Taking Advantage of Your Vision Insurance Plan

Vision care

Author: AN

While purchasing a health insurance plan, many Americans choose supplemental vision insurance to receive medical care for their eyes. Typically, health plans only cover eye care in the event of major medical problems such as glaucoma, refractive errors, etc. Thus, enrollees who need routine eye exams and prescription lenses or eyeglasses often decide to add vision insurance to their coverage. If you have purchased vision insurance, there are numerous ways to take advantage of your coverage and maximize your vision care benefits. Learn about the various types of benefits provided by vision insurance and how to make the most of them. 

Vision Insurance and Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Under the Affordable Care Act (also referred to as Obamacare), most Qualified Health Insurance Plans (plans approved by the state marketplace) are not required to provide adult vision coverage. Suppose you need adult vision benefits, including coverage for eye exams and material benefits (eyeglass frames, lenses, partial coverage for LASIK procedures, and so on). In that case, you should consider purchasing a vision insurance plan. 

Types of Vision Insurance Plans

There are primarily two vision insurance plans: vision benefits programs and discounted vision plans. 

A vision benefits package typically provides free eye care and eyewear for fixed dollar amounts (or deductible) in exchange for an annual membership fee or premiums and a relatively small copayment each time you receive a service. On the other hand, a discount vision program provides eye care and eyewear at discounted prices after paying an annual membership fee or premium. 

Some vision benefits packages or discount vision plans may include a “deductible,” which is a fixed dollar amount you need to pay out-of-pocket to your vision care provider before your insurance benefits kick in.

Both types of vision insurance plans can be “custom-designed” to meet the specific needs of a wide range of clients, including school districts, unions, and large and small businesses. 

Benefits Under a Vision Coverage Plan

The coverage provided by the vision insurance varies depending on the plan you choose. Vision plans typically offer the following products and benefits: 

  • Annual eye examinations
  • Eyeglass frames
  • Spectacle lenses (including lens coatings and enhancements)
  • Contact lenses
  • Discounted rates for PRK and LASIK 

Things to Do after Your Vision Coverage Started

Once your vision insurance takes effect, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Typically, vision plans include one annual routine exam and eye exams for major medical issues. You should bring your insurance ID to the doctor’s office because an eye exam may require pre-authorization. After the doctor has determined your refractive state, they can assist you in selecting eyeglass lenses and frames, as well as contact lenses, if they are available on your state agency website.

Be aware that if you select an out-of-network supplier, most vision plans require you to pay for the glasses, eye exam, and other services first, then submit the necessary paperwork for partial reimbursement. It’s typically more affordable to select an in-network insurer, so this may be the better option for you to maximize your vision benefits. 

Many vision insurance plans partially cover PRK and LASIK, two common types of laser eye surgery used to correct refractive errors. If you have a refractive error, you may want to consider surgery to solve the problem permanently. Also, new research suggests that vision loss caused by contact lenses is more dangerous than vision loss caused by laser eye surgery. Therefore, you should consider laser surgery as a more viable option for your eyes treatment. Also, since laser surgery costs an average of $4,000 for both eyes, having your surgery covered by a vision plan would save you a large amount of money. This way, you’ll be able to get the maximum advantage of your vision insurance while also saving thousands of dollars on eye surgery. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Vision Insurance

What does Vision Insurance Cover?

You can expect a vision insurance plan to cover all or part of the costs of the following: 

  • Routine preventive eye care (eye exams)
  • Prescription eyewear
  • Sometimes elective vision correction surgery, like PRK and LASIK

Unlike major medical insurance plans, most vision plans do not provide unlimited coverage once co-pays or deductibles have been met. Furthermore, vision plans are either discount plans or wellness benefit plans. These programs will provide specific benefits and discounts in exchange for an annual premium.  

What is the Cost of Vision Insurance?

According to Investopedia, vision insurance can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per month. This does not include any cost-sharing obligations you may have, such as copayments or deductibles. Visit our site, Insurance Shopping, to get personalized vision care quotes. 

Is Vision Insurance Worth it?

Unlike medical insurance, which you may hope not to use for anything serious, vision insurance is different. These plans assist you in maintaining your eye health at a low cost. They also provide discounts on routine maintenance such as glasses and contacts. These plans are undoubtedly worthwhile. 

Does Vision Insurance Cover Contacts?

Most vision insurance policies will cover the cost of contacts or glasses. Some programs give you allowances or discounts towards glasses or contacts. The amount of money you receive for contact lenses and eyewear will depend on the program you choose. You may also be eligible for a bonus discount if you purchase vision products from a specific brand or retailer.

Does Vision Insurance Cover Glasses?

Most vision insurance policies will cover the cost of contacts or glasses. Some programs give you allowances or discounts towards glasses or contacts. The amount of money you receive for contact lenses and eyewear will depend on the program you choose. You may also be eligible for a bonus discount if you purchase vision products from a specific brand or retailer.

How to Purchase Vision Insurance?

In contrast to major medical insurance plans, you can purchase vision insurance at any time of the year. Insurance Shopping is here to help you find the right vision insurance plan for your needs. Insurance Shopping licensed agents can help you compare all of your vision insurance options and find the best policy that meets your budget and requirements. So what are your waiting for? Shop with us and get started on a new vision insurance plan. 

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