Whether you’re seeking eye care as an individual or for your entire family, the cost of routine eye exams and prescriptions can be a real concern. In many cases, vision insurance can lower these annual expenses.
What is vision insurance?
Vision insurance, on the other hand, is a wellness benefit designed to provide routine eye care, prescription eyewear and other vision-related services at a reduced cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Typically, a vision benefits package provides enrollees eye care services in exchange for an annual premium or membership fee, a yearly deductible (a dollar amount) for each enrolled member and a co-pay (a smaller dollar amount) each time a member accesses a service.
A discount vision plan provides eye care at fixed discounted rates after an annual premium or membership fee and a deductible are paid.
Both kinds of vision insurance can be custom-designed to meet the different requirements of a wide range of customers, including school districts, unions, and big and small companies.
- Annual eye examinations
- Eyeglass frames
- Eyeglass lenses
- Contact lenses
- LASIK and PRK vision correction at discounted rates
An FSA, sometimes called a cafeteria plan, allows an employee to use pre-tax dollars to purchase selected health benefits such as vision insurance. You save money because you receive the full benefit of income that has been set aside for health costs, making it not subject to or reduced by taxation.
If you purchase an individual vision insurance plan because your employer doesn't offer a group plan (or because you are self-employed), you can expect to be billed monthly or annually.