How Much Does Vision Insurance Cost? Here’s What You Need To Know

Dec 29, 2021 | Eye Health | 0 comments

Are you thinking about buying vision insurance, but not sure what costs to expect? How affordable is vision insurance, anyway?

In a previous article, we discussed the routine eye care coverage offered by vision insurance. We tried to help determine whether getting a plan would be worthwhile for your lifestyle. It all comes down to your daily vision needs and your own personal preferences, but generally vision insurance is the most beneficial to people who wear glasses or contacts regularly.

A large part of the reason vision insurance is often overlooked is because it isn’t normally bundled in with health insurance, giving it the appearance of yet another investment on top of your costly health plan. Many people skip out on vision insurance as a result.

But assuming you already deem vision insurance worthwhile for you, just how much do vision insurance plans typically run? Are they priced fairly for their value? Do the savings outweigh the costs? Let’s outline it all below.

How Expensive is Vision Insurance?

As you might have guessed, vision insurance prices can vary depending on coverage features across different plans and providers. Some private vision insurance companies won’t cover your exam if you visit a doctor outside of your plan’s network, while others only require you to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Pay attention to these aspects along with your deductibles and copays, as visiting the wrong office could result in hefty charges.

For the majority of basic vision insurance plans, you can expect to pay no more than $15 to $20 per month. An individual plan from VSP starts at a monthly premium of $14.38, and gets as high as $31.22 for the package with the most benefits. 

a woman holding two coins in front of her eyes

EyeMed — another big-name provider — has basic individual plans starting as low as $5 per month featuring a broad network of over 66,000 eye doctors. Many plans amongst providers are customizable, meaning you can pay for the benefits you need the most.

If you’re still looking to save on your eye exams but don’t have the financial means to pay premiums to a private provider, you can also consider signing up for a vision discount plan. These alternatives to vision insurance allow you to pay monthly or annual fees directly to the plan for discounted rates on eye care services.

Don’t forget that your Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can also be used to foot the bills for your vision needs. Just be sure to check what your HSA or FSA will cover first!

Lastly, you still have the option to pay for your optometry visit or prescription eyewear out-of-pocket without any vision insurance plan. Although prices will vary between providers and locations, the average cost of a new patient eye exam typically runs $150 to $200. Recurring visits tend to be lower.

However, cheaper options (that you might find at Walmart or America’s Best) can be much more affordable — as low as $50 in some cases. If you aren’t a user of glasses or contacts and just want yearly eye exams, out-of-pocket payments might be the best approach. Always be sure to check with multiple optometry offices and clinics to see which options are best for you!

a woman on the phone, presumably discussing vision insurance

Looking for More Ways to Save Money?

Vision insurance isn’t the only way you can save on the costs of eye care. If you find yourself using eyedrops frequently — artificial tears, eye medication, or otherwise — your regular drops are about five times too large for your eyes to properly absorb. This is a reason why you can sometimes taste your eyedrops!

By using a Nanodropper Adaptor to reduce your eyedrops to the appropriate size, your eyes can take full advantage of the solution they receive, leading to less waste and longer lifetimes on your drops. Money saved is money earned; click here to learn more!

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