We are all aware of health insurance and consider it an integral component of our wellbeing. But we often fail to address vision insurance. Vision insurance can be a part of your employer’s group benefits or an individual policy.
What should you keep in mind while comparing the coverage of vision insurance? Let’s find out.
How Does It work?
You can opt for vision insurance either by sending your vision insurer a check for the premium or opting for a reduction from your paycheck. The second option is valid for employer-sponsored plans. After you purchase vision insurance, you can get benefits like
- Discounted vision exams
- Discounts on glasses or lenses
Apart from these, some plans can require you to have a meeting with anyone from the insurer’s network. Using vision insurance, you can have specific treatment plans from an ophthalmologist.
Considerations for Purchasing a Plan
If you are seeing a doctor while purchasing the insurance plan, you can check whether it covers these or not. Whether you buy insurance directly or your employer provides one, the basic vision plans range from $5 to $35 per month in premiums. You can extend the coverage for your family and get a discount on each member’s premium.
If your employer offers vision insurance, you have the opportunity to sign up once every year. However, while opting for any insurance, you should check whether you need to pay an enrollment fee in addition to the monthly premium.
You can compare annual expenses irrespective of the coverage you receive from an individual or group insurance. Paying more than you will receive is never advisable.
How Much Will You Save?
In general, regular health insurance only covers a significant eye injury or health conditions where eyes need urgent medical attention. In the absence of vision insurance, you will need to pay the total amount for:
- Any comprehensive eye examinations
- The price incurred for the initial or replacement of eyewear lenses
- Any cost incurred towards frames or lenses.
There are two types of insurance offerings that you can get from the insurance companies:
- A plan that gives you access to services and products up to a capped dollar value, or
- A plan offering you access to products and services at a predetermined discount rate. In this plan, the services need to have prior qualifications.
The amount you receive per year will depend on the number of services and products you opt for in a calendar year. For example, if the services you want to opt for costs –
$ 200 for an eye exam,
$ 100 for a single lens,
$ 210 for the frames,
The total amount comes to $ 510.
If you choose a discounted plan and the discount rate is 30% with a basic premium fee of five dollars per month, you will save $ 153. However, you should note that the plans and expenses vary. But you can expect to save between $100 and $200.
What Expenses Do They Cover?
The coverage that you can get from each plan will differ. Before you opt for an insurance plan, you can check its coverage and find out whether it provides all that you need and meets your expectations.
If you opt for any bare-bones plan, it generally covers eye examinations, contact lenses, and glasses. It functions similar to discount plans and is not much like an insurance plan.
The coverage amount you can get from a vision insurance plan can vary from one plan to another. You will find plans in the market where they charge a $ 15 copayment for an eye examination and cover the remaining charges. There are also plans on the market where the insurer will pay a part of the amount, and you will need to pay the rest.
The coverage you receive for any eye surgery will differ from what you receive for surgery from health insurance.
So, you can note the above pointers for choosing vision insurance. However, there are a few plan limitations of vision insurance that you should know about before making the final decision. These include:
- Your plan can cover lenses for your eyewear but only the basic ones. You may have to pay for any extra cost that you will incur if you opt for anti-glare or lightweight lenses.
- Your plan can give you coverage for frames but up to a capped value. You may have to pay the additional amount, or if your plan pays the retail markup, you will need to pay the wholesale cost.
- Some plans have a conditional policy where you can opt for either contact lenses or spectacles for 12 months. If you want to switch, you have to wait for the next cycle and can avail the benefit after going through an eye exam.
The next time you’re contemplating buying vision insurance, keep these points in mind to make an informed decision.
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