How Vision Care Insurance Works

The world of medical insurance can be a confusing one, but one that is important to understand, and vision insurance is no exception to that. Vision insurance is often overlooked by medical insurance, which is why we will discuss the difference between the two. It is also important to understand how vision insurance works, who needs it and how to find it in order to ensure you are doing what is best for you.

Medical Insurance vs. Vision Insurance

Because many people don’t understand the difference between medical and vision insurance, they believe they are adequately covered by medical insurance. However, the differences in benefits reaped from both insurances justify the need for both, though on medical is required according to the Affordable Care Act. Medical insurance pays toward eye care visits that are medical in nature, such as an emergency visit due to a specific eye problem. This type of insurance may also pay toward a comprehensive examination if there is a medical reason behind it, nearsightedness and farsightedness are not considered medical diagnoses. Vision insurance serves as a benefit to those who have it as it pays towards more routine expenses. Vision insurance pays towards routine comprehensive exams and eye exams, as well as a portion of your eyeglasses and contact lens expense. Though it likely will not cover all costs in full, it will subsidize your expenses.

How vision insurance works

Vision insurance reduces your eye care expenses in exchange for a monthly premium, which ranges in cost based on your provider. This premium is either sent to the insurer directly from you, or it is deducted from your paycheck if you have employer-sponsored plans. In exchange for the monthly premium, you get discounted vision exams, glasses, and contacts. Additionally, some vision insurances offer discounts on elective vision correction surgery such as LASIK and PRK. Essentially, vision insurance is designed to reduce your costs for routine preventative care and prescription eyewear.

Who needs vision insurance

Though vision insurance may be more beneficial to those who don’t have perfect eyes, even those with can reap the benefits. Even people with perfect eyes can benefit from vision insurance as routine eye exams can help uncover hidden medical problems. If a routine eye exam is all you need, it is important to weigh that cost with the cost of medical insurance. However, for those with poor vision, a family history of eye disease or a condition that increases the risk for eye disease, an eye exam is needed more frequently. Therefore, you would benefit from purchasing vision insurance as the discount it provides would be less expensive than out of pocket. 

How to find the vision insurance that is right for you

If you already have an eye doctor that you like, your first step in finding vision insurance is finding what providers are accepted by your doctor. Another good first step is asking your employer what vision insurance providers you have access to through your benefits at work. Many vision insurance providers have extensive websites that are informative about their benefits and areas in which they cover. When looking online, make sure the provider offers plans in your area and that it covers your preferred vision specialist or one near you.