Choosing an insurance plan is no simple task. Locking into the wrong plan can cost a lot of stress (and money) down the road. Finding the right plan is a time-consuming, meticulous process.

When choosing a vision insurance plan, there are extra considerations to keep in mind. Here’s everything you need to know before choosing a vision insurance plan.

Why Do You Need Vision Insurance?

In most cases, standard health insurance plans don’t include vision coverage. Those that do often have a very limited plan that is barely worth including.

Having a separate, standalone vision insurance plan is the best way to ensure that you’re adequately covered. Having a robust vision coverage plan is essential if you or your family members require glasses, contacts, or specialized vision care (i.e., treating a lazy eye).

What Vision Insurance Covers

What your individual Vision insurance option covers will depend on the package you choose. Generally speaking, basic vision insurance covers:

  • eye examinations
  • diagnostic tests
  • prescription lenses– either glasses or contacts
  • frames
  • basic warranty and preventative coatings

Many vision insurance providers offer flexible plans so that you can include extras. For example, progressive lenses or weighted contacts for astigmatism.

If your vision insurance is used as an add-on to another insurance plan, take a look at what your core insurance offers. Some broader insurance plans include coverage for eye-related illnesses like cataracts and glaucoma. Understanding your basic policy will help you avoid paying for double coverage. Specialty treatments, like corrective surgery, are typically not included in vision insurance. If this is something that interests you, look for a plan that offers partial coverage for elective surgeries and crunch the number to see if it’s worth the expense.

Vision Insurance Plan

Extra Considerations with Vision Insurance

Like with standard health insurance plans, you’ll want to weigh the options when it comes to vision insurance. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when looking at the right vision insurance plan for your needs:

  • Budget – run a comparison of how much the plan will cost you versus what it covers. It’s also important to take a close look at your deductible and co-pays to ensure you’re getting value for your money.
  • Network – not only is it essential to look at the network coverage your plan offers, but also at exclusive deals and discounts for specific providers. It’s common to see kickbacks on glasses and contacts via partnerships with vision plans.
  • Demographics – find a plan that’s catered to your age group and socio-economic standing. The plan that works well for your aging grandparents might not be the plan for you and your young children.
  • Recommendations – talk to people and get a feel for their success and satisfaction with a vision insurance provider.
  • Fine print – take a close look at the nuances of your plan. Are there caps and limitations to consider? Do they do direct billing or reimbursement?

Keeping these critical considerations in mind when selecting a coverage option will help you find the right insurance for your budget and lifestyle.

Ways to Save on Vision Costs

When it comes to vision care, there are ways to cut back on your expenses.

First and foremost, be proactive in attending your checkups. Annual visits are recommended for those who have a history of vision concerns. If you aren’t having any trouble, these visits can often be bi-annual.

Rather than purchasing directly from eye care providers, consider filling your prescriptions elsewhere. Stores like Costco and Wal-mart have affordable prices on eyewear and operate outside the health business for a more competitive approach. Online shops like Zenni and Clearly are reputable providers of high-quality corrective frames and lenses.

Choosing the right vision insurance plan doesn’t have to be a chore. Keep these considerations in mind and choose a program that will benefit your lifestyle and budget.

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