Individuals and families who have recurring vision conditions should purchase a vision insurance plan. Though rarely vision insurance plans provide full coverage, but the vision plans offer discounts on several eye-care services. While shopping for vision insurance plans, individuals should select a plan that allows them to use benefits every 24 months. Individuals should also ensure that their monthly premiums do not exceed their annual eye wellness costs. There are millions of people in the age group of 21 to 64 years having some types of visual disability and unfortunately, vision care is not included in most of the individual and family insurance plans unless it is an employer-sponsored plan. Depending on their prescription, individuals could be spending hundreds of dollars every year on vision care. Thus it is beneficial for the individuals to have the best vision insurance plan from a leading and renowned vision insurance company.
Why should Individuals have Vision Insurance?
Nearly 75% of the adult U.S. population wears glasses or contact lenses that improve their vision and help them see well. However, people need to know that the cost of glasses ranges from $50 to $1,000 that may not be in pocket for quite a large number of people. Thus, all such people who use glasses or contact lenses and have recurring vision conditions to opt for vision insurance plans. Though vision insurance rarely pays for everything 100% but it generally covers some of the costs on eye-care services like eye exams and prescription eyewear. People need to know that vision plans vary vividly and they need to watch out for notable exclusions like people are restricted to use their benefits once in a year or they are allowed to receive eye-care services out of network providers.
Vision Service Plan (VSP)
Vision Service Plan or VSP is a leading and most renowned vision insurance provider in the county, founded in the year 1955 by a group of optometrists. This vision insurance provider is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau having the largest network of independent doctors available at 73,000 access points at nearly 23,000 locations. This vision insurance carrier offers a variety of tiered plans at competitive prices and having presence across several locations across the U.S. and so is considered as the best vision insurance provider.
VSP offers different tiered of plans and its standard plan is available throughout the nation. The standard plans are available at as low as $11.20 a month, and the company claims that its members see an average of $278 in annual savings. Individuals enrolled in the plans receive a $150 allowance for frames or contact lenses, along with a 20% discount on the amount over their allowance. Members of the plan have access to in- and out-of-network coverage, except residents of the states like Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington State. Individuals can enroll in the vision plan all through the year and can use the benefits right from the next business day.
Individuals can include optional benefits like lens enhancements, scratch-resistant, anti-glare, light to dark tinting, etc. to their vision plans by paying some additional fees. Some higher-tier plans offer larger discounts like the EasyOptions tier offers custom benefit options like a higher frame allowance or the Enhanced tier means individuals do not have to pay extra out-of-pocket costs for impact or scratch-resistant glasses. LASIK is not covered by the VSP, but the company does provide a service coupon to certain providers for a discount.
EyeMed is another well-known vision insurance provider in the nation offering several vision-care network providers like LensCrafters®, Pearle Vision®, Target Optical®, and many independent providers throughout the U.S. The vision insurance carrier has an excellent ‘A’ financial strength rating from AM Best and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company is well regarded for its vision plans but the only drawback of the company is that the company has a presence only in 18,000 locations across the country and it does not offer high allowances for frames and contact lenses.
The EyeMed vision insurance company offers vision plans in three different tiers, EyeMed Healthy, EyeMed Bold, and EyeMed Bright. EyeMed Healthy is the lowest tier offering vision plans at as low as $5 a month that offer discounts on frames, contact lenses, LASIK, and other services with no copay for a comprehensive eye exam. The other two higher-tiers plans provide a covered allowance for glasses and contacts up to $200 and $130, respectively. In addition to it, members will also have a $10 copay for comprehensive exams and a $20 copay for lenses. Plan in EyeMed Bold tier costs $17.50 a month and in EyeMed right tier costs $30 a month. Vision plans of EyeMed are available in 48 states and the plans become immediately effective after enrolling in it. Some of the states provide a 5% discount on the premium price if it is paid annually.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the largest U.S. health insurance providers that also deal with vision insurance. This company is also regarded as the best wellness service eye-care provider due to its low-prices vision insurance plans that have a minimal copay for glasses that pay for it when annually used. The vision plans of the company are underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance and are rated ‘A’ by AM Best. The plans offered by the company are available throughout the U.S., except for Alaska, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, New Mexico, and Virginia.
The company offers two vision plans, Plan A is available at a low monthly premium of $10.40 and Plan B is available at a monthly premium of $14.30. Both the plans provide a $150 allowance for frames or contact lenses when members visit in-network and an allowance of up to $75 when they visit out-of-network optometrists. Plan B allows members to select allowance for contact lenses as well as glasses, whereas Plan A allows members to select allowance for only one. In addition to it, members are also required to pay $10 copay for their annual eye-exam and lenses when visiting in-network providers. Members also receive a 35% discount for LASIK procedures.
