If I have a vision care plan why am I paying so much out-of-pocket?

Out-of-pocket expenses
April 12, 2019
James Ashford

If you wear glasses, you have probably experienced the sticker shock of buying a new pair of glasses at least once in your life. It’s even more frustrating to have a vision care plan you thought would cover your glasses only to find out that you still had to make a dent in your savings for the out-of-pocket expenses.

So the question often asked is, “If I have a vision care plan why am I paying so much out-of-pocket for my glasses?”.

To answer this question I’d like to first start with defining vision insurance (also known as vision care plans).

Vision care plans are health and wellness insurance plans that are designed to reduce the costs of your routine eye care exams and prescription eyewear (and contact lenses in some cases). Some vision care plans also offer savings on elective vision correction surgery, such as LASIK and PRK.

As you can imagine, there are many different kinds of vision care plans. Each plan offers different benefits and savings.

When you purchase a vision care plan the key is to make sure that you fully understand the costs and benefits associated with the plans you are considering.

If your employer offers a vision care plan be sure to familiarize yourself with the plan benefits as well.

If you have questions about your vision care plan it’s best that you call your provider directly so that you can gain clarity around your plan benefits and savings.

Bottom line, to avoid getting sticker shock by unexpected out-of-pocket expenses you will need to be informed about your specific plan benefits.

What kinds of vision care plans are available?

Vision care plans come in the form of either a vision benefits package or a vision plan with savings.

What’s the difference you ask?

Pre-paid vision care plans typically provide free eye care services and eyewear with a fixed dollar amount.

A vision plan provides eye care and eyewear at lower rates.

What do vision care plans cost?

Vision care plans vary dramatically based on how the program is designed. Costs for vision care plans also vary by state. Plans that offer lower monthly premiums transfer a lot of the cost to you the consumer at the point of purchase.  Vision plans with higher monthly premiums can be a smarter choice because the premiums can be paid pre-tax generating savings and you will pay less at the doctor’s office. Simply look to see if the plan includes extras like lens upgrades, coatings, etc, or if they simply offer lower rates on those extras.

In Conclusion

The next time you’re choosing a vision plan, ask about your benefits. Make sure you are informed before you go to the doctor.

Knowing what your plan benefits are will help prepare you better as you make decisions when you are at the Optometrists office. You can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by declining the “extras” that are offered to you at the time of sale.

Being informed before your visit will help you avoid the uncomfortable feeling of sticker shock from your vision care plans out-of-pocket expenses.

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Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

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Learn about benefits of LASIK for Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma members.

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