With eye problems becoming a major issue for a significant number of people in the U.S., especially with 75% of people using glasses or contact lenses, there is no way to ignore vision insurance. While selecting a health insurance plan, most of us generally tend to neglect our eyes and we don’t pay much attention to obtain coverage for it. However, the reality is that vision insurance is important and we should never ignore to have this coverage. The vision insurance not only offset the cost of routine eye care but also provide coverage for preventive care like regular eye exams and also provide coverage for prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses and some vision plans even offer discounts for corrective eye surgeries like LASIK. Thus, it can be said that vision insurance reduces your eye-care expenses, as some of the vision care costs are covered under the vision plans in exchange for a monthly premium.
Coverage Included under Vision Insurance
Most of the vision plans available in the U.S. pay at least a certain percentage of the following:
- Some basic preventive care like eye exams and vision tests
- Eyeglass frames and lenses
- Contact lenses
- Scratch-resistant coating for protection of the lens of glasses
Some vision plans also have additional coverage such as:
- Discounts on corrective eye-surgery like LASIK
- Disposable contact lens coverage
You need to know that vision insurance might not pay for eye care that occurs due to some medical issues. If a medical problem is identified by your optometrist during your vision exam, then you might be referred to a medical eye doctor. You need to know vision insurance doesn’t need to cover medical services for your eyes, health insurance often provides coverage.
Costs of Vision Insurance
Most of the people in the U.S. have vision insurance through their employers, and in case if you don’t have vision insurance through your employer, then you need to purchase vision insurance on your own. You can either purchase a health plan that provides coverage for eye-care, or you can purchase a stand-alone vision plan. The costs of the vision insurance are not much and you can find a vision insurance plan for less than $20 per month. Vision insurance plans offered by Humana start from as low as $16 to $18 per month and plans offered by VSP start at less than $17 per month. Besides a monthly premium, you are also supposed to pay a part of the costs of doctor’s visits, eye exams, and glasses or contacts. You need to know that vision plans with a high monthly premium have low out-of-pocket costs for eye-care services.
Options to Buy Vision Insurance Plans
If you are looking to buy individual or family vision plans then you can buy through the same insurance portals from which you buy health insurance. While online shopping for vision insurance plans you need to take care of the following:
- You need to ensure that your provider offers vision plans in your area by entering your ZIP code.
- You should check the provider directory to ensure that the vision plan you are thinking to buy covers your preferred vision specialist. You can also check the provider directory to find an eye specialist near you.
- If you have an immediate need for eye-exam, contacts, or glasses, then you should choose a vision plan that immediately starts covering you and doesn’t have a waiting period.
- If you require both dental and vision insurance, then you should check for the combination plans that offer coverage for both dental and vision issues.
The Vision Insurance Needs
It is common for all of us to skip regular eye exams if we have perfect vision but the fact is that we should not skip regular eye exams because eye-exams help to detect hidden medical problems. besides, with growing age, you will frequently need to go for vision exams. Thus, it is not at all wise to simply ignore the vision plans, you must always carefully analyze all its benefits as well as costs before deciding whether you need a vision plan or not. If you have poor vision, or have a family history of eye disease, or have diabetes or other medical conditions that increase the risk of eye diseases, and you may have to go for frequent eye exams, then you should have a vision insurance plan that will provide coverage for eye exams. However, if you don’t have any major eye problems and you just go for routine exams, then having vision insurance might not be a wise decision for you. If you don’t need glasses or other corrective eye treatment, and you are comfortable paying for your routine eye exam, then you might avoid having vision insurance. Otherwise, in all other cases, you should have a vision insurance plan that provides you adequate coverage for your eyes.