Providing The Vision
Are you able to see clearly through the different insurance policies that’s offered to you for your eyesight?
When it comes to glasses, consumers have an array of styles to choose from: bamboo, titanium, wire-rimmed—and that’s just getting started. But eyewear isn’t just a fashion statement. For many, it’s a daily necessity, and unfortunately, it can be expensive.
Vision insurance, a type of supplemental health plan, can help offset the costs of eye exams and prescriptions that improve your sight. Some vision benefits even help cover corrective eye surgeries like LASIK.
While many people get vision insurance coverage from their employers or through their health insurance plan, others may choose to purchase it themselves to save on costs. If you’re buying coverage, it helps to know which plans are most affordable and comprehensive.
To help you in your search, we’ve ranked and rated the best vision insurance companies. Keep reading to see our top picks.
Best Vision Insurance Companies and Plans
These are the best vision insurance providers based off of our editorial ratings. Click on a company to review their vision insurance plans.
- VSP Individual Vision Plans
- Davis Vision
1) VSP Individual Vision Plans
VSP provides in-network and out-of-network coverage. You have a variety of plans to choose from, and there are more than 33,000 doctors in-network. VSP has also received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, although some customers have complaints about claims processing.
- Plans start at just $13 per month
- Choice of plans provides flexibility in premiums and coverage
- It’s possible to submit out-of-network claims
- Receive discounts on popular eyewear brands
- Some users have complaints about claims being paid slowly
- You don’t save much if you use out-of-network providers
You have a choice of three plans:
- Standard: Eye exam included with a $15 copay and up to $150 covered for glasses or contacts with a $25 copay.
- Enhanced: Get the same coverage as the Standard Plan but with additional add-ons covered including impact resistant lenses, scratch coating, and multifocal lenses.
On this page:
- Compare Vision Insurance Policies
- Best Vision Insurance Companies
- Best Vision Discount Plans
- Types of Vision Insurance
- Vision Insurance FAQs
United Healthcare has a large national provider network and provides some coverage for out-of-network care. You can combine your vision insurance coverage with other insurance provided by United, including dental insurance, to reduce your total premium cost.
- National network is large
- Flexible coverage options including some plans that discount eye surgery
- Save on premiums by combining vision and dental plans.
- You’ll pay more if you use an out-of-network provider
- Coverage options vary by location
- Coverage varies by location
- In Los Angeles, for example, you can get an annual eye exam covered with a $10 copay; receive lenses with a $10 copay and receive up to $150 towards eyeglass frames or contacts every 12 months.
3) Davis Vision
Davis Vision has a network of more than 70,000 access points across the United States. Those covered by Davis Vision can also score discounts on hearing aids and participate in other programs including a diabetic outreach program.
- Four out of five major eye care retailers are part of the Davis Vision network
- You can get in-network care at more than 70,000 locations across the country
- Claims can be submitted directly on the app
- Coverage for out-of-network care is limited
- No plans cover LASIK, although you can get discounts
- Some customers complain about delays in getting glasses and limited coverage for frames not made by Davis Vision
- Davis Vision provides full coverage for more than 200 frames
- Plans include a discount on LASIK at more than 900 locations across the country
EyeMed is a top-rated vision insurance company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. You have a choice of plans and can get coverage for glasses, vision exams, and contact lenses.
There are thousands of in-network providers, including top optical retailers, and you can also score extra discounts on LASIK by getting your laser eye surgery done with a participating provider.
- You can get discounts online on hundreds of brand-name glasses frames, as well as on prescription sunglasses and contact lenses
- Top-rated optical retailers participate in EyeMed’s network
- EyeMed receives excellent customer service ratings
- The glasses allowance is below what some competitors offer
- Limited coverage options for out-of-network care
- Flexible coverage options
- Receive an allowance for glasses and contacts
Anthem is owned by Blue Cross and BlueShield, and it provides many different types of insurance benefits including vision coverage. Policies include discounts on LASIK surgery and prescription glasses, with coverage options varying by location. Anthem also earned top marks for customer service for fast claims processing.
