Vision Insurance: What Does it Cover?

When it comes to the health of your eyes, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. According to the CDC, 61 million U.S. adults have a high risk for vision loss. Seeing an eye doctor early can be an important step in preserving your vision, but only half of U.S. adult have seen an eye doctor in the past 12 months.

Whether you’re experiencing vision issues or simply need a new prescription for your glasses and contacts, good vision care is important. Here’s what you should think about before deciding whether to buy vision insurance.

Health Insurance and Vision Coverage

Health insurance plans often exclude routine vision care.

For example, Original Medicare does not cover routine vision care. If you enroll in Medicare Part B, your coverage will include certain eye exams connected to diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration. However, other vision care services may not be covered. Medicare Advantage plans often provide benefits not included in Original Medicare, and this may include routine vision care.

Plans sold on the Obamacare Marketplace often do not include adult vision coverage, although all Marketplace plans offer vision coverage for children. If you get health insurance through an employer, or if you purchase it yourself outside of the Marketplace, there’s a good chance that routine vision care will not be covered in the health plan.

Vision Insurance as a Separate Policy

Because many health insurance plans exclude routine vision coverage, some people decide to purchase a separate vision policy. This policy will typically include the following:

  • Eye exams
  • Glasses, including the frames and the lenses
  • Contacts
  • Discounts on corrective eye surgery (not available in every plan)

Your vision insurance policy may have restrictions. For example, it may only cover one pair of glasses a year, or you may have to choose between glasses and contacts. Additionally, because of copays and coverage limits, you may still have some out-of-pocket costs. To determine your coverage, check your policy.

Should You Buy Vision Insurance?

To decide whether vision insurance is right for you, look at the out-of-pocket costs with and without insurance.

Add up your costs with insurance.

  • Vision insurance tends to be very affordable. Many people can purchase a plan for less than $20 a month, and you may pay considerably less.
  • Also consider any copays, plan limits, and other out-of-pocket costs. Calculate how much you will pay for the supplies and services you expect to need. 

Add up your costs without insurance.

  • Eye exams often cost around $100 or more. The price you pay will depend on where you go and which tests and services you need. You may be charged more if you need a fitting for contact lenses.
  • The cost of a pair of glasses varies considerably, but it can easily be hundreds of dollars, depending on the brand of frame and the type of lenses. Some companies, especially certain online retailers, provide discount glasses.
  • Contact lenses also vary in price. According to Acuvue, monthly contact lenses can cost up to $600 a month, while daily disposable contacts can cost up to $1,400 a month.

If you would pay less with vision insurance, then you should consider purchasing a policy. Want to learn more? Get a vision insurance quote today!






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