and the opthalmologist does the slit-eye exam. I do not get refraction done at the opthalmologist and I do not get a slit-eye exam at the optometrist.
Current recommendation from ADA standard of care is “Adults with type 1 diabetes should have an initial dilated and comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist within 5 years after the onset of diabetes.”.
Your conclusion meshes with the ADA recommendation.
I agree with Sam19 that the fancy-pants cameras are not necessary and are unnecessary frills. Having talked to a lot of opthamologists over the years they all tell me the most sensitive and necessary test is the slit-lamp as a qualified and experienced opthamologist peers into your eye and looks at the back. The cameras probably do have some value for long-term tracking. The optometrists, I don’t think they are necessarily qualified to do the more sensitive slit-lamp exam.