Understand how to get the most out of your individual or family vision insurance benefits every year with the help of Kasasa Care.
Understanding your insurance’s policies can be pretty overwhelming — and in many cases, require quite a bit of math to properly budget for your care. But when it comes to vision insurance, it’s actually pretty simple.
Instead of things like deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, a vision insurance plan gets you discounted rates when you visit the eye doctor or purchase lenses or contacts. This means that vision insurance might only be worth it if you wear corrective eyewear, have a family, or don’t have much money saved, because if you don’t use it — you lose it. (More on that later.)
You spend your hard-earned money on a vision insurance plan, and we want to make sure you have all the knowledge you need to get the most out of your benefits. Ahead, get all our tips for understanding and maximizing your vision insurance benefits, so you can see clearly at the best possible price.
Understanding your vision insurance benefits
The first step to maximizing your vision insurance benefit is to understand what your plan covers. We recommend signing in to (or creating) an online account with your vision insurance provider to easily find all the details. You’ll want to look out for your plan’s:
- Copay, or the amount you owe each time you receive care. With vision insurance, your annual comprehensive eye exam could only set you back $15. (Though this may vary.) If you needed to visit the eye doctor more than once a year, your copay will still be less than it would if you were self-paying, or without vision insurance. Score!
- Frame allowance, or the set amount your insurance provider puts toward frames or lenses. For example, if you have a $200 frame allowance and you purchase frames that are $250, you will pay $50 out-of-pocket.
- Lens enhancement coverage, or coverage for optional features like blue light protection, anti-reflective coating, and scratch resistant coating.
- In-network provider list, or your network of eye doctors that have agreed to provide services at a lower rate. This is why staying in-network is best — you may pay more if you visit an out-of-network provider. Most insurance providers have a search tool, so you can easily find your current eye doctor or a new one in your area.
- Frequency, or how often you can visit the eye doctor, or get new frames and lenses with the maximum benefit. (Which is typically once per year.)
How to maximize your vision insurance benefits
There are a few easy ways to get the vision care you need at the lowest possible price. Some of our best tips are to:
Find an in-network eye doctor.
One of the surefire ways to save money and get the eye care you need is by visiting an in-network eye doctor. Use your insurance plan’s search tool to find one near you. What’s even better than saving money? Most doctors no longer require a physical insurance card — as long as they have your vision plan information, you can save time at your appointment. (We love efficiency!)
Get a comprehensive eye exam every year.
Typically, you can visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam once per year for the low price of around $15. That’s the price of your favorite make-your-own-burrito-bowl lunch! (Not as tasty, but just as satisfying!) Plus, your annual eye exam can help you stay on top of more than just your eye health, as eye doctors can detect the onset of issues like diabetes or glaucoma. Catching these problems early can help you save even more in the long run.
Take advantage of your second-pair eyewear benefit.
Did you know that some plans offer 20% savings on additional pairs of prescription or non-prescription glasses or sunglasses — including lens enhancements? Some requirements may have to be met, though — the most common is that you must make the purchase within the last 12 months of your last eye exam. This can be a great benefit if you need prescription sunglasses, or if you’d just prefer to have a backup in case your primary pair of glasses gets lost or damaged.
Shop for frames and lenses with your benefits in mind.
Depending on the plan you choose, you can save on a wide variety of the latest name-brand frames. Some plans, like one from Kasasa Care and VSP, offer a $200 allowance on a wide selection of frames, plus 20% savings on frames above your allowance, and $20 toward featured frames above you allowance. That’s a win-win in our book — a whole lot more cash in your pocket, and a new pair of fresh designer frames.
Remember, vision insurance benefits do expire.
Vision insurance plans usually have “use it or lose it” benefits. This means that if you don’t make it to your routine eye exam visit one year, you lose out on that benefit. What’s important to know is when your benefits renew — some renew every calendar year, some renew from the date of service. (For example, if you had your comprehensive eye exam on July 5, 2021, you would not be eligible for another exam until July 6, 2022.) Knowing when your benefits renew can help you plan ahead and, of course, maximize your vision benefits.
If you’re due for an eye exam, take note of these tips. With a little planning, you can finally stop squinting — at a price you’ll have to see to believe! (Too much?) If you’re new to the world of vision insurance, click here to find out if it’s worth it for you, or start shopping for individual and family plans here.