Unlike health insurance and car insurance, vision insurance is not legally required. That said, your eyesight plays a large role in maintaining your overall well-being and your work efficiency, so investing in vision insurance is still a good idea.
As we observe World Health Day this April, Progressive Eyecare explains everything you need to know about vision insurance.
What Is Vision Insurance?
While health insurance can pay for eye diseases or accidents, it does not usually cover eye care services needed to maintain your visual health. Vision insurance often provides coverage for expenses concerning your routine eye health, such as eye exams, contact lenses and eyeglass frames. It may cover the cost of these eye care services in full or to a certain limit. It can also get you discounts on elective procedures, like LASIK.
Vision insurance often involves two options: a benefits package or a discount plan. With a benefits package, you may have to meet a deductible or a fixed dollar amount you have to pay out-of-pocket to your eye care provider before the vision insurance benefits take effect. On the other hand, the discount plan involves discounted rates for eye care and eyewear after you have paid a premium or membership fee, usually every year. Both types of vision insurance can be individualized to meet your wants and needs. They can also be tailored to meet the requirements of different clients, including schools, companies and unions.
How Does Vision Insurance Work?
Most of the time, vision insurance is a value-added benefit that rides on indemnity health insurance, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs) that have contracted with managed vision care networks to provide eye care products and services.
Vision insurance protocols may vary depending on the insurer. That said, this usually involves paying a premium or meeting deductibles or copays for your individual policy or having these deducted from your paycheck, which is often the case in employer-sponsored vision insurance plans. What you’ll get in return may include free or discounted eye exams, eyewear fitting, eyeglass frames and more. Some policies also pay out if you’re diagnosed with certain vision problems or if your eyesight becomes permanently compromised.
Most often, you can avail these benefits if you see an eye care specialist that is in-network or contracted with your insurance company. It is, however, still possible that you’ll have benefits if you see an out-of-network eye care provider, but your share of the cost is often higher. In addition, vision care plans may require you to see a vision care professional that has the right accreditations to actually provide eye care, such as optometrists or ophthalmologists certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
What Does Vision Insurance Usually Cover?
Each vision plan may cover different eye care products and services. Before signing up for one, make sure that it is inclusive of the things you’ll most likely need. Generally, when you have vision insurance, you will likely receive access to a network of eye care specialists. Since you’ll be dealing with contracted eye health providers, you’re assured they take quality eye care and member satisfaction seriously. You can have regular eye exams and preventative eye care services at reduced rates. You can also become affiliated with certain eyewear shops where you can take advantage of discounts on eyeglasses and contact lenses. You may even be eligible for discounts on additional enhancements, such as specialized lenses, lens coatings and more.
In addition, you can get discounts when you have optical procedures done in participating optical laboratories. While vision insurance usually doesn’t cover the full costs for elective vision procedures, such as LASIK and PRK, it’s possible to get them at reduced rates. These are just some of the usual inclusions in a vision care plan. Before having any eye care services performed, it’s always a good idea to ask the staff at your eye care center to advise you on the specific benefits your vision plan covers, so there are no costly surprises afterward.
What Are the Benefits of Getting Vision Insurance?
If you’re still not sure whether or not to get vision insurance for yourself or a loved one, here are some advantages to consider. For one, you can save a lot of money. Basically, the main purpose of getting vision insurance is to have access to cost-efficient eye care. Rather than having to pay for eye care services out-of-pocket, you can rely on your vision insurance to significantly reduce these costs.
By having vision insurance, you’ll feel more motivated to schedule regular eye exams with your optometrist. Having eye exams at least once a year not only helps keep your eyes in good condition, but it also helps maintain your overall health. This way, you’ll have peace of mind that your visual health is stable. In addition, eyewear can be expensive, especially if you need upgrades every now and then. With vision insurance, you won’t have to worry about these costs adding up as you can get discounts with your participating optical centers.
How Can You Get Vision Insurance?
Vision insurance can be obtained through a group policy. This is what your company, association or school district likely offers. There are also government vision care programs, namely Medicare or Medicaid. If you aren’t eligible for a group plan, because you are self-employed or for any other reason, you can also purchase a vision plan individually.
These are some of the basic things you need to know about vision care plans. With the convenience and other benefits they offer, they can save you money and provide peace of mind. If you need more information, feel free to contact us at the following numbers: (702) 744-8005 for North Las Vegas, (702) 723-4888 for Boca Park, or (702) 357-8202 for Southwest Las Vegas. We serve Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and the surrounding NV communities.