When thinking about health insurance plans, some of the first needs are covering costs of preventative care (office visits & exams) and for covering serious medical conditions and accidents. However, there is another type of insurance that is equally important to your well being and is right in front of you but often overlooked. This insurance coverage is Vision Insurance.
Vision Insurance Basics
Though it might not seem logical to anyone who needs contacts or eyeglasses everyday private and governmental insurance providers categorize vision insurance as a non-essential or supplemental/specific coverage option. The categorization exists based on an inequality in the number of patients needing eye care in most plans versus the total amount of patients encompassed in the plan that need all types of healthcare procedures. For eye plans to be included as an essential benefit in many plans, the cost of these specialty needs would need to be spread across the entire group membership, thus causing higher premiums for all for a limited needed service.
For essential healthcare needs under a general private health insurance plan, a licensed professional individual is given the authority to order and perform procedures as medically necessary. These licensed professionals are your M.D. or D.O. physicians. However for practices performed by optometrists, ophthalmologists, and eye technicians, who are also licensed professionals, coverage of procedures is generally not extended in most plans. These care practices and procedures can include preventative eye care exams and maintenance, eye disease mediation and management, corrective sight procedures and products, surgical practices, and medication prescription services. For governmental health plans such as Medicaid and other public health programs, covered vision procedures by these specialized providers is limited or even non-existent. Currently, changes to this standard classification system for vision procedures are in effect under the newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Within the coming few years, vision care will be regarded as an essential benefit under general health plan coverage’s. This will aid those in need of corrective procedures or eyewear among other services pay for them.
Vision insurance can cover preventative, maintenance, and surgical procedures needed for the eyes. Such procedures include but are not limited to routine eye exams, corrective lens or eyewear, surgeries, regenerative therapies, or physical therapies for eye trauma. When purchasing vision insurance, a few options exist. Vision insurance can be can be purchased supplemental to existing health plans, if not already included, or as private policies. Some businesses offer vision plan purchasing during normal benefits enrollment for new employees or open enrollment for patrolled employees that want to add services to their existing plans. Vision insurance purchased individually is offered through providers that often can have specialized and/or customized plans suited for your needs. Costs of these plans and options can vary per private insurance company, but on average low monthly charges ranging from $5.00 to over $50.00 per policyholder or dependent exist, depending on need. Dental insurance is a similar case scenario with additional charges to existing health plans for limited services and products
For those individuals unable to purchase vision benefits, other options exist to help offset potential high costs of vision procedures and are offered in discount vision savings plans. Not entirely different from frequent shoppers club cards, vision discount programs grant members access to particular private discounts on services or products at various establishments and also can offer multiple purchasing options at particular times of the year. Vision discount plans can be free to join or they can cost a nominal but varying membership fee according to the program provider. In lieu of insurance coverage, these plans can offer significant discounts and savings for almost all vision needs. For example, sales and offers on multiple exams or products, free procedures, or low cost auxiliary products for being a program member (membership perks) may be offered.
A Word About Shopping For Healthcare
Health insurance is a very personal coverage. Since it relates to the specific issues and coverage needed by a given family or individual, it has a detailed health application. As you progress through this site, we will offer a number of solutions to your health care needs. When you have decided on one or maybe two offerings to pursue, you will be transported to that company’s website to complete the application. Keep the following in mind:
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