How to Make the Most Out of Your Vision Insurance


An estimated 182 million Americans use some form of vision correction, but not all have vision insurance, according to a study by The Vision Council. If you want to save and be proactive with your eye health, opting into a vision insurance plan can be beneficial in both the short and long run. It’ll cover annual exams, contact prescriptions, new glasses and even provide discounts for corrective eye surgery like Lasik. 

Luckily, most employers offer vision insurance plans with premiums under $20 a month; some can be as low as $7. But if you’re self-employed, you can also find affordable options for vision insurance from the same places you get health insurance

For example, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield has two insurance plans for $12.52 to $13.78 per month. This latter includes a $10 lens copay for eyeglasses, up to $150 allowance on frames or $100 allowance for contact lenses for each calendar year. VSP offers plans for as low as $11.20 a month with benefits that cover up to $150 for contact lenses or frames.


It’s important to remember that vision insurance won’t completely cover all costs that go into your eye health — aside from your annual eye exam. But there are ways to make the most of your plan. 

Who Should Get Vision Insurance? 

Outside of the cost, taking care of your eye health is important, especially if you have other underlying medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. 

“One of the side effects of diabetes and high blood pressure, if uncontrolled, is vision changes,” said Dr. Mina Pi Han, an optometrist based in New Jersey. “So we want to make sure that all of that is stable.” 

She recommends that patients with diabetes come in for exams every six months. Otherwise, annual checkups, which are covered by vision insurance plans, are enough. (Something to note: Seeing an ophthalmologist rather than an optometrist dips into your regular health insurance plan and not your vision, even though it is all related to your eye health.)

For parents with children, Dr. Han recommends you also take your kids for regular eye exams. She has seen a rise in nearsightedness amongst children due to increased screen times. There are ways to prevent nearsightedness from getting worse, like wearing contacts and myopic control, but the sooner you catch it the better. 

How Can You Maximize Your Vision Allowances?

All vision insurance plans have set allowances to cover contact lens fits, and for glasses,  frames and lenses. What you choose to opt for is a matter of personality. “Glasses and contacts are both equally good ways to correct your vision,” said Dr. Han.

If you’re someone who wears both contacts and glasses, you unfortunately cannot use your allowances for both. So for each calendar year, you’ll have to decide what you’ll use your vision plan toward. 

To get the most monetary value, getting new glasses each new calendar year will likely save you more money than buying contacts lenses. The combined allowance for frames and lenses is often greater than the amount set for contacts. You can also save by opting for generic frames or reusing old ones and just renewing your lenses. 

Ask Your Optometrist About Rebates

For contact lens wearers, most optometrist practices will match the prices at 1-800 Contacts. In addition, practices also often have manufacturer rebates that will give you even more savings when you buy directly from the practice. It’s best to buy a year’s worth of contacts in bulk, too. 

Companies like VSP also provide additional rebates and offers that can be found directly on their website. Currently, they are offering a deal that can save you up to $250 on an annual supply of contact lenses. 

If you need contacts every year, you will be required to see an eye doctor. The FDA classifies contact lenses as medical devices, so you will always need a prescription to buy them. Each state has a different law regarding how long the prescription is valid, so make sure you ask your optometrist and check with your insurance plan to see what is required. 

Visit In-Network Eye Doctors

Utilizing doctors in-network will keep your costs low and you may find more potential discounts. “If you navigate to the merchandise that is set up by the retailer along with the insurance company, you’ll get the best bang for your buck,” said Greg Leifer, President of West Coast Insurance Group. Just like health insurance sites, you can search online vision insurance sites to find an in-network eye doctor close to you. 

3e5136b9 f9f1 408b 90b6 b6b092523991

Depending on your plan, you may also be able to receive some reimbursement from out-of-network retailers. However, the process will take some time. You will be required to submit a claim, wait for approval and then you will be reimbursed. Places like Warby Parker have made it easy for customers to start the reimbursement process. So if you happen to find a pair of glasses or sunglasses that aren’t part of your plan, there are ways to go around it. 

At the end of the day, make sure to read a summary of your benefits to understand what you are and aren’t covered for with your vision insurance plan. Each insurance company will have varying allowances for glasses, lenses and contacts, so keep your eyes open as to what you really need and want to prioritize.

The post How to Make the Most Out of Your Vision Insurance appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

Source link

8 thoughts on “How to Make the Most Out of Your Vision Insurance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights