What does vision insurance cover?
Vision insurance generally contributes to the following services and products:
- Annual eye examinations
- Eyeglass frames
- Eyeglass lenses
- Contact lenses
- LASIK and PRK vision correction at discounted rates
Generally, services acquired from network providers are cheaper than services from out-of-network providers.
Group vision insurance can be obtained through your company, association, school district, etc., or through a government program such as Medicare.
Also, as an individual, you have the option of purchasing your own vision benefit plan.
§ Vision insurance is often a value-added benefit included in indemnity health insurance plans, health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and plans offered by preferred provider organizations (PPOs): Indemnity health insurance is traditional insurance, which allows policyholders to access medical providers of their choice.
§ An HMO is a group of healthcare professionals – doctors, laboratories, hospitals and the like – employed to provide health care services to plan members at discounted rates. Usually, health plan members are required to access health care only from HMO providers.
§ A PPO is a network of healthcare professionals organized to provide healthcare services to plan members at a fixed rate below “retail” prices. Plan members may opt to access out-of-network providers, but usually at a greater cost.
What’s in Your Vision Insurance Plan?
There are more options for vision insurance today than ever before. Whether your vision insurance plan is one you choose as an additional benefit in your employer health benefits package, or vision coverage you seek on your own through an insurance company or vision benefits provider, there are basics you should understand to make the most of vision insurance.
In general, there are two types of vision insurance plans:
Vision Benefits Package
- Set benefits related to eye health and maintenance
- Usually contributes to comprehensive eye health exams & corrective eyewear
- Typically requires you to see a “network” eyecare professional
Vision Discount Plans
- Flat “discount” towards vision related services
- Patient agrees to pay the difference
Maximize your benefits by discussing options with your eyecare professional to see how best to apply your particular vision coverage to your eyecare expenses.
Use it or lose it. Vision Insurance benefits do expire.
Depending upon the type of vision insurance plan you’ve enrolled in, your vision insurance benefits may expire annually. This means if you don’t “use it” you “lose it” until the next year. Since in some way, shape or form, you are contributing your hard-earned money toward your vision coverage, there’s really no excuse to skip your annual comprehensive eye exam, or get “checked out” should you experience any changes in your vision.
What’s more, many of the defined contribution vision insurance plans (using Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts, in particular) don’t allow for your deposited money to “roll over” into the next year. If you don’t spend what you’ve allocated, you may be at risk of losing that money entirely.
Think beyond the traditional examination to use your benefits towards
- Multiple pairs of eyeglasses
- Prescription sunglasses
- Photochromic lenses
- Eyewear that’s specifically designed to fit your lifestyle
All might be within reach if you maximize your vision insurance coverage.
Please feel free to contact our Insurance and Billing Department with any questions.