Nearly 75% of adults wear glasses or contact lenses with lenses costing between $50 and $1,000. Vision insurance usually covers some of the costs of services (such as eye exams) and prescription glasses, but rarely pays 100% in full. It’s best for those who have recurring vision problems, but may not be helpful if the monthly premiums exceed the eye wellness costs each year. Plans can vary wildly – watch out for notable exclusions, like the ability to only use your benefits every 24 months or the inability to use out-of-network providers. To help you find a vision plan that’s right for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of the best based on coverage, limits, price, and more.
Vision Service Plan: Best Overall
and is one of the nation’s largest vision insurance providers. Offers the largest network of independent physicians, with 73,000 access points in nearly 23,000 locations. We chose this as the best overall plan because it offers a variety of tiered plans, competitive pricing, and has a large number of US locations.
Plan members have access to both in-network and out-of-network coverage, except those residing in Maryland, Massachusetts, and the state of Washington. Enrollment is open year-round and you can use your benefits as early as the next business day.
Depending on your state of residence, there are different tiered plans, although VSP’s standard plan is available nationwide. We’ve seen standard plans as low as $11.20 per month: VSP claims its members see an average of $278 in annual savings. Benefits include a $150 allowance for contact lenses or frames ($170 if you choose certain brands), plus a 20% discount on your allowance amount.
There are optional lens upgrades you can add to all plans for additional fees (scratch resistant, anti-glare, light to dark tint, etc.). However, some of their more premium tiers offer bigger discounts (monthly costs also increase). For example, the EasyOptions level offers personalized benefit options like a higher frame allowance or the enhanced level means you pay no additional out-of-pocket costs for impact or scratch-resistant lenses. Exam copays are $15 (not covered on the EyewearOnly120 plan if your state offers it) and base copays for eyeglasses are $25. VSP does not cover LASIK, but does offer a service coupon to certain providers for a discount.
EyeMed – Finalist, Best Overall
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, EyeMed has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best and offers a number of network providers throughout the US, including LensCrafters®, Pearle Vision®, Target Optical® and many more. independent providers.
This vision insurance company is another contender, although we placed it as a finalist because it doesn’t offer a high margin for frames or contacts and there aren’t as many locations with only 18,000 nationwide.
Individual plans are available in 48 states and there are no waiting periods once you successfully enroll. EyeMed offers three different levels: EyeMed Healthy, EyeMed Bold, and EyeMed Bright. EyeMed Healthy, the lowest tier of the insurer, offers plans starting at $5 a month and offers discounts on frames, contacts, LASIK and other services with no copay for a comprehensive eye exam. The top two tiers offer a covered allowance for contacts and eyeglasses of up to $130 and $200, respectively. In addition, you will have a $10 copay for comprehensive exams and a $20 copay for glasses. EyeMed Bold starts at $17.50 and EyeMed Bright starts at $30 a month.
All levels are discounted five percent if you pay annually (although it may differ based on your state of residence).
UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule Insurance): Best Wellness Eye Care
Part of the UnitedHealth Group of companies, UnitedHealthcare is one of the largest health insurance providers in the US, and we chose this as the best provider of health care services because the low-priced premium and minimal copay for Glasses are amortized when worn annually.
You can choose from two plans with no waiting period after enrollment. Both plans offer a $150 allowance for frames or contacts when in-network and up to $75 when out-of-network, plus a $10 copay for your annual eye exam and lenses, both with in-network providers. the net. UnitedHealthcare also offers a 35% discount for LASIK procedures. The difference between the two plans is that Plan B allows you to select an allowance for contact lenses and glasses, while Plan A only allows you to select one. Plan A can be as low as $10.40 per month at and Plan B as low as $14.30 per month.
Read the fine print carefully, as some policies may not cancel within the first 12 months.
His vision insurance is underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance and is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best . It is available in all of the US except Alaska, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, New Mexico, and Virginia.
Direct vision insurance: best price
Direct Vision policies are underwritten by Ameritas, one of the largest insurance companies in the country. Ameritas serves more than four million customers and has an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s.
We chose Direct Vision as a best value insurer because of its low premium and deductibles, keeping annual costs low for individuals, couples and families. Plans start at $9.22 per month for individuals and you have access to plans and discounts offered by two of the largest vision insurance companies in the US. Both VSP and EyeMed plans have two tiers and all include a $15 deductible for annual eye exams, a $1 for standard lenses, a $25 deductible for specialty lenses, and a $150 allowance for frames or contacts (no deductible or copay). The main difference between tiers and providers is how often you can use your benefits.
There are no waiting periods and Direct Vision offers a 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee; If you’re not happy with your plan, you can cancel it within that time.
Humana: Best Value (Coverage for Price)
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Humana has an AM Best rating of BBB- and a Standard & Poor’s rating of BBB+. Vision insurance plans are available in Washington, DC and all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
What we like about Humana is the simplicity of their plans and the discount you get if you go over your contact or frame allowance (rare with other companies). You will also receive a 20% discount on your balance on frame allowance, as well as other add-ons and services. For contact lenses, you will receive a 15% discount on your balance over allowance. If your contacts are deemed medically necessary, Humana will cover the cost of the materials, but if you have a history of elective or corneal refractive surgery, you will not be covered. These discounts only apply to network providers.
