Health insurance refers to a medical plan that reduces the costs for future medical treatment. People with mild to severe eye problems can opt for vision insurance. It is a type of health insurance that can help a person to reduce the cost of future routine preventive eye care and prescription eyewear. While most vision insurance plans are discount plans or wellness benefit plans, some vision plans also cover vision correction surgeries like LASIK and PRK. While purchasing a vision plan, one needs to consider several aspects like the benefits, the cost, and the terms.
- Vision Plan Providers:
Vision plans are often offered as a value-added benefit, linked to indemnity health insurance. Some health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) tie-up with vision care networks to provide this service. An HMO includes a group of doctors, laboratories, and hospitals while a PPO includes a network of healthcare providers organized to provide healthcare services to its members.
There are group vision plans offered by companies, associations, school districts, and government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. If anyone is self-employed, the person is not eligible for the vision plans offered by companies. Some other reasons can also make a person not eligible for specific vision plans. Those persons can be eligible for vision policies that are available for purchasing individually.
Most vision plans offer access to optometrists and ophthalmologists, eyewear stores, optical laboratories, and LASIK surgeons. These also offer routine and preventive eye care services at reduced rates.
- Types of Vision Plans:
As mentioned above, there could be government or private organizations to offer vision plans to individuals or groups. Usually, the vision benefits packages offer free eye care services and eyewear within fixed dollar amounts in exchange for an annual premium or membership fee. On the other hand, the discount vision plans provide eye care and eyewear at discounted rates.
However, some vision benefits packages or discount vision plans may also include a deductible. It is a fixed dollar amount that the insurance holder has to pay to the eye care provider before the insurance benefits take effect. Some vision benefits packages and discount vision plans are custom-designed to meet the requirements of a wide range of customers.
- Services that are Covered:
Vision plans usually provide discounts on the following services and products.
- Annual eye examinations
2. Eyeglass frames
3. Eyeglass lenses (including lens coatings and enhancements)
4. Contact lenses
5. Discounted rates for LASIK and PRK
- The Insurance Cost:
Depending upon how the program is designed or by who it is offered, the vision insurance cost varies. Vision Service Plan (VSP), the largest vision plan provider in the United States, provides an approximately $387 discount to the insurance holders.
Getting a vision plan makes a person prepared for future eye treatments. Also, for those who regularly use contact lenses and glasses, a vision plan can be the best option to cut on the eye care budget. By evaluating the above aspects of multiple vision plans, one can easily choose the most suitable one that caters to the needs and budgets.