What is Vision Insurance?
Vision insurance is an ancillary benefit offered by many employers to supplement employees’ health coverage, which usually only covers eye injuries or vision problems caused by a significant medical condition. Vision insurance covers some of the costs of eye exams, glasses, and contacts in exchange for a monthly payment—called a premium.
How Does Vision Insurance Work?
Vision insurance typically covers individuals in two ways:
- paying most costs up to a capped dollar amount
- offering discounts as a percentage of the total price of vision products or services
Individuals may pay their premiums directly to the insurer or have them deducted from their paycheck and paid for by their employer on their behalf. Vision insurance premiums are generally much lower than health insurance premiums—from $5 to $35 per month for an individual plan.
No vision plans cover elective surgeries such as Lasik, but some may provide a discount for plan participants.
Who Should Invest in Vision Insurance Coverage?
Unlike health coverage, not everyone needs vision insurance. Vision coverage is most beneficial to individuals and family members who already need vision care—such as routine eye exams, glasses, and contacts.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends complete eye exams once in your 20s, twice in your 30s, and at age 40 to determine how frequently they are needed. Also, the AAO recommends that adults 65 and older have an eye exam every year or two.
Related Terms: Fringe Benefits