Best Cheap Vision Insurance in Colorado

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: August 2, 2021

Want to jump straight to the answer? VSP Vision Insurance is one of the most popular vision coverage providers in the nation. Learn more here.

If every resident of the Centennial State took a glance at the Rockies, that’d be 5.6 million pairs of eyes focused on Colorado’s majestic mountains. But how fuzzy — or clear — are those glances? Colorado has vision plans that can fit every budget, and here’s your guide to choosing the best vision insurance in Colorado.

The Best Vision Insurance in Colorado:

An Overview of Vision Coverage in Colorado

Vision insurance often fills a gap because many employer plans and government programs don't cover vision insurance, and if they do, you may only have access to 1 company.

We tested 5 different vision insurance companies in Aurora, part of Arapahoe County, and coverage amounts are the same statewide. You can expect costs to go from $5 for individual discount plans up to $81 for comprehensive family plans in Colorado.

Vision insurance, unlike other forms of health insurance, has no deductible but often requires a copayment (copay). A copay is the fixed out-of-pocket amount you pay to the eye doctor when you use a covered service.

Are you planning on government aid? Here’s a quick snapshot:

  • Medicare does not cover routine eye exams, lenses and frames.
  • Health 1st Colorado, the state’s Medicaid, supplies vision care to adults and children.
  • Child Health Plan Plus pays for vision care and services for kids who qualify. 

What to Look for in the Best Vision Insurance Companies

You want to put your budget bullseye on these features: economical exam coverage, ample eyewear allowance, lens enhancement coverage and flexible budget options. Let’s take a deeper look.

Economical Exam Coverage 

Eye doctors can detect high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, cancer and diabetes with a routine eye exam, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Kids who participate in extracurriculars, sports and hobbies will need annual vision checks — eyesight can change as children progress toward adolescence.

Do you stare at a monitor for 8 hours a day? Computers and mobile devices can be detrimental to your eyesight, and doctors recommend annual eye exams.

You could pay all or a sizable part of your premium for just the retail cost of a $100 or $200 eye exam. Your copay will likely be around $25 or less, depending on the company.

Ample Eyewear Allowance 

Insurance companies also supply an allowance on frames. Let’s say you’ve got your eye on a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators with an MSRP of $275. Your insurance company might give you a frame allowance of $150. That leaves you on the hook for the remaining $125 — more than half off.

Does work or a hobby require you to have both eyeglasses and contact lenses? Maybe you’ve considered multi-focus or progressive lenses but decided you want separate pairs for driving, computer work or reading. Your best bet may be to use your allowance on the costlier of the 2 and pay for the 2nd out of pocket. Vision insurance companies often give discounts ranging from 20% to 40% off for added pairs of glasses or sunglasses.

Lens Enhancement Coverage 

Your lens options are the coatings or treatments that enhance your viewpoint through glass, plastic or polycarbonate. It’s how you customize the panes your eyes peer through.

Your basic lenses are single, bifocal or trifocal — different focus options to help you see at various distances. You might also want to consider anti-scratch, anti-glare and UV-blocking (sun protection) treatments.

The options that put a major crunch on your wallet are light-to-dark tinting and progressives. Light-to-dark tinting automatically darkens in the presence of the sun’s rays and other types of light. Progressives are the jack-of-all-trades: They give you the best of all distances instead of selecting an individual basic lens. 

Flexible Budget Options

Many companies give you options to tailor the insurance coverage for your budget, family size and situation.

Ask yourself:

  • How many family members need eye exams within the next 12 months?
  • Which family members will need either contact lenses or glasses?
  • What would be the cost if you paid these out of pocket? You can check online for the brands and prices retailers charge.

You can test each company with a ballpark out-of-pocket price to compare against the cost of insurance for your family. 

Our Top Picks for the Best Colorado Vision Insurance Companies

Use your quick estimate alongside other benefits to determine the best insurance company for you.

1. Best Overall: VSP

VSP claims over 94% satisfaction in Colorado and serves 1 in 4 people in the U.S. with over 82 million members. You’ll be choosing your eye care from the largest doctor network in the nation.

VSP Vision Insurance
Best For
  • Top-rated vision insurance
securely through VSP Vision Insurance's website

There are 4 plans with variations for an individual, 2-person and family. When you put it all together, you’ll find 12 different flexible options that will meet the needs of any individual or large family. The plans are Standard, Easy Options, Enhanced and EyewearOnly120. EyewearOnly 120 doesn’t cover eye exams, and the other 3 require a $15 copay.

