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Is Vision Insurance Worth Purchasing?

written by: Eric Stolze•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 3/2/2011

Do you get your money’s worth out of your vision insurance plan? Get the facts about different vision care options that can save you money.

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    What Does Vision Insurance Cover?

    Vision insurance provides insurance coverage that goes beyond the coverage that a health insurance policy provides. Traditional health insurance policies often cover eye care that is provided for medical reasons. Medical eye care includes treatment for eye infections, glaucoma testing and treatment, and cataract treatment.

    Vision insurance is intended to cover routine eye care. Refraction eye exams are covered by vision plans. Refraction is the exam that tests a patient’s near vision and distance vision. Eye doctors can write a prescription for eyeglasses using the results of a refraction test. Many vision care plans pay a flat amount per year for eyeglasses. This includes charges for lenses and frames. Contact lenses may also be covered.

    Vision insurance plans can be subject to co-pays and deductibles. Coverage for routine eye exams may be limited to one exam per year. Coverage may not be provided for expensive designer eyeglass frames.

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    Is Vision Insurance Worth Paying For?

    Vision insurance premiums can be a couple of hundred dollars per year or more. This may not sound like much, but it may not be worth the price for some people. If you are young and do not wear glasses, you may end up paying more for vision insurance than you would if you paid all of your vision care expenses out of your own pocket.

    Add co-payments and deductibles to your premium rates to see how much your vision coverage is costing you. If you get a new pair of eyeglasses every couple of years, you may still save money on your eye care by not carrying vision coverage.

    Vision care discount plans are another option for consumers. Vision care discount plans often charge membership rates that are lower than vision insurance premiums. Vision discount plans provide less coverage than vision insurance. You may save money by paying a little more out of pocket and using a discount plan. Check with a provider to find out if your vision discount plan is accepted.

    AAA, an auto club, offers vision care discounts that are included in AAA membership at no extra charge. Some warehouse clubs offer vision care services to their members at reasonable rates. Look for vision care coupons as well. Coupons can save you money on eye exams and eyeglasses but they need to be used prior to their expiration dates. Look at all of your vision care options and use an option that will save you the most money.

Save Money on Health Care

This series will explore ways to save money in different areas of health care. While health care costs are going up, health insurance companies are providing several different ways to save money on health care.
  1. Is Vision Insurance Worth Purchasing?
  2. Can I Afford High Medical Bills if I Do Not Pre-Certify?
  3. How Can Health Insurance Lab Networks Save Me Money On Medical Tests?