You must pay a $35 enrollment fee (none if combined with your dental plans), then your monthly premium starts at $11.49 per month with no waiting period. You’ll pay a $15 copay for an annual in-network eye exam, a $40 copay for standard contact lens exams, a $25 copay for standard plastic lenses, and lens options that start at a copay of $15.
Ameritas: the best for families
Founded in 1887 and originally called The Old Line Bankers Life Insurance Company of Nebraska, Ameritas serves more than four million customers and has received high ratings from AM Best and Standard & Poor ‘s. Plans are available nationwide and there are no waiting periods. wait.
Ameritas offers two tiers to its plans and they are affordable for families, starting at $23.47 per month. All tiers offer free eye exams every 12 months (covered in full), but the lower tier only offers contacts or eyeglass lenses and frames every 24 months, a $25 eye exam deductible, and a $130 allowance for frames or contacts. The higher tier offers a lower copay for eye exams at $10 and a $150 allowance for frames or contacts every 12 months.
What is vision insurance?
Vision insurance is a supplemental health insurance plan that can help you lower your vision-related expenses. These plans will cover some products and services, such as glasses and eye exams; additional benefits may differ between insurers.
These types of plans, whether you purchase an individual plan or as an optional rider with your regular health insurance, are best for those who have recurring vision expenses, such as buying contact lenses on a regular basis or those who require an annual eye exams Plans may have copays or deductibles: copays are a set amount you pay out of pocket before the remaining balance is covered by your insurer, while a deductible is the amount you’ll need to pay each year before your insurance of vision is activated on.
For example, if you have a $10 copay for eye exams, that’s all you have to pay when you visit your eye doctor, your insurance will cover the rest. Whereas if you have a $300 deductible, you’ll need to spend that amount on any qualified expenses within a calendar year before insurance pays for what’s covered in your vision plan.
Even those planning to undergo LASIK or a similar type of eye surgery may find vision insurance helpful. That’s because you can save a significant amount of money compared to paying your vision costs out of pocket. LASIK is not covered by regular health insurance, so vision insurance may offer a discount on services if you are using an in-network doctor.
What does vision insurance typically include?
Vision insurance plans include benefits that can help you detect eye disease or serious vision problems early and make maintaining good vision a little more affordable. This includes costs related to contacts, glasses, and annual eye exams. Also, many plans offer discounts for LASIK procedures—health insurance doesn’t necessarily cover it because it’s not considered medically necessary.
Visits with in-network doctors may require prior authorization before your exam, while for out-of-network you may need to pay up front and then submit receipts for reimbursement, assuming your provider covers it.
What does vision insurance typically exclude?
Vision insurance plans do not cover the treatment of eye diseases, which is usually covered by your regular health insurance plan. In other words, health insurance generally covers eye care when it’s related to a medical condition. Say you have eye complications from diabetes, diagnosed high blood pressure, or cataracts, then your health insurance may cover vision care, while vision insurance may take care of the eye exam if your health insurance doesn’t.
What are the expected costs of vision insurance?
Monthly premiums from the companies listed above are relatively cheap, averaging around $10 for the lower tier plans. All plans include an annual eye exam and allowances for glasses or contacts, although the exact amount allowed and copayment amounts differ among insurers.
You can expect to pay more, some as high as around $30 a month, for higher levels of coverage. Companies with higher-tier plans typically include a larger eyeglass and contact lens allowance, lower copays, and additional discounts on other products and services (such as LASIK surgery).
Is it worth paying for vision insurance?
Maintaining eye health is crucial to your overall health. For example, during routine eye exams, doctors can detect serious health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer. Getting an early diagnosis could mean lower overall costs for medical treatment.
Even something as simple as visual impairment can affect your everyday life – think about mobility, normal communication, and even your independence. For children, having an undiagnosed visual impairment can hamper their long-term health, academic and social performance.
Plus, paying for the view can be worth it from a cost-savings perspective. If your vision care needs exceed the cost of insurance, then it might be a good idea to consider getting some form of coverage.
For example, your vision insurance premium costs you $124 each year. A basic eye exam can cost around $100, but you only pay a $10 copay. You discover that you need new glasses and it costs you $200 for the pair with standard lenses. You have to pay $50 since you only get a $150 allowance. That means you only pay a total of $184 per year (including your copay and the amount above your allowance) instead of the $300 it would cost without insurance, saving you $116.
How we choose vision insurance companies
We looked at 11 vision insurance companies and found some that offer fairly low copays for eye exams, a competitive discount on contacts and eyeglasses, and LASIK discounts. We then narrowed it down to those with the best prices and the largest retail and private physician networks. We also remove companies that don’t allow members to use their benefits each year (for example, some companies only allow you to use your frame allowance every 24
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