Vision service plans are a proficient way to counter the expensive price of eye exams, glasses, contact lenses, and even glaucoma screening. VSP is usually sold separately or as a health insurance co-plan. Health insurance covers costs for eye injuries or medical problems with your eyes, while a vision service plan is designed to cover “wellness” costs. Maintaining and improving your vision is your VSP provider’s goal.
Employers will cover vision service plans for most people, and they will often pay a portion of the cost, leaving you to pay what’s left. Buying your VSP through your employer will probably be the cheapest route, but keep in mind that some employers don’t offer a vision service plan as a benefit. IF this is the case, I recommend that you purchase a vision service plan yourself as an individual.
Many people don’t know this, but there are actually two types of vision service plans. The two basic types are a discount plan and a benefits package. The discount plan usually has a deductible, giving you the option to pay a lower or lower amount for eye care in exchange for an annual fee.
The vision benefits package includes coverage for eye exams, laser eye surgery, contact lenses, and eyeglasses. These packages usually require a deductible, which is the total you must pay before your plan starts paying. Sometimes a personal contribution is required. A co-pay is a small amount of money that you spend on every occasion you need to see your eye doctor or other eye specialist.
Many VSP providers require you to choose an ophthalmologist or optician from a predetermined network of eye care professionals. If you use out-of-network doctors, you will have to pay more for the services.
With either option, you should be able to choose which goggles you want. Your plan may cover the full cost of the frames. For more expensive frames, your VSP providers cover part of the price and the balance is yours.
A benefits package usually has prices around $10 for a monthly premium, co-pays of $10 for each visit, and a deductible of $40 per year. VSP providers cover most of the price for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Discount plans have the same monthly premium and deductible. Glasses, contacts and doctor visits are available at a discounted price.
Shop around and see all your options online if you don’t currently have VSP providers through your employer. If you currently have an ophthalmologist you like, ask them what plans they accept. Make sure the VSP providers offer the same benefits to their partners when comparing prices. You will be surprised what the plans cover. Some only cover eye exams, while other providers cover much more. Make sure your equation is accurate. Two VSP providers may have similar monthly premiums, but with different co-payments or deductibles.