You’re already aware of health insurance, but what exactly is vision insurance and what can it offer you? Read on for everything you need to know about vision insurance in Ohio.
An Overview of Vision Insurance in Ohio
Vision insurance is defined as a health benefit that at least partially covers vision care like eye exams and glasses. Some health insurance plans may already include at least some vision benefits. If your health insurance plan doesn’t include adult vision coverage, you can purchase a separate vision plan.
If you purchase your health insurance through Ohio’s Marketplace, it’s important to understand what is and is not covered. Health insurance plans offered through the Marketplace are required to provide coverage for essential health benefits. Unfortunately, vision care is not included in the 10 essential health benefits that these plans must cover.
However, some plans may offer additional benefits for vision coverage and dental coverage. You’ll be able to compare the plans in the Marketplace to see what is covered by the plans available to you.
Health insurance plans through the Marketplace are also required to cover certain preventive services for children. While vision coverage for adults is not required, vision screening is considered a required preventive service for children. Some private health insurance plans may also offer free vision screenings for children.
The cost of vision insurance is affordable, especially if you compare it to the cost of health insurance. For example, an Individual Vision Plan from VSP can offer annual coverage for as low as $13 per month.
Ohio Average Cost of Vision Insurance
To get a full picture of the costs of vision care and vision insurance, it’s important to consider the average routine costs. Here are some of the average costs for vision care in Ohio:
- The average cost of an eye exam: $135.42
- The average cost of glasses frames, not including lenses: $203 or more
- Estimated yearly out-of-pocket costs for vision care: $431
With vision insurance, these numbers could be reduced to save you money. VSP reports that it’s Individual Vision Plan customers in Ohio could lower this estimated yearly out-of-pocket cost to $265.
When is Vision Insurance Worth it?
Some things to consider when making the decision to purchase vision care are:
- Your family history of vision problems or health-problems that could relate your eyes
- Whether or not you currently have eye problems or need glasses or contacts
- The price of a vision insurance plan
Think of it this way — eyes are 1 of the main ways that many of us experience the world. Your eye health should be viewed as an extension of your overall health care. It can be just as important to get a yearly eye exam as it is to get an annual physical exam. In fact, eye doctors can detect signs of serious health conditions in their early stages. Some of the conditions that can be detected at a routine eye exam are:
- High cholesterol
- Macular degeneration
- Multiple sclerosis
- Risks of other serious conditions such as heart disease or stroke
Although vision insurance doesn’t offer quite as many benefits as your regular health insurance plan, it can help you save money on your eye care. When reviewing vision insurance plans, look for these terms:
Premium. The 1st term you’ll likely see is the premium of a vision insurance policy. The premium is the amount of money that you’ll need to pay each month to keep that insurance plan active. It can also be referred to as the cost of your policy, but it does not mean it’s the only cost you’ll pay for your vision care.
Deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you need to pay for services covered by your vision plan before your insurance company will start to pay for them. Covered services may include annual eye exams, frames, lenses and contacts.
Copayments. After you’ve met your deductible, your insurance plan may require you to make a copayment (also referred to as a copay) for covered vision services.
Out-of-Pocket. Out-of-pocket costs refer to the costs for your vision care that you pay yourself. This can include your deductible and copayments that you pay toward services that are covered by your vision insurance plan. It also includes services that are not covered by your vision plan, such as the cost of contacts that are not medically necessary.
Understanding these terms when you consider a policy can help you determine whether or not the vision plan will be worthwhile for you. It might be a good idea to take the time to determine how much you typically spend each year on vision care. This can include your eye exams, as well as the cost of glasses and contacts. For example, if your prescription changes frequently, you may need to get glasses more often than normal.
Next, see how much you would pay out-of-pocket for these products and services if you had the vision insurance plan that you’re considering. Don’t forget to add the monthly premium to this number! Once you’ve done the math, you can compare how much you could save with vision insurance and use that to determine whether purchasing a plan would be worth it.
If you have Medicare or are eligible for Medicare, it’s also important to take Medicare coverage into consideration. Original Medicare does not cover eye exams for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Under an Original Medicare plan, you’ll be responsible for paying 100% of the costs for these exams.
However, if you have a medical condition such as diabetes or age-related macular degeneration, Medicare Part B may cover eye exams, diagnostic tests and treatment for these conditions. Medicare Part B also covers annual glaucoma tests if you’re at high-risk for glaucoma.
The Best Vision Insurance in Ohio
If you’ve decided that vision insurance may be a good option for you, then it’s time to look for the best vision insurance. Here are some of the top vision insurance companies in Ohio. Getting a quote from these or other insurance companies can show you specific plan coverage and costs available in your area.
Best Overall: VSP
VSP offers a variety of coverage options to help meet the needs of as many people as possible. You can purchase an individual coverage plan from VSP with prices starting at $13 per month. Individual coverage is ideal for self-employed individuals, as well as those in-between jobs or retired.
VSP also offers employer coverage. If you have VSP coverage through your employer, this allows you to enroll during an open enrollment period or after a qualifying life event.
This vision insurance provider is considered the best overall for many reasons. It offers a network of eye doctors that participate in the plans to give you flexibility and options when it comes to finding your provider.
Some of the eye care practices in VSP’s network participate in the Premier Program. If you visit 1 of the participating practices, this gives you even further access to vision care benefits, including advanced eye exams and exclusive bonus offers. VSP’s Exclusive Member Extras gives you access to offers from leading industry brands, totaling more than $3,000 in savings.
Best for Family Coverage: UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare offers vision insurance plans that are available to all ages, making it perfect for each member of your family. When you build your quote, it’s easy to add on coverage for your spouse and/or children to get a complete picture of your vision insurance costs.
Vision insurance plans from UnitedHealthcare give you access to a national network of both vision service and eyewear providers. Eye exams with in-network providers only cost a $10 copay. If you decide to go to a provider that is not within the network, you’ll still be eligible for some vision insurance benefits.
This insurance provider offers vision insurance with no waiting periods, so you can use your benefits as soon as your coverage begins. You’ll also receive access to discounted laser eye surgery with this provider.
Best for Medicare Coverage: Anthem
Since Anthem also offers Medicare plans, it’s a great provider to ensure you get the coverage you want. Some of its Medicare C and Medicare Supplement plans already come with vision insurance built-in. These plans may include low-or-no copays for your vision exams, eyeglasses, lenses or contacts.
Anthem also offers supplemental vision packages that can be added onto some Medicare plans that already have vision coverage to provide additional benefits. They may also be available to be added onto a plan that doesn’t offer vision benefits at all.
Best for Simplicity: Humana
Humana offers vision insurance plans that are simple and easy to understand. Humana plans can also offer plenty of out-of-pocket savings. Some plans in Ohio have no annual deductible, and copays as low as $15 for an annual eye exam.
Eyeglass lenses are fully-covered after another copay that could be as low as $15. You can also benefit from your contact lenses being fully covered if they are medically necessary. Other features of Humana vision plans include no waiting period and a network of participating providers.
How to Decide
Vision insurance can offer cost savings to many customers in Ohio. To determine if it’s right for you, consider how much you or your family typically spends on eye exams, contacts and glasses per year. Then, get a quote to see what plans are available for your situation. With this information, you can compare the potential savings of purchasing a vision insurance plan.