Do you need Vision Insurance?
Is Vision Insurance Worth It – Looking at the pros and cons of vision insurance
The plans typically offer discounts on eye exams, prescription lenses, eyeglass frames, contact lenses, and LASIK surgery. Few of the plans offer benefits around eye surgery and eye diseases but most do not. This is because those are normally covered under your health insurance plan. In addition, depending on the type of plan you have, you may have to choose a doctor that’s part of your insurance network.
Most of the time your employer will chose which provider to choose. But you still need to decide if you want to enroll or not. You should determine is vision insurance worth it for you and your family. The main decision you will need to make will be should you select it to decline coverage.
What does vision insurance cover?
Vision insurance does not cover everything related to your eyes. Your medical insurance covers most accidents, surgery, and eye disease. Therefore, if you choose not to enroll in a vision insurance plan and you suffer from an eye injury, you will still have coverage through your medical insurance.
Primarily vision insurance covers eye exams, glasses, and contacts. Typically, you should visit an Optometrist each year and receive an eye exam. We have a great article that better explains what happens during an eye exam. With the plans you should expect a $10 or $15 copay. Most vision plans will have an very basic allowance for glasses and contacts that will be sufficient assuming you find a budget friendly package. The good news is that many Optometrists will let you pay the difference if you want to upgrade the frames or get a high quality lens.
How much does vision insurance cost?
Vision insurance bought through your employer is typically very inexpensive, often between $3 and $7 per month for an individual and $15 – $20 for a family. In addition to being cheaper, buying vision insurance this way will provide broader coverage. There are more doctors in network, more benefits for glasses or contacts, and other perks that come on the group market.
You can also acquire vision insurance as a private policy. In this scenario where the employer is not contributing to your plan, it can costs about $15 – $60 month for individuals and families. Most plans basically offer the same benefits as the employer plan which is about a $15 copay for an exam, around $120 for glasses or contacts with a discount on any additional amount. .
Is Vision Insurance Worth It
Without using your insurance benefit, an exam will cost you between $60 – $100. Glasses will cost anywhere from $100 to $500+ based on the quality and name brand that you select. Contacts will cost between $100 and $200 based on the usage.
So here is a good way to think about if Vision Insurance is worth it….
- Without insurance: $60+$99=$159 for an exam & glasses.
So let’s look at the same formula WITH Vision Insurance….
- $7 premium X 12 months + $15 Exam Copay + $25 Glasses Copay = $124
So IF you actually get an exam and buy glasses, it is a decent deal. If you miss a year, it is clearly not. However, if you use the same logic for an entire family, it suddenly becomes a very good deal.
Another thing to consider is that if you need the glasses quickly or if you want to get a high quality pair, then vision insurance is not that good of a deal. Most require that the doctor mail the glasses off for 1 – 2 weeks and will NOT let them use their onsite lab. So even if the Optometrist has the capability to make your glasses in the same day, they can not since the vision insurance plan will not reimburse them.
Article: Is Vision Insurance Worth It?