- Choice of coverage options including comprehensive plans with coverage for vision exams and glasses or contacts
- Discounts on laser eye surgery (LASIK)
- Top customer service ratings
- Discounts for buying multiple types of insurance coverage
- Some plans provide more limited coverage for contacts than for glasses
- Contributions towards frame costs are lower than with many competitor plans
- Coverage options vary by location
- Blue View Vision Value Plan includes coverage for a routine eye exam with a $20 copay and lenses with a $20 copay. You can also get $80 per year towards contacts and $130 per year towards glasses
How We Chose the Best Vision Insurance Plans
To find the best vision insurance plans, our Editorial Team analyzed the A.M. Best rating (10%), S&P rating (10%), BBB rating (15%), glasses allowance (20%), states available (5%), eye exam allowance (20%), and contacts allowance (20%).
Best Vision Discount Savings Plans
These are our top picks for vision savings plans. Remember, these plans provide discounted rates but do not pay anything to your vision care providers.
- EyeMed/1 Dental
- Careington/United Plus
1) EyeMed/1 Dental
The EyeMed discount plan is actually free for dental insurance plan members.
- Get discounts at thousands of locations including Pearle Vision, Sears, Target, JCPenny, and Lenscrafters
- There’s no limit to how often you can use your discount plan or how much you can spend
- EyeMed gets good ratings from most customers and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
- You must buy the dental plan to get the vision savings
- Discounts on LASIK aren’t as high as those offered by some competitors
- Save up to 35% on glasses
- Save up to 15% on contacts
- Save up to 15% on LASIK
2) Careington/United Plus
Careington offers dental and vision discount plans starting at $8.95 per month with a one-time processing fee. Members can save between 5% and 60% off the retail price of vision care with more than 90,000 participating providers nationwide. Discounts are available on contact lenses, eye exams, glasses, LASIK surgery, and for other eyecare needs.
- Careington received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
- Members can receive discounted care from more than 90,000 providers
- Major providers including LensCrafters and SearsOptical participate with Careington’s discount plan.
- Discounts on LASIK are below what some competitors offer
- There is a one-time processing fee charged when you sign up for a plan
- Save up to 25% on glasses
- Save up to 15% on LASIK
- Save up to 15% on contacts
EyeBenefits provides discounts when you get care from an in-network provider. You can save on eye exams, eyewear, contact lenses, and LASIK surgery.
- Discounts are available at more than 12,000 providers nationwide
- Discounts are available at major eyecare providers including Target Optical, LensCrafters, EyeGlass World, Pearle Vision, and VisionWorks
- No waiting periods and membership begins immediately after enrollment
- No restrictions on how much you can buy
- Discounts on disposable contacts are only available when purchased through the EyeBenefits website
- Limited customer service
- Receive up to 30% off frames at independent stores; 50% off at regional chains; and 30% off at national chains
- Receive up to 25% off lenses at independent stores; 30% off at regional chains; and 30% off at national chains
- Discounts of 10% to 20% on non-disposable contacts at independent stores; 20% off at regional chains and 15% at national chains
- Discounts on disposable contacts of up to 10% but only when purchased through the EyeBenefits site
- Laser eye surgery starts at $995 per eye
How We Close the Best Vision Savings Plans
To find the best vision savings plans, our Editorial Team analyzed the eye exam coverage (20%), glasses coverage (15%), Lasik coverage (15%), contacts coverage (15%), sunglasses coverage (10%), BBB rating (15%), and the customer support (10%).
Learn more about our ratings and methodology here.
Types of Vision Insurance
There are four kinds of vision coverage.
- Indemnity Health Insurance: These plans allow you to choose your provider and your insurer pays for some or all of your care.
- Health Maintenance Organization: With these plans, your insurer pays for most or all of your care if you see an in-network provider. In-network providers charge low rates negotiated by your insurer.
- Preferred Provider Organization: These plans pay for most or all of your care if you see an in-network provider. They’ll also cover out-of-network care, but you will pay higher rates.
- Discount Plans: Discount plans aren’t traditional insurance policies, as the company you sign with doesn’t pay any portion of your care. Instead, discount plans provide a specific discount if you see a participating eye doctor.
