A Comprehensive Overview on Stand-alone Vision Insurance Plans

Vision insurance is a type of health and wellness plan that reduces the eye-care cost for routine preventive eye-care and prescription eyewear like eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some vision plans also provide discounts on elective vision correction surgery like LASIK and PRK. Most of the vision insurance plans unlike major medical insurance plans are discount plans or wellness benefit plans providing specific benefits and discounts for an annual premium. The vision discount and wellness benefits plans provide savings just like a gift card and are used to cover much of the cost of basic eyewear and can even be used to make premium eye-care products more affordable like progressive lenses, anti-reflective coating, and photochromic lenses.

While purchasing vision insurance people must understand the costs and benefits associated with the plan, which they are considering to buy. People who have vision plans through an employer-based plan should be aware that vision insurance plans operate in a different manner compared to other health insurance plans or major medical plans. Vision insurance is a type of health and wellness plan that reduces the eye-care cost for routine preventive eye-care and prescription eyewear like eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some vision plans also provide discounts on elective vision correction surgery like LASIK and PRK. Most of the vision insurance plans unlike major medical insurance plans are discount plans or wellness benefit plans providing specific benefits and discounts for an annual premium.

Kinds of Vision Insurance Plans  

The vision discount and wellness benefits plans provide savings just like a gift card and is used to cover much of the cost of basic eyewear and can even be used to make premium eye-care products more affordable like progressive lenses, anti-reflective coating and photochromic lenses. While purchasing vision insurance people must understand the costs and benefits associated with the plan which they are considering to buy.

Vision insurance plans are available either in the form of a vision benefits package or a discount vision plan:

Vision Benefits Package – A vision benefits package provides free eye care services and eye-wear within fixed dollar amounts in exchange for an annual premium or membership fee and insured are required to pay a small co-pay each time they access an eye-care service.

Discount Vision Plan – A discount vision plan provides eye-care and eyewear at discounted rates after the insured pays an annual premium or membership fee.

Some of the vision benefits package or discount vision plan may include a deductible, which they must pay to their eye-care provider out-of-pocket before the insurance benefits take effect. Both these types of vision insurance can also be custom-designed to cater to the eye-care requirements of a wide range of customers.

Vision Insurance Coverage

Vision plans generally provide coverage or discounts on the following eye-care products and services:

  • Annual eye examinations
  • Eyeglass frames
  • Eyeglass lenses
  • Contact lenses
  • Discounted rates for LASIK and PRK

Vision Insurance Cost

Vision insurance costs depend on how the vision plan is designed and also on the state in which the insured reside. In the United States, Vision Service Plan is the largest vision plan provider and the company has listed the following cost savings associated with a typical VSP vision plan for individuals compared to purchasing an eye exam and eye-wear without vision insurance.

Eye Care and Eye Products Costs with and without Vision Insurance

Eye Care/ Eye Products Cost Without Insurance Cost with VSP Plan Savings
Eye exam $163 $10 co-pay $153
Eyeglass frames / single vision lenses $150 / $90 $25 co-pay $215
Anti-reflective coating $113 $69 $44
Photochromic lenses $109 $70 $39
Polycarbonate lenses $57 $31 $26
Annual premium for VSP plan (employee only) -0- $90 -$90
Total $682 $295 $387

Purchasing a Vision Plan

People while purchasing a vision plan must make sure that their preferred eye doctor is also included in the vision plan, which they are thinking to buy, as this will help them in receiving the eye-care service from their preferred doctor. Individuals who are seeking to buy vision insurance plans will require to pay somewhere between $5 and $15 a month in premiums and to include coverage for their spouse or child they may pay slightly less per person than the plan’s individual cost. People should also always compare the plan’s total annual cost to their anticipated annual vision care expenses, as they will simply don’t like to pay out more than their expected annual cost.

Best Options for Vision Insurance

People looking for some of the best vision insurance plans can check several insurance portals to find their plan rates, coverage, and availability in their area. However, to help and assist people in picking the right vision insurance find below some vision insurance providers offering more comprehensive vision coverage at affordable prices.

VSP – Vision Service Plan is the largest vision insurance company and is considered best overall among the vision insurance carriers in the United States. Majority of the people in the U.S have vision insurance with VSP, as the company has low co-pays, high allowances and is widely accepted across the U.S. The company has also been awarded, the best vision coverage provider, by the Benefits Selling Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards for the last eight years. The premium of a plan usually depends upon the area where the insured live. However, the premiums for a standard individual policy starts at a little over $15 per month and family plans are just under $40 per month.

EyeMed – EyeMed is also a leading vision insurance provider of the U.S. that has received a high rating from J.D. Power in terms of customer satisfaction. The vision insurance plan offered by this company is accepted at over 44,000 independent and retail providers. EyeMed offers a 40% discount on the second pair of glasses within the policy year whereas most of the other vision carriers offer a 20% discount. The company is also committed to the community and is a proud supporter of OneSight, which is a non-profit organization providing vision care in underserved communities across the world. The individual vision discount plan of EyeMed starts at $5 per month and the family plan with allowances and co-pays starts around $30.

Davis Vision – Davis Vision, a premium vision insurance carrier, is operating with over 70,000 nationwide points of access for customers. Around 9,000 points of access to Davis Vision offers the exclusive collection and a discount on an assortment of frames available for the members of this company. The insurance company also provides a warranty on the plan-covered glasses for a year and if the glass broke then the insured can simply return them to the vision center for replacement. A vision insurance premium of the company for individual range from $10-$12 and for a family it is around the $30 mark.

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