Humana Vision Plans
Humana is also a well-known name in the health and vision insurance sector having an AM Best rating of BBB- and a Standard & Poor’s rating of BBB+. The company has its headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and offers vision insurance in all states and D.C. except for the states Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Humana vision insurance plans are popular due to its simplicity and due to the additional benefits that members receive besides the frame allowances and other add-ons and services. Members will receive a 15% discount off their balance over the allowance. If it is determined that contacts are medically necessary for a member, then the cost will be covered by the Humana but if the member has a corneal history or has an elective refractive surgery, then it won’t be covered. The discounts are only applicable to the in-network providers. Members enrolling in the Humana vision insurance plan have a $35 enrollment fee and a monthly premium of $11.49 with no waiting period. Members will need to pay $15 copay for an in-network annual eye-exam, $25 copay for standard plastic lenses, $40 copay for standard contact lens exams, and $15 copay for the lens.
Golden Rule insurance provider offers vision insurance coverage under the United Healthcare umbrella of plans. The company provides two simple and convenient vision plans with no waiting periods. One of the plans offered by this carrier starts at just $11.40 and allow members to choose between frames or contact lenses. The second vision insurance plan let members choose both contact lenses and frames for a slightly higher premiums, and the plan pays a $10 copay for in-network eye exams. United Healthcare network comprises of over 80,000 vision care providers and the vision plans are available for 44 out of the 50 states.
Ameritas is the oldest health insurance company founded in 1887, which serves over four million customers and has received high ratings from AM Best and Standard & Poor’s. Vision insurance plans offered by Ameritas are available nationwide and people enrolling in their vision plans will immediately start receiving the benefits, as there are no waiting periods with their vision plans. Ameritas being one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States offers the most comprehensive coverage in vision insurance. One of their popular vision plan is PrimeStar Choice Vision plan that includes offers of up to $150 for frames and contact lenses and $0 for frame lenses. The premiums of the vision plans offered by this carrier vary state by state, and the vision plan is available for as low as $10.67 for the residents of California.
This vision insurance carrier offers two-tier of extremely cost-effective vision plans, starting at $23.47 per month. The higher-tier plans offer free eye-exams once a year that is fully covered, but the lower-tier plans offer coverage for only contacts or eyeglass lenses and frames once in two-year. Members of the vision plans are also supposed to pay $25 as eye-exam deductible and a $130 allowance for frames or contacts. The plans in the higher-tier have a lower copay of $10 for eye exams, and a $150 allowance for frames or contacts once in a year.
Direct Vision insurer is popular among the people for its low-cost vision insurance plans. The vision plan offered by this carrier has low premiums and deductibles, thereby keeping the annual costs of the plan down for one and all its members. Vision plans of Direct Vision start as low as $9.22 per month for individuals and they get similar discounts on the vision care that is offered by the two largest vision insurance companies, VSP and EyeMed vision plans. There are no waiting periods for Direct Vision’s insurance plan and the carrier also offers a 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee, so that if the consumers are not happy with the plan, they can cancel it within the time frame.
DavisVision based in New Hyde Park, New York, is a network of four major eye-care retailers in the U.S. This vision insurance carrier offers three different types of vision insurance plans, essential, classic, and premiere. The Standard vision plan has a monthly premium of just $25.50. Members of this plan have to pay $15 for eye exams and receives an allowance of up to $125 on frames, and lenses are fully covered. The Classic vision plan comes with a monthly premium of $40.32, and members receive a $150 allowance on frames. The Premier vision plan comes at a monthly premium of $44.13 and members receive a $200 allowance on frames. Davis Vision also offers discounts on LASIK along with other health-related services and considers eye health as a part of a complete wellness program.
FAQ on Vision Insurance Companies
Yes, most of the vision plans available in the U.S. allow people to choose between eyeglasses or contact lenses, and if people are ready to pay a little higher premiums then they can get coverage for both contact lenses and eyeglasses.
Yes, individuals can obtain a stand-alone vision insurance plan without having any health insurance plan because vision insurance is considered supplemental insurance. This means that it is not essential for individuals to be subscribed to a regular health plan to purchase vision insurance. Though some of the major health insurance plans offer combined supplemental plans like vision and dental at a reduced price. However, it is not at all necessary to have regular health insurance to obtain vision insurance.
Original Medicare comprising of Part A and Part B does not provide coverage for vision care, though Medicare Part B covers some vision-related illnesses related to cataracts and glaucoma but doesn’t cover routine eye exams or eyeglasses. Albeit to obtain vision care coverage, individuals can purchase Medicare advantage plans.
Since vision insurance is supplemental insurance so it only covers matters related to vision. Vision insurance generally provides coverage for the cost of eye equipment like lenses, contacts and frames, routine eye exams, and LASIK or PRK surgery discounts. Vision care for serious eye problems like glaucoma or macular degeneration are not covered under vision insurance, so people need to look to their health insurance coverage for cases like these. Some of the other benefits offered by vision insurance include full coverage or discounted rates for eye exams, frames, basic lenses, different types of lenses, contact lens fit, and contact lenses along with Laser vision correction discounts.
With innumerable vision insurance companies operating in the U.S. residents are sure to get overwhelmed and confused while choosing the best vision plan from the leading vision insurance carrier. While shopping for a vision insurance plan, people should always prefer a plan offered by a carrier having a large network of vision care providers all over the nation. Besides, people should also check the company’s rating from eminent names like the Better Business Bureau and J.D. Power to check if the carrier has any negative legal actions or trends. Above all, people should also consider the cost and coverage limits of each company’s plans.