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Is Vision Insurance Worth It?

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A female optometrist in a clinic, crossing her arms and smiling while looking directly at the camera.

Taking care of your eyes and vision is crucial to your quality of life. But sometimes, navigating the financial side of eye care can be complicated without the help of an optometrist. This is why many people recommend trying vision insurance to make this situation easier—but is vision insurance worth it?

Many vision insurance plans aren’t actually insurance—they operate closer to group discount rates. Rather than covering any and all services based on your coverage, these plans simply offer certain discounted services for you based on what they can offer. While this can benefit some, it may not be ideal for others—it depends greatly on your finances and unique situation.

What Is Vision Insurance?

Vision insurance plans sell themselves similarly to other forms of insurance. You pay into a monthly plan, and in return, you receive coverage for eye care services.

However, many plans don’t actually operate as insurance as intended. Rather than covering everything, from eye exams to laser surgery, these plans offer a set amount of financial aid for pre-planned services. They’ll offer their own discount rates for things such as eyewear, eye exams, and more.

Often, these materials are discounted simply due to the plan itself. Instead of operating as insurance, these plans work as a group rate of sorts. Throughout the entire process, the plan is based on whether or not you’re visiting a clinic that’s part of the insurance network—if not, you’ll likely need to pay a substantial out-of-network fee.

Typically, these plans cover preventive care and don’t help much with emergency services. They’ll often contribute a portion of the fees for:

  • One annual eye exam
  • One pair of more affordable frames per year
  • A set number of contact lens boxes or a discount on your annual supply

If you need care or services outside your usual plan, you’ll likely need to pay an additional premium fee. If you need some financial aid for preventive care, vision insurance may be the right choice for you—it can help cover standard services and support. However, if you need more in-depth eye care, you may need to pay out-of-pocket, especially for things like laser surgery, designer frames, and more.

How Much Do Eyecare Services Cost in California?

If you’re unsure about vision insurance, it helps to understand what kind of fees you’re looking at without it.

It’s important to note that fees can vary based on several factors, including:

  • The level of services needed
  • The location of the clinic
  • The state you’re in
  • The optometrist’s experience

In California, you can expect roughly the following fees:

  • $50-200 for comprehensive eye exams
  • $100-400 for prescription eyewear
  • $20-50 per box of contact lenses

These fees can vary significantly, especially when considering designer frames, medical eye exams, or laser surgery. Depending on your specific needs, these fees can start to add up quickly, and if you’re not careful, you can easily go over budget.

Should I Get Vision Insurance?

When thinking about finances, start by weighing the pros and cons of vision insurance. The main deciding factor is simple—whether or not the monthly fees of your insurance outweigh the savings you’d get with insurance. If you’re paying more for the insurance than you would for your eyecare, then vision insurance likely isn’t the right choice.

However, that doesn’t mean that vision insurance is inherently bad; it can help plenty of people in need of eye care services. These insurance plans are designed to help people access eye care when it would otherwise be unavailable.

If you need financial aid or you constantly face higher eyecare costs, vision insurance may be ideal. However, it’s just one piece of the financial puzzle; you can save money in other ways, like with eyewear warranties.

Are Eyewear Warranties Worth It?

Life can be unpredictable, and our team at Total Vision knows that. Eyeglasses, while convenient, aren’t indestructible, and it’s easy to lose a pair of contact lenses if you aren’t careful.

That’s why we offer a comprehensive Protection Plan that covers any eyewear purchased from our Total Vision locations. For 30 days after each purchase, we cover the following for eyeglasses:

  • Replacements
  • Repairs
  • Adjustments

This can do wonders for your peace of mind; you no longer need to worry about paying full price to replace a damaged pair of glasses in the month after purchase. By investing in one of our locations, you won’t be surprised by any further financial costs.

A woman in an optical clinic shaking hands with her optometrist after discussing is vision insurance worth it.

Visit Your Optometrist

If you still don’t know whether you’d benefit from vision insurance, contact one of our Total Vision locations. We can help you make the right choice for your eyes and take the right steps toward protecting your vision. We’re here to help you enjoy clear, comfortable vision, so contact our team today!

Written by Total Vision

At Total Vision, we pride ourselves on ensuring healthy eyes for the whole family and work hard to help all our patients look, feel, and see better. With many locations throughout California, we continue to set new industry standards for professionalism and quality. We empower all our partners to offer leading-edge testing, treatment, and eyewear. With the support of our entire network behind each care provider, patients all over the state can enjoy consistent quality and incredible value.
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