We’ll provide a vetted list of vision insurance companies in this guide, but it’s up to you to decide which plan is best for you.
Best Vision Insurance FAQs
How Much Does Vision Insurance Cost?
The cost of vision insurance will depend on a number of different factors; however, monthly premiums typically start as low $10 to $20 per person. Policies with higher monthly premiums come with reduced costs for care, but all policies have some copays, coinsurance costs and/or limits on coverage.
What Factors Influence Vision Insurance Cost?
Many factors influence vision insurance costs, including:
- Type of coverage: Coverage that allows you to visit any provider costs more; plans that limit you to in-network care are cheaper. Policies that provide more comprehensive coverage—including for vision therapy, LASIK, and eye exams—cost more than plans that provide only basic coverage.
- Location: The general cost of living and doing business in your area affects doctors, too, so your location often influences the cost of your insurance. Also, you might not be able to buy certain vision insurance plans if the company’s networks don’t have doctors in your area.
- Deductible: Deductibles are paid out of your pocket before insurance begins paying. Typically, the higher deductible, the cheaper your insurance premiums, while low deductible plans come with higher premiums.
Can You Get a Cheap Vision Insurance Policy?
Different companies charge different rates, so shopping around can help you find a cheaper policy. Shopping online is the easiest way to save time when getting quotes.
The easiest way to save is to purchase a plan through your employer, but not all companies offer vision plans, and employer-sponsored plans won’t necessarily be the cheapest option.
Customizing the coverage you want can also help you lower costs. For example, some policies allow you to get glasses every two years, and they may cost less than those providing coverage for frames annually.
Choosing a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan that allows you only to go to providers that are in your network will also decrease your costs. And bundling coverage—buying multiple types of insurance from the same provider—can help you save as well.
What Does Vision Insurance Typically Cover?
The best vision insurance typically covers important basic preventative vision care such as eye exams and other vision tests. It also covers frames, lenses, contacts, and protective lens coatings or light-sensitive lenses.
Some plans will also cover eye surgeries, though they don’t typically cover all of the associated costs. Instead, they provide a discount. It is relatively rare for a vision insurance plan to cover extended vision therapy if you have eye problems.
Many vision insurance plans offer discounts in addition to their coverage. For example, some might provide you with 20% off glasses after you use up your available annual spending amount. Others will provide you with discounts on hearing aids.
Almost all vision insurance companies require co-pays on all procedures, glasses, or contacts. The co-pay varies depending on the company but is usually between $10 and $25. Most companies do not cover specialty lenses and there are often higher co-pays for those.
Should You Buy a Supplementary Vision Plan If You Already Have Vision Insurance With Your Employer?
There are a few reasons why you might want to buy supplementary vision insurance, even if you have an employer-sponsored plan.
- The plan your employer provides may not give you the level of coverage you need. For example, if your employer only provides you with enough to buy one pair of glasses, you could benefit from getting a secondary vision insurance plan to purchase additional pairs annually. This might be particularly important if you have problems seeing both near and far but do not want bifocals.
- You might not need the level of coverage that your employer plan provides. If you’re paying for your coverage through a paycheck deduction, you might save money by unenrolling from your employer’s plan and self-enrolling in another.
What Do I Need to Know About Out of Network Procedures?
Every optometrist can provide a basic eye exam. But if you need LASIK or vision therapy, there might not be a provider in your area, and you may need to use an out-of-network provider.
Even if your plan allows you to go out of network, you would likely have to pay much more. For that reason, you might be better off getting an indemnity health insurance plan or a PPO plan that provides broader out-of-network coverage.
Does the Difference Between PPOs vs. HMOs Matter?
HMOs often provide more limited coverage for out-of-network care than preferred provider organization (PPO) plans. If you want more flexibility in who you visit, a PPO plan may be preferable.
Can You Use FSAs or HSA to Pay for the Best Vision Insurance?
If you have money saved in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), you can absolutely use those pre-tax dollars to pay for your vision insurance plan. After all, vision care is an important part of your healthcare.