Vision insurance is typically offered as an extra to traditional coverage. It is important to understand that if you have been diagnosed with certain eye diseases or you injure your eye, your regular health insurance policy will likely cover treatment. For regular vision checkups, contact lenses and glasses however, traditional insurance will not cover the cost. This is where the need for vision insurance comes in. While most employers do not offer vision care insurance benefits, some larger companies do. It is important to check with your employer to determine whether or not you can purchase this insurance through work, as this will offer you the lowest premium rates. Keep in mind however that it is estimated that less than 30 percent of all employers in the United States currently offer vision insurance coverage. You can however, purchase this insurance individually.
Vision insurance will cover basic services such as yearly eye examinations, eyeglass frames and lenses, contact lenses and some may cover LASIK and/or PRK vision correction procedures. What specific services a policy will cover depends on the policy itself as well as the insurance company that provides this insurance. Some plans may have limits as to how often specific services are covered.
Individual vision insurance plans can run anywhere from $150 to more than $200 per year depending on your geographical location as well as the insurance carrier. Some policies may also have copays. It is important to fully read and understand the information in your vision insurance policy to be certain what services are covered. Typical benefits fully cover yearly eye examinations as well as prescription lenses for glasses. You may have to pay for your frames or your insurance carrier may have a specified amount that they will pay up to and then you will be required to pay anything over that amount. Contact lens exams are typically covered under vision care policies although you may have to pay a portion of the cost to purchase your lenses. Discount plans are available that offer discounts on the normal retail prices of glasses and contact lenses. These plans are typically used in conjunction with traditional vision care insurance to provide the most savings.
Vision insurance plans can be purchased from a variety of insurance companies. Most plans that are bought through a vision care insurance company are Preferred Provider Organizations. This means that you must visit a specific eye care provider who is part of the insurance company’s network of providers in order to receive coverage benefits. You can visit eye care providers who are not listed in the network of providers, but you will be required to pay a larger portion of the cost of your vision care services.
Eye care professionals included in a PPO’s network normally include general ophthalmologists and optometrists. Depending on the insurance company, the network may also include professionals who perform LASIK and refractive surgeries, as well as other corrective procedures. You should carefully read through your vision insurance policy to determine just what specialty services and providers are covered by your individual policy. Vision insurance can be purchased through many groups and local businesses. If you are part of a college alumni association or local business group, you may have access to vision insurance. In addition, those who are over 65 and receive Medicare may have access to vision care through the Medicare Advantage Plan. If you are looking for individual vision insurance coverage, there are many insurance companies that currently provide policies for individuals. Humana One and Vision Service Plan both offer individual vision insurance policies. In addition, you can check with your standard health insurance coverage company to inquire about accessing and adding vision care to your policy.