While everyone knows that not having health insurance is a bad idea, what about vision insurance?
Your employer may offer vision coverage as a group benefit or as a stand-alone policy.
However, how does the cost compare to the level of security you’ll receive? Continue reading to learn more.
How Does Vision Insurance Work?
With vision insurance benefits, you either send a check to the insurer or have the premium taken from your paycheck if you have an employer-sponsored plan. By going this route, you’ll get discounts on exams or contacts.
Some vision insurance plans have you exclusively visit a network provider. Other plans only allow you to see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.
To put it another way, you should see a doctor who has either graduated from a recognized college of optometry or who is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Things to Remember
The majority of vision insurance plans offer markdowns on laser eye surgery.
All plans are different in terms of what they offer, as some only provide basic services and some help with more expensive procedures like eye surgeries.
Benefits from vision care plans are not always available every year. It could be for a longer period of time, up to two years.
Companies typically offer two types: plans that provide a fixed reduction and plans that pay a set amount per product or service.
Elective surgeries like Lasik are not covered by vision insurance.
When Purchasing a Plan
Should you have an eye doctor already and wish to continue seeing him or her, make sure the package you’re considering will cover their services. Basic packages cost $5 to $35 per month for one person, depending on whether you buy it yourself or get it through your employer.
You may pay a little less per person than the individual pricing of the plan to add coverage for a spouse, partner, or child.
Should an employer offer vision coverage, you might only be able to enroll once a year.
Individual plans may have an enrollment fee and a monthly premium cost.
Get information on plans and compare the total yearly cost of the policy to your expected yearly expenses, whether you get coverage on your own or through your employer. After all, you shouldn’t spend extra and receive less.
How Much Could Vision Insurance Save You?
In most cases, average health insurance only covers eye care that is required due to an extreme medical injury problem. You must pay the full cost of eye exams and any replacement lenses, frames, or contacts if you do not have vision insurance.
Generally, there are two kinds of vision insurance plans offered: packages, which provide you with a set dollar amount of services and products, and discount plans, which provide you with a fixed reduction, like 20% on some specific services.
The national average cost is $562, which includes $206 for exams, $114 for lenses, and $242 for a pair of frames.
You would save about $108 if you purchased a basic markdown plan for $5 monthly that provides a 30% discount on all purchases. While these plans may differ wildly, you can assume you’ll be able to save anywhere from $100-$200.
Covered Expenses and Vision Insurance
Every plan offers a unique set of costs. Before you sign up, make sure it covers all that you’ll require. Barebones plans typically only cover exams or glasses and are more akin to discount cards instead of traditional insurance.
A vision insurance plan’s coverage for eye-related costs varies greatly from one plan to the next. For an eye exam, one plan may charge a co-payment and make up the difference.
Another may cover only $35 off your initial exam and require you to cover the rest.
Furthermore, even if a plan ends up covering surgery or loss of vision, it very well might not be the same as the coverage you’ve been accustomed to with health insurance.
Do keep in mind that although there isn’t a plan available that covers cosmetic procedures like Lasik, some may offer a small discount to members.
Vision Insurance Example
Vision benefits plans and discount vision plans are the two different kinds of vision coverage available.
Vision benefits plans are an example of a genuine insurance policy. This is a genuine insurance policy. You pay a premium, which is a monthly price. You’ll be covered for annual eye exams, frames and lenses, and other vision-related expenses. When you utilize one of these services, you normally have to pay a little cost called a co-pay.
The majority of plans are set up as PPOs. There is a network of eye physicians that you are authorized to use with this form of insurance. You pay a higher percentage of the cost of your vision treatment if you go “out of network.”
The cost of a discount vision plan is substantially less than the cost of a vision benefit plan’s monthly premium. The vision discount plans usually cover the same sorts of tests, lenses, and other products as vision benefits programs. However, they only offer a discount on these things, rather than the more comprehensive cost coverage provided by a vision benefits plan.
Vision Insurance at Costco?
Most larger insurance plans are accepted at Costco Optical. While this is true, the plans accepted do still depend on the location of the Costco in question.
Discounts are never accepted, regardless of location.
Vision Insurance at Walmart?
Almost all plans are accepted by Walmart, however, this is only applicable to exams.
For customers who want to buy glasses or other products, Walmart has its own vision insurance.
Is Vision Insurance Right For You?
Choosing whether or not to invest in vision insurance is difficult; there is no one-size-fits-all solution for maintaining your eye health.
The decision to buy a plan is based on many elements, including the options available to you, your needs for services or other products, and how often you require these vision treatments.
For more information on choosing what’s right for you, come check out our blog!