Vision Insurance - The Basics
Many of us do our best to pay our basic medical or health insurance premiums on time, but due to a difficult economy, many of us have allowed our vision and dental insurance coverage plans to lapse.
The problem is, the older we get, the more we need dental and vision insurance, sometimes more often than we need our catastrophic medical coverage. As we grow older, common vision afflictions including near- and far-sightedness, astigmatism, cataracts, and even glaucoma can slowly rob you or your loved one of eyesight and severely restrict their ability to enjoy and participate in daily excursions, activities, and events.
How important is your vision care? Your vision is one of your most important senses. Without it, you or a loved one may be unable to enjoy a variety of activities that make living worthwhile.
Did you know that nearly 80 percent of adults in the United States need some type of corrective eye wear? Vision insurance may help pay for comprehensive eye exams and treatments that result from common age-related health conditions including high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, cataracts or glaucoma. Getting your eyes checked at least once a year is important, as are having your prescription eyeglasses updated on a regular basis. This is where vision coverage insurance comes in handy. A variety of insurance plans enable individuals a certain number of eye or eye wear visits a year, as well as enabling you to get that new pair of prescription eyeglasses at least once a year. This helps individuals keep up with the changes in their vision, for better or worse.
Insurance also gives vision plan members the opportunity to change their eyes frames that are equal to or less than their vision plan allowance at no cost, although you may need to pay co-pays at the time of your visit. Even if a member selects eyeglass frames that exceed their plan allowance, the plan allowance is applied to the purchase price, with the senior or insurance plan member simply making up the difference.
Any adult over 61 years of age should have a yearly eye exam, and individuals who have already been diagnosed with vision problems or those who wear prescription eyeglasses or contacts should also visit with their eye doctor annually. Regular eye exams may also spot early signs of other conditions such as brain tumor, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves' disease, lupus, and osteoporosis.
A variety of insurance plans are available, and most include vision plan benefits for specific eye care services, products and access to eye care provider networks which include optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Some vision plans offer discounts depending on need, but most may require co- payments at the time that services are rendered. Vision discount plans enable individuals to pay a reduced amount for services offered by participating plan eye care practitioners, but such payments may also be required to be paid in full at the time of service
When shopping around for vision care, take the time to determine your current and potential future needs. Also compare convenience, affordability, and options available for making changes, replacing eye glass lenses or frames. Talk to the vision plan provider about emergencies such as broken glasses or if you require extra visits to your eye doctor on an annual basis. Chances are you have options in a vision care plan that meet your needs, are affordable and convenient.