Vision Insurance Plans – A Smart Financial Choice
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, 14 million Americans have visual impairment. More than 80% of these 14 million could be corrected to good vision with refractive correction but vision insurance is many times overlooked while choosing a health insurance plan. Vision insurance is a part of health and wellness plans, which is designed to reduce costs of routine preventive eye care and prescription eye-wear. Some of the vision plans also provide discount on elective vision correction surgery like LASIK and PRK. Vision insurance plans are unlike medical insurance policies that offer unlimited benefits after meeting certain co-pays and deductibles. Vision insurance plans are discount plans or wellness benefit plans that offer specific benefits and discounts for an annual premium. The vision discount and wellness plans are mostly used to cover basic eye-wear cost or can even be used to make premium eye-wear products and enhancements like progressive lenses, anti-reflective coating and photochromic lenses more affordable. Vision insurance plan is designed to reduce your vision care expenses, as all health insurance plans do not include vision coverage for adults so they need to buy a stand-alone vision plans.
Breaking Down Vision Care Insurance
Eye diseases and medical problems are unpredictable and expensive to treat and the cost of the treatment of eye diseases are usually covered by health insurance and not by vision care insurance. Vision insurance is supplemental to medical insurance policies and is basically designed to reduce the costs of routine eye-checkups and prescribed eye-wear. Members of vision care insurance plans receive access to some great eye doctors, and quality eye-wear, all at a low out-of-pocket costs. Even though vision coverage for adults is not a required benefit of ObamaCare but still it is an important aspect of wellness. Though all kids under 19 years of age in individual, family and small groups market should be offered vision benefits. Stand-alone vision plans are not directly available from the federal or state marketplaces, so it must be bought from a private health insurance provider. While purchasing vision insurance plan you should completely understand the costs and benefits associated with the plan which you are considering to buy. If you are having vision care coverage through your employer, then you must know that vision plans operate in a different manner compared to health insurance plans or major medical insurance.
From Where to Get Vision Insurance
Group vision insurance is offered either through company, association, school district or through government program. In case if you are not eligible for group vision insurance plan then you can individually purchase vision insurance plan. Vision insurance is a value-added benefit linked to Indemnity Health Insurance, Health Maintenance Organizations and Preferred Provider Organizations, who get associated with managed vision care networks to offer eye-care services.
Indemnity Health Insurance – It is a traditional health insurance that allows you access to medical care providers of your choice. If your vision insurance is linked to an indemnity insurance plan, then you are free to access vision care service from any of the eye-care service provider.
Health Maintenance Organizations – It is a group of doctors, laboratories and hospitals that are employed to provide you health care at discounted rates. Generally if you have enrolled in HMO plan then you are required to access health care along with vision care only from HMO providers.
Preferred Provider Organization – It is a network of healthcare providers organized to provide healthcare services to you at a fixed rate below the retail price. However, you may access out-of-network providers but at a greater cost.
Child Vision Coverage
Child vision coverage is provided with every qualified healthcare plan you buy that include eye care for dependents under 19 years of age. The child vision coverage include annual vision examinations, lenses and frames of glasses as well as contact lenses. You must also know that ACA has not designated child’s vision services as a preventative so you have to meet your deductible first with your marketplace plan before receiving the vision services for your child.
Options for Eye-care Coverage for Adults
If you are looking for vision insurance as an adult then you have two options, either you can choose a marketplace health insurance plan, which include vision services in your coverage or you can purchase a separate stand-alone vision plan.
Health Plans that include Vision-care Coverage – In some of the health plans vision-care coverage is included, so while shopping for health insurance plans you can select the plan that includes vision-care coverage. However, while buying a health plan having vision coverage you need to be careful because such plans may seem cheaper than a stand-alone vision plan but these plans often have a large combined deductible that would have to be met before paying for the vision services.
Separate Stand-alone Vision Plans – Stand-alone vision-care plans are available in the marketplace and and you can buy a separate vision plan by paying additional premium. Vision plans are not offered on the federal marketplace or state insurance exchanges so you need to buy it from a private insurance provider or broker.
Popular Companies offering Vision Insurance in the U.S
- VSP Direct
- Vision Plan of America
- Blue Cross
- Davis Vision
Vision Insurance FAQ
Vision insurance is supplemental to health insurance plan that helps you offset the cost of routine eye checkups and vision correction. It is essential to have vision insurance because a vision plan will help you protect your eye-health, and will reduce your out-of-pocket costs for eye-care, provide you discounts on vision expenses like glasses or LASIK.
You are advised to go for regular eye-exams because these are preventive measures to ensure the overall health and wellness. With regular eye-checkups your eye doctor can identify vision problems and even discover signs of serious eye-problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, and even cancer.
There are different types of vision insurance plans available in the market, and depending upon the type of vision insurance, you have, your eye-care benefits will be covered. Generally, vision insurance benefits cover an array of eye-care expenses that help you save money on your eye-care services. Some of the common benefits covered by most of the vision insurance plans include:
- Regular eye exams
- Contact lenses fittings
- Vision tests
- Eyeglass frames and lenses
- Discounted corrective eye surgery
However, if you have any confusion regarding your vision insurance coverage, then you have the option to contact some vision insurance experts, who can guide and educate you on your vision insurance benefits.
You can obtain vision insurance plan through your employer, school district or through federal government plans such as Medicare or Medicaid. Vision insurance is generally a value-added benefit that is included in indemnity health insurance plans like HMO and PPOs plans.
Vision insurance plans are usually of two types, a discount vision plan or a vision benefits package. Both these vision plans are custom-designed to cate the different requirements of several big, mid, and small size companies and school districts.
Discount vision plan – In the discount vision plan, you can receive eye-care at fixed discounted rates after paying an annual premium or membership fee along with your deductible amount.
Vision Benefits package – If you are enrolled in vision benefits package, then you have to pay an annual premium or membership fee, a yearly deductible for every enrolled member and a co-pay each time you access an eye-care service.
Eye-care experts recommend people to schedule a comprehensive eye-exam in every six-months to one year. Regular eye-exams are a good way to prevent eye problems from occurring in the future, and this will also help to maintain the best health of the eye. Without regular eye-exams it would be difficult to identify the telltale signs of eye problems and eye disease.
Some of the best vision insurance companies of 2020 include:
- Vision Service Plan
- Direct Vision Insurance