When Should You Have Vision Insurance?

Making sure we have the right insurance coverage for our health is so important. Many of us may have a health care plan through an employer or Medicare, but not vision insurance. You might wonder if adding vision plan coverage will benefit you enough to be worth the expense. It’s a good question, because a high-level vision plan could cost you more in monthly premiums than you would save if you only used simple services, like your annual eye exam, rather than getting corrective eyewear. So, when is vision insurance worth it?

What Medical Insurance Covers — and Doesn’t Cover — for Your Eyes

We know that having health insurance through a private plan, your employer or Medicare is a no-brainer. But what about your eyes? Do you know what your plan covers when it comes to your eye health? It could be less than you think.

Most health care plans will cover vision emergencies, like being admitted to the hospital with injuries to your face. And in some cases, Medicare will cover specific situations like glaucoma screenings for high-risk patients or medical conditions that affect your vision.

What’s not covered with your standard health care plan are some of the most important parts of long-term vision health: routine eye exams and vision correction. 

The good news is that nearly all vision insurance plans will include coverage for eye exams (and more). Those routine eye exams can help identify or prevent serious vision issues in the future, including glaucoma and cataracts. And one of the most important benefits of a routine eye exam is the potential to detect early signs of high blood pressure and diabetes while looking at your retina. That’s amazing! Both conditions can have serious long-term effects on your health, so early detection is key.

What Vision Insurance Covers Beyond Preventative Care

Having routine eye exam coverage is great. But where vision insurance can really save you money short-term is when correcting your vision. 

When you do not have vision coverage, you pay out of pocket for everything. The average cost of an eye exam without insurance varies widely across the country and by provider, but you can expect to pay around $100 as a new patient. If you need vision correction, the typical cost of a pair of eyeglasses including frames and lenses is $366. The cost of glasses can jump even more when extras like progressive lenses and protective coatings are added. 

But with a plan from a large vision insurance provider like VSP, you’ll have sizable savings on prescription lenses and eyeglasses, plus frame packages. You may even get your glasses free of charge, depending on your plan and the glasses you choose. With premiums that average $17 per month, this is where you’ll really see the value of your vision coverage investment.

Choose your vision insurance plan carefully. According to Investopedia, some plans have waiting periods before you can use the benefits that will really save you money. It pays to do a little research on all of the plans you are considering and their costs versus their coverage.

Now that you know what vision insurance can offer, what are your options? You have excellent choices, even if you are on Original Medicare. At VSP, we believe it should be affordable to purchase individual vision insurance, no matter who you are or where your work life stands. That’s why we offer comprehensive vision plans for everyone at a reasonable cost. 

Vision Insurance Coverage for Those on Original Medicare: Private Insurance Plan

To keep coverage and costs simple to understand, those with only Original Medicare can enroll in a private, individual vision insurance plan for coverage. This means you will keep your regular government-provided medical and hospital plan but add on the vision benefits you need. 

The benefits of a private plan can be appealing — you will choose exactly the coverage you’d like and you will know exactly what premium you’ll pay. Some people choose a Medicare Advantage plan that includes vision coverage, but it could be more complicated than you initially think. With Medicare Advantage, it can be difficult to know how much you are really paying for your vision insurance. But with a VSP plan, plan details and costs are clear and simple to understand.

Vision Insurance Coverage for Those Still Working

If you are working for an employer or own your own business, a private vision plan might be the perfect addition to your overall health. Maybe you haven’t had an exam in a while, or you know you need glasses. This is the perfect time to start a vision plan.

Maybe you haven’t gotten your eyes checked in a bit and you know you probably need stronger correction. Our vision simulator can help you see what you’re missing, literally, with an outdated prescription. 

But even if your prescription hasn’t changed and you already have glasses, you may want to dabble in new eyeglass frames and styles to freshen up your look. The best vision insurance can help you reduce the cost of new frames, whatever the reason. 

Want to really upgrade your eyesight? Most vision plans offer at least a discount on LASIK services, and some premium plans can cover even more. Decide what your goals are for vision correction and choose your plan accordingly. 

Ready to Find the Best Vision Insurance Plan for You? 

Even if you are healthy, it’s good to make sure you’re covered for the expected and unexpected parts of eye health. While some changes in your vision are normal as you get older, maintaining good habits and getting the right kind of care from professionals is key to long-term health. 

And for those who are business owners or solopreneurs, getting good coverage can be a challenge. A well-regarded and broad-access vision insurance plan can help, and VSP is here for you. No matter where you are on your life journey, we invite you to find a vision insurance plan that works best for you

Your vision. Your way.

Not covered for vision? Get an individual plan, customized for you – including where you want to use it: at the doctor, in a retail location, or even online.

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