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vision insurance

Is Having Vision Insurance Really a Benefit?

Nearly half the population in the country relies on eyeglasses to see clearly. Yet with such a great need, vision exams and eyeglasses do not come cheap.

A quality vision insurance plan can mitigate the costs of exams and eyeglasses. Yet not all vision insurance is the same. Additionally, your optometrist may not accept all vision insurance policies. 

By the time you finish reading this article, you will better understand how vision insurance works and if it’s worth the cost you pay for it. 

What Vision Insurance Covers

Typical vision insurance covers the same items for the optometrists that accept it. A vision plan typically pays for part of the following services and products: 

  • Eye exams
  • Vision tests
  • Contact lenses
  • Eyeglass lenses
  • Scratch-resistant coating and other lens protection
  • Disposable contact lens coverage
  • Corrective eye surgery

If your vision problems exist because of other medical problems, your vision insurance may not pay for your services. If the optometrist discovers a medical problem during your eye exam, they will refer you to a medical doctor like an ophthalmologist.

While your vision insurance may not cover your visit to the ophthalmologist, your health insurance will typically cover the costs. 

Cost of Vision Insurance

Often employers will offer vision insurance with their benefits package. But if your employer does not offer this benefit, you can find insurance for as little as $20 a month. 

Along with the monthly premium, you may have to pay out of pocket for vision exams or a portion of the vision exam. You can rest assured, though, that you won’t have to buy eyeglasses without insurance. 

Eyeglasses can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, depending on the quality of the frames and the severity of correction needed. 

Where You Can Find Vision Insurance

Begin your search for vision insurance with your health insurance provider. The same sites that offer health insurance will also offer both individual and family vision plans. 

As you search, make sure you have a provider in your area that supports this particular insurance company.

If you need an eye exam immediately, look for a plan without a waiting period. 

Also, if you want to save money and need a dental plan, look for a plan that will bundle both vision insurance and dental insurance.

Do You Need Insurance?

Your need for insurance depends on your need for glasses. If you have a history of good eyes, then you will need an eye exam every two years to see if your eyes are changing as you age. 

If you already have problems with your vision, you will need to visit the eye doctor every year. The more severe of a correction you need, the more your eyeglasses will cost. 

That is when you need vision insurance. 

Thus, if you simply need routine exams without costly eyeglasses, you may not need insurance. If you have eyes that need severe correction, then you should look into how much you can save with vision insurance. 

How Much Can You Save?

The amount of money you can save depends on the plan you purchase. 

Typical health insurance will cover eye problems caused by illness, injury, or other medical problems. It will not cover your glasses, eye exams, or related expenses for vision correction. 

Thus, if your eye problems stem from a medical condition, leave the vision insurance alone. If they do not, then look into vision insurance. 

You will typically have two options for vision insurance.

A benefits package gives clients access to services and products at a capped rate. This means you will not have to pay more than a given dollar amount for those services regardless of how much the optometrist charges. 

Products and discount packages give you a discount on services. Thus, you will receive a predetermined discount, such as 20 percent, on the services stated in your insurance policy. 

The amount of money you save depends on which package you choose and how you use it. Look at your vision needs, and then estimate how much you can save with each type of insurance. 

Vision Insurance Limitations

When you visit an optometrist’s new patient center, you’ll learn quickly which insurance the optometrist will accept. 

Read your policy carefully when you purchase it. Then look for the limitations, Here are some common limits to vision insurance: 

  • Coverage of basic lenses but not anti-glare or lightweight lenses
  • Coverage on frames up to a certain dollar amount
  • Coverage on glasses or contacts but not both
  • A waiting period from 30 days to 36 months in which you receive reduced benefits

On the upside, vision insurance does differ from health insurance in one way. Health insurance premiums will rise if you have a pre-existing condition. Vision insurance premiums typically do not. 

Thus, if you have bad eyes or astigmatism, your vision insurance premium will remain the same. The insurance will continue to cover vision correction services and products along with eye exams. 

Understand the limitations of your insurance before you sign on. Then, to obtain the maximum benefits of that insurance, stay within the limitations stated. This means you may not be able to purchase the $400 frames you’ve always wanted, but you will still have glasses that correct your vision. 

To Buy Or Not to Buy

When you purchase vision insurance, you’re betting that you will need corrective lenses for the rest of your life. You can save a bundle with such a service if you need correction. If you don’t, however, you’re better off paying out of pocket for vision services. 

Are you looking for a quality optometrist that can help you with your vision needs? If so, contact us. Our caring and experienced staff are ready to help you see clearly. 

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