Retiring soon? Here’s How to Keep Your Vision Insurance

Keep ‘em Covered—Addressing Vision Insurance Options in Retirement

In addition to your normal health insurance, continuing vision coverage into your golden years is important to maintaining long term health. Don’t let your vision fall into the periphery by assuming other forms of coverage are enough.

Get the facts from your employer ahead of time

The most viable and cost-effective way to continue vision insurance in retirement is through your current employer. If you’ve worked with the same employer for a long time, chances are they will provide you with options to maintain your current health insurance and vision insurance once you’re retired. Oftentimes, you need to sign up ahead of time or within a certain period of time after retiring. So the best practice is to talk with your employer’s HR department and plan in advance.

Some important questions to ask might include:

  1. Will I receive vision benefits in retirement?
  2. If so, how will the benefits differ from my current plan? What’s covered and what’s not?
  3. When do I need to enroll in the new plan?
  4. Is it possible to enroll family members or dependents under the new benefits?
  5. How will the monthly costs differ from what I currently pay per month?

Don’t assume coverage will be continued simply because it is offered. Proactively seek out the information and give yourself time to research other plan options if your employer’s offer doesn’t fit with your budget and lifestyle.

Cost considerations under post-retirement plans

Typically, employer-sponsored vision plans give retirees the most cost effective alternative. If your employer doesn’t provide continued coverage, you may be entitled to COBRA benefits. COBRA lets you temporarily maintain your current coverage at the group price while transitioning away from your past employer. If that’s not an option, it is always possible to obtain comprehensive coverage by enrolling in a VSP® Individual Vision Plan.

Regardless of the monthly costs, the returns and benefits of maintaining your vision coverage are eye-opening. VSP members enrolled in a retirement plan through their employer save, on average, $365 per year. What’s more, Americans with vision coverage are twice as likely to have an annual eye exam to those who don’t. That means, certain chronic conditions and health problems are twice as likely to be discovered before they cause damage.

Traditional Medicare does not necessarily provide vision coverage

With the exception of some specific conditions, Traditional Medicare does not provide coverage for routine eye exams, prescription glasses, and contact lenses. Maintaining or adding a vision plan during your retirement is the best way to ensure you’re always covered.

Use your VSP Individual Vision Plan to schedule an eye exam with your doctor. If you don’t have vision insurance, find out how VSP can help you save on your next eye exam or pair of glasses.