Are regular eye exams covered in the policy?
In most cases, a vision insurance policy will provide coverage for regular eye exams. However, depending on the policy, they may not be covered every year. Other policies may require that the insured person go to a doctor on a list of preferred providers in order to get full coverage. Certain tests may not be covered, or not every year, or there may be limits on what part of the cost is paid by the insurance policy for those procedures.
What health services are not covered?
In general, vision insurance policies provide "healthy eye care," which includes vision services like regular eye exams and products like prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. Vision insurance usually does not pay for surgeries and treatments for eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, which are covered under more traditional medical insurance plans. In other cases, a vision insurance policy may have limits on the types of eyeglasses and contact lenses that are paid for by the plan. The insured may not find coverage for designer frames, for example, or for specialty coatings and lenses.
How does my health affect premiums?
People who have unusual vision care needs may find that vision insurance is more expensive. However, most of the time, people who purchase vision insurance are those who require glasses or contacts, so that expectation is built into the policy premium. Other aspects of eye health are not a consideration because the cost of diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, are generally not included in a vision insurance policy. However, if someone has very healthy eyes and only wants to purchase a vision insurance policy for regular eye exams, he or she may be able to get a better rate.
What can I do to decrease premiums?
The best way to decrease premiums on a vision insurance policy is for the consumer to take on more of the costs either through a higher deductible or more limited benefits. A policy with a very high deductible or that only offers a limited amount of coverage for prescription eyeglasses or contacts may be substantially cheaper than a policy that has broader coverage. Of course, then the insured person will need to pay more of the vision-care costs out-of-pocket.
What is your customer complaint rate?
If possible, it is important to get the customer complaint rate for any insurance company that one is considering doing business with. Find out if other customers have been satisfied with the vision insurance policy they purchased. Is the insurance easy to use? Is it accepted at a lot of providers? Did the coverage match expectations? Were claims handled promptly? Getting the answers to these types of questions can be the difference between being happy and being disappointed with an insurance policy.
Are there any discounts available?
Some insurance companies may offer discounts for consumers who have other policies with the insurer, such as a medical insurance policy or a dental insurance policy. In addition, some insurers may provide discounts to members of specific groups or associations, such as the AAA (American Automobile Association). It is always a good idea to ask about any discounts that may be available when shopping for any kind of insurance product.
Last Updated: 02/28/2013
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