What does Vision Insurance really cover?

Do you have a vision insurance plan? Vision plans may be a good choice to save money. A study released by U.S. News and World Report offered advice about whether to buy Vision Insurance.
U.S. News and World Report Recommends:
• Do the math before buying vision coverage. Calculate the cost over the course of a year, and compare that to the amount you would spend out of pocket on an eye exam, glasses, and/or contact lenses. In addition, the patient should know that they will usually have to pay extra dollars for their glasses or contacts above what their vision plan covers. This is usually about another 40%. This is like an additional deductible.
It may be cheaper to pay for those costs yourself, especially if you don’t purchase new glasses every year. However, keep in mind that your eye health needs to be examined each year even if your glasses still work for you! A vision plan would pay for your yearly exam but usually won’t cover new glasses every year or contacts.
Most vision plans dictate what frame and lens materials a patient is allowed, how many pairs of glasses, a patient is entitled to, what doctors the patient must see, and restrictions on contact lenses. These restrictions limit the eye doctor’s ability to help the patient.

Patients should not have to settle for lesser quality.
If you have a vision plan, you may be surprised to learn that it is an option from your employer that you ARE paying for. Vision Insurance plans are not all bad. Many people like the comfort of knowing they have this benefit. It may be easier for them to pay a monthly premium than self pay. Many times it does help the patient save money on their glasses but maybe not in the long haul. You may be able to opt out of paying for vision coverage insurance in your company plan and you may not know that.
US News and World report did determine that the cost of a vision plan costs the covered person more than if they did not have vision insurance.
A comprehensive eye exam should explain a lot more than whether you need glasses or contacts. Your eye health is the most important but most people think they only need to have their eyes checked when they can’t see. We wouldn’t treat our teeth like that and we can’t replace our vision! An eye exam may show that you are slowly losing your vision but you as a patient cannot detect any change. 2 Million people a year in the USA lose their vision because they assume their vision is good.
Yearly, the eye doctor should look for slow vision deterioration and have you return for more extensive testing. In this case your vision plan will not cover anything about your vision that is not related to materials. Your major medical plan will. The eye doctor that you choose for your vision plan should also be on your major medical insurance. If there is a sight threatening problem then the doctor will use your major medical insurance.
Whether you have vision insurance or not; have your eyes examined yearly. Glasses and contacts are important to help you see but the main reason to be seen yearly should be to prevent sight threatening problems. You never have to purchase new glasses or contacts. You don’t want to outlive your vision!
Options• If you have a flexible spending account, you may use those funds for needed glasses or contacts and your eye exam. Depositing pre-tax income into a flexible spending account will pay for your eye care expenses. Do the math to see if what seems great is great for you! Make sure you know that treatment for eye health conditions is covered by your Major Medical insurance and not a Vision Plan.

The Eyewear Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee specializes in Medical Eyecare and Designer Eyewear. To schedule an appointment call 901-763-2020.
Dr. Warren Johnson | Dr. Do Nguyen


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