Vision care insurance: A way to reduce the cost of eye health services

Many people are familiar with health insurance but not as many people know much about vision care insurance. The ability to see well is just as important as the overall body health. Everyone must make every possible effort to ensure optimum eye health. While doing so, it is economically intelligent to look for ways of reducing the cost of maintaining good eye health.

Vision insurance is a non-mandatory health policy that entitles a subscriber to specific eye-wear and eye care benefits defined in the policy. Eye care insurance provides the means to reduce the cost of eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, etc. You can purchase vision care insurance directly from an insurance company or through your employer. Small business owners also subscribe to vision plans to attract and retain good employees by adding vision coverage to their employee benefits package.

How does vision care insurance work?

You are required first to subscribe to a vision insurance plan. There are many plans provided by vision insurers. Your choice depends on the products and services included in each plan and the conditions that are set by the plan. Once you subscribe, you send the insurer a check for your premium every month or authorize that the premium is deducted from your paycheck. In return, the vision insurer offers you benefits such as discounted contacts and glasses and vision exams. Some plans may also pay for you in case you are diagnosed with an eye disorder.

Some insurance plans may require that subscribers see a provider who is in the plan’s network. Other plans may only require that the optometrist is adequately qualified. The optometrist must be a graduate of an accredited college of optometry, licensed and certified by the relevant optometry bodies. If you want to continue seeing your optometrist, make sure their services are covered by the plan you choose to purchase.

Choosing a good vision insurance plan for your needs

Before buying a vision insurance plan, it is critical for you to estimate your present and future eye care needs. Review one or two years of your eye care history to find out what eye care services you and your family have used. This information helps to get an idea of what your future eye care needs will be. As you look at each plan, ask yourself the following questions:

Does the plan provide products and services that meet my needs in the best way?

How much money does the plan save me as compared to other plans?

Does the plan have easy-to-follow grievance procedures and quality assurance mechanisms?

Typically, the services included in most plans include eye exams with dilation, a pair of eyeglass lenses, an eyeglass frame, and contact lenses (not in all cases). Some plans may cover refractive surgery such as PRK and LASIK, eye diseases (e.g., retinal detachment, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and glaucoma) and permanent visual impairment.

Eye care insurance is important especially to families that have a history of eye health conditions. It helps to reduce the cost of frequently used eye care and eyewear products and services. When you choose the best vision insurance plan for you and your family, you are sure that you will access quality optometry services at the right time at discounted rates.