Evaluate Vision Insurance Value


When reviewing a list of health care benefits, employees may wonder about vision insurance, asking several questions: Should they purchase it? Do they need it? What is the difference between vision plans? Review four responses offered by AARP:

1. Benefit types – Basically there are two types of coverage:

  • Vision insurance – A monthly premium fee is paid for access to eligible vision services. Plans may include a vision network for additional savings. If offered through an employer, members can enjoy group rates.
  • Discount plan – Members pay an annual membership fee for discounts, such as 20 percent, on specific services. This usually is not insurance. Find out if your vision provider will honor the discounts.

2. Function – As with most insurance, vision insurance members may be responsible for a nominal copayment or deductible when they visit the office. After that, when purchasing prescription contacts, sunglasses or eyeglasses, the plan covers a specific amount and members pay the remainder.

3. Peace of mind – According to the National Association of Vision Care Plans, Americans who enroll in vision insurance plans are twice as likely to schedule an eye exam as those who don’t have insurance. During an exam, the eye doctor will check for signs of medical problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, high blood pressure, cancers or tumors.

4. Costs – Before enrolling in a vision plan, identify your vision needs. Do you or your eligible dependents need contacts or prescription eyeglasses? Compare plan premiums and calculate out-of-pocket costs against the benefits available. Before purchasing, carefully review plan details to ensure the option selected will provide the coverage needed. For an example of costs with vision insurance, check out this cost calculator.

Don’t take good vision for granted.