You’ll have either a $150 or $230 allowance for your frames or contacts, and you’ll get a $20 bonus on featured brands such as Lacoste, Cole Haan, Bebe, Nike, Calvin Klein or others.

Want to customize your lenses? Single vision, bifocal and trifocal have the same $25 copay. You’ll know the cost upfront with pay-no-more-than pricing. You can buy tinted lenses and UV protection, 2 popular enhancements, for $17 or less each.

Colorado plans start at:

  • $13 per month for individuals
  • $19 per month for a 2-person plan
  • $26 per month for a family plan

VSP puts customization at your fingertips, and its strategy is to allow your family to find a vision plan that best fits your circumstances.

2. Best for Younger Individuals: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Colorado is part of the family of companies that serves 40 million people nationwide. The company has 4 plans in the state, 1 of which you can only get if you bundle with a medical or dental insurance plan.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance
Best For
  • Nationwide coverage
securely through Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance's website

There are 3 vision plans available for purchase under Blue View Vision:

  • The Value and Plus plans allow you to get frames once every other calendar year.
  • Its top tier is the Enhanced offering; its highest allowance is $150.
  • Anthem’s Value plan has a $20 copay.
  • Both Plus and Enhanced offer $10 copays for an eye exam.

3. Best for Custom Coverage: UnitedHealthcare

Over 26 million Americans access medical services through United Healthcare.

Plan B offers 1 plan for all Coloradoans. It offers:

UnitedHealthCare Health Insurance
Best For
  • Same day coverage available
  •  A $10 copay for eye exams and a $150 allowance on frames
  • Coverage for out-of-network doctors (but expect to pay more)
  • A $10 copay for lenses
  • A $0 copay for select contact lenses and a $150 allowance for non-select brands
  • Both contact lenses and glasses
  • $16 per month for individual plans and $10 for each added person insured

Note: United Healthcare does not offer any coverage for lens options, so if you want anti-glare or scratch resistance, you must pay out of pocket.

4. Best for Claims: EyeMed

EyeMed has 44,000 independent and retail providers and 1 of the largest networks in the country.

Best For
  • Members-only savings

EyeMed partners with national eyewear retailers like Sears Optical, Target Optical, ProVision and LensCrafters. EyeMed’s Healthy Vision plan offers a free annual eye exam but supplies no frames or contact allowance, and here are a few of the costs:

  • $10 copay for your eye exam  for the higher-tier plan
  • $200 frame allowance 
  • $0 copay for many lens options, including scratch-resistant, tinting and UV treatment
  • $17 per month for the mid-tier EyeMed Bold plan

5. Best for Seniors: Humana

Over 35,000 optometrists, ophthalmologists and retail locations partner with Humana to serve you. Humana keeps it simple with one plan in Colorado. Here are some select details:

Humana Medicare Advantage
Best For
  • Medicare Advantage Plans
  • You take care of your exam with a $10 copay.
  • Single, bifocal or trifocal lenses all have the same $25 copay.
  • You'll receive a $115 allowance on your contact lenses and $120 for your frame allowance.
  • You can choose between lenses or contact lenses once every 12 months.
  • Humana limits you to 1 frame benefit every 24 months.

You can expect to pay $16 monthly per individual, but there is a 1-time $35 enrollment fee.

Double Take

Colorado is one of the rare states where it can be cold during every month of the year, but there’s no need to freeze your funds over vision insurance.

There are 4 ways to find a company that’s best for your eyes and wallet. You must factor in:

  • Annual exam price
  • Allowances
  • Lens options
  • Plan flexibility to match your budget and family size

VSP gets our top nod because of its suite of choices and generous frame allowance. Some residents can clear over $400 in annual savings.

Would you like to learn more about insurance options? Here’s our guide to the best vision insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Q: Can I get vision insurance through work?

Yes, you can get vision insurance coverage, depending on your employer. You may have to pay a portion of the premium, however. Check with your employer’s benefits office for more information.

2) Q: How do I ensure that I’m properly covered?

Speak with an agent or your carrier directly to determine if you have the appropriate coverage to meet your needs. Vision insurance can be customized; if you want more or less coverage you can alter your policy. Check out these plans for the best deal.

3) Q: What types of vision plans are available to me?

Generally, there are just 2 types of vision plans: benefit plans and discount plans. They usually cover the same types of exams and products but you will find that there is a difference in monthly premiums. You can expect to pay less for the discount vision plan.