Vision Insurance – Do You Need It?

Written by Amine

Although it is undoubtedly imperative to have good vision, it may or may not be critical to have vision insurance. Many consumers overestimate this coverage and pay too much for it.

To know if you’re getting what you paid for when you buy vision coverage, it’s imperative that you know what eye coverage covers and what it doesn’t. Knowing the limitations of vision coverage is essential to determining whether you should pay extra for coverage.

You should know what the extra coverage will include. Vision coverage covers costs that are associated with prescription eyeglasses or contacts. Typically vision or eye insurance covers an eye exam. It can also cover part of the cost of prescription lenses.

You should also know what it does not cover. Vision insurance does not cover costs associated with eye trauma or diseases that impact the eye. Medical insurance usually covers these health care costs.

Neither your optical insurance nor your medical coverage is likely to include coverage for laser eye surgery. Surgery to improve vision is usually specifically excluded from medical coverage policies. This is different from surgery to restore sight.

The standard health care insurance policy excludes coverage for corrective lenses. Typical health care insurance policies do not cover the eye exams needed to get corrective lenses. Corrective lenses can be either prescription contacts or prescription glasses.

Medical costs associated with eye injuries and diseases affecting vision are still paid as part of the health benefit. A separate eye or vision coverage rider is not required to cover eye injuries. Many consumers pay extra for vision or eye coverage because they believe their medical policy does not cover anything related to vision.

When comparing medical coverage policies that include vision or eye insurance, be sure to see how extensive their coverage is. Since some eye care insurance policies will only cover the cost of the exam, those policies are less valuable than insurance plans that not only cover the exam but also pay for glasses.

Another issue to consider is the availability of eye care professionals. Most vision plans limit the places you can go to get your eye exam to network providers. You should make sure that there are optometrists near you and that you feel comfortable using those optometrists.

It’s a waste of money to pay for eye care coverage only to find that none of the in-network eye doctors are ones you can or want to visit. Often consumers check regularly to make sure their doctors are in network, but forget to check for dentists and optometrists.

Knowing the value of added coverage is essential if you are going to make the right choice. If your eye or vision insurance only includes an annual exam, you should call an optometrist and ask what an eye exam costs. If the policy also pays something towards glasses you should add that to the cost of the exam. Multiply the cost by the number of family members that will be covered. Then divide that cost by 12 of your policy premiums being paid each month. This allows you to properly compare the extra cost of having eye or vision coverage with the additional cost of coverage.

Eye insurance is often worth the additional costs, but sometimes it won’t be. Often people compare different plans that are otherwise the same and choose the one that has eye care coverage without properly weighing the costs and benefits. Now you know how to look at the costs and benefits and only pay more if the additional coverage is worth the additional price.

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