A vision insurance policy is a specialty medical insurance policy that generally offers insurance coverage for "healthy eye care" of the sort provided by ophthalmologists and optometrists. This kind of care usually includes regular eye exams and some or all of the costs of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses.
A vision insurance policy usually does not pay the costs of other medical care for the eye, such as surgeries and treatments for glaucoma and cataracts. Those costs are covered under an insured person's regular health insurance plan.
Many vision insurance policies only provide coverage for the basic costs of eyeglasses and lenses, and other costs, such as special coatings or types of lenses, may not be covered at all. The insured person will then have to pay those costs out of pocket.
However, particularly for individuals and families with many vision problems, vision insurance policies can be a great boon, providing hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in important coverage.
Regular eye exams are extremely important for anyone, whether or not glasses are needed but especially for children younger than age 21. Vision insurance policies can help individuals and families pay for the care they need to have healthy eyes and strong vision. In some cases, people can get vision insurance through their employer or through membership in a group or association. Others may choose to buy vision insurance individually through a private insurer. There are also discount vision insurance plans that give members discounts on eye exams and vision care at accepted providers.
In all cases, it is vital for an insurance consumer to completely understand the terms of the policy he or she is considering purchasing and what vision care services and goods are covered. Coverage provided can vary widely from policy to policy and in different states.
Last Updated: 02/28/2013
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