Should you purchase vision coverage? To decide whether the cost outweighs the benefits, consider what the insurance will cover.
Your eye doctor (optometrist) likely will refer you to a medical eye doctor (ophthalmologist) if your eye exam reveals a medical issue, such as an eye infection, sties, or glaucoma. In the case of a significant vision-related medical issue, your health insurance protects you from serious financial loss.
However, vision insurance usually covers the following:
- Annual or biannual eye exams
- Eyeglass lenses, frames, and scratch protection for lenses
- Contact lenses
- Break-resistant lenses for children under 18 years old
Vision insurance typically costs between $5 and $20 per month, whether your employer offers coverage or you must buy it individually. Adding family members costs somewhat less per person. In addition, you may pay part of the visit cost, a part of any recommended treatment, and a co-pay of $10 to $25.
FAIRhealth.org analyzed annual vision costs, with and without vision insurance. Without insurance, a routine eye exam costs about $128 per year, and a new patient eye exam costs around $200 per year. Insurance that covers the routine eye exam costs $192 annually, and that covers the new-patient eye exam. If your exam shows you do not need glasses or contact lenses, you might come out ahead without insurance.
However, according to the National Eye Institute, 66% of Americans 18 and over use glasses, contacts, or both. In addition, without a regular eye exam, you might not find one of the serious vision-related medical problems mentioned previously. If you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or hypertension, you are more at risk for eye problems.
It might be the best choice to obtain vision insurance. The low cost greatly reduces your chances of undetected vision problems.
Contact our office for more information and a free quote.