How often do you get your eyes checked? Keeping your eyesight healthy is extremely important, but frequently overlooked. According to the Vision Council of America (VCA), 62% of adults in the United States require prescriptive eyewear, although only 49% have an eye exam every two years.

As time passes, your eyesight deteriorates. Catching problems early is the key to preventing progressive damage. However, it comes at a cost. Frames and lenses alone can reach into the hundreds of dollars. Without the right cover, eye correction can be notoriously expensive.

Vision insurance is an affordable way to reduce the cost of preventative eye care.

What is Vision Insurance?

Vision insurance is used to describe health and wellness plans that reduce the costs associated with routine eye examinations, prescription glasses, and contacts. While some plans provide discounts on elective eye surgery, the majority of the vision insurance offers discount plans or specific benefits to make treatment more affordable.

Benefits of Vision Insurance

With vision insurance, you can receive coverage for certain basic services including:

  • Annual routine eye exams
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Vision correction surgery, e.g. LASIK and PRK (depending on the plan)

Since health insurance may not cover these services, individuals tend to delay eye care because they believe it is costly, according to the National Association of Vision Care Plans.

However, enrollment in a vision insurance plan can:

  • Protect your eye health
  • Save you money
  • Maximize your benefits
  • Provide eye care coverage for major medical issues

Types of Vision Insurance Plans

There are a few major options to consider.

Optional rider (vision benefits package)

While your health insurance plan may not cover certain vision services, it may offer optional benefits packages. With the optional rider, you pay a yearly premium and small co-pay for each service. In exchange, the plan provides free eye care services and a fixed dollar amount for other services such as eyeglasses. Since the coverage amount is fixed, your out-of-pocket expenses can be high. Also, this plan does not fully cover vision correction surgery.

Supplemental vision insurance plan

Your employer is not obligated by law to provide vision insurance. To ensure your vision health is covered, you can enroll in a stand-alone plan that is offered by private insurance companies. This plan offers services at pre-determined discounted rates and is more affordable than the optional rider. However, it allows only one eye exam each year.

Dental and vision insurance

Your employer may offer a group benefit that covers both dental and vision services. This option is also available from some private insurance companies, or as a group benefit through your employer.

Choosing a Vision Insurance Plan

Take your time and compare plans. Ask yourself these pertinent questions to help you decide.

  • Which plan can I afford?
  • What percentage does the plan cover for an exam?
  • Does the plan have a large provider network?
  • Can I benefit from discounts for non-standard eyewear and vision correction surgery?

Do you still have questions?

Understanding vision insurance can be complicated. If you need any help choosing a plan or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.