Understanding Vision Insurance. The term “vision insurance” is commonly used to describe health plans designed to reduce your costs for routine preventive eye exams, prescription eyewear and Contact Lenses.

Most vision insurance plans are discount plans that provide specific benefits and discounts for an annual premium.

Can be used to cover much of the cost of basic eyewear, or they can be used to make premium eyewear products and enhancements — such as progressive lenses and anti-reflective coating — significantly more affordable but not covered in full.

When purchasing “vision insurance,” be sure you fully understand the costs and benefits associated with the plan you are considering. Also, if you have vision care coverage through a plan at work, be aware that “vision insurance” plans usually operate differently than other health insurance plans or major medical insurance.

A discount vision plan, on the other hand, provides eye care and eyewear at discounted rates after you pay an annual premium.

Both kinds of vision insurance can be custom-designed to meet the requirements of a wide range of patients

Vision plans generally provide discounts on the following products and services:

How much does Vision Insurance cost?

Vision insurance costs vary, depending upon how the program is designed. Costs also may vary based on what state you live in.

As a general example, Vision Service Plan VSP the largest vision plan provider in the United States, lists the following cost savings associated with a typical VSP vision plan for individuals, compared with purchasing an eye exam and eyewear without vision insurance.

NOTE: Benefits associated with VSP plans vary from plan to plan. For more details and specifics about your own VSP benefits (if covered) visit vsp.com or speak to your HR representative at work.

Savings Example What You Pay
What You Pay
With VSP
You Save
Eye exam $163 $10 co-pay $153
Eyeglass frames / single vision lenses $150 / $90 $25 co-pay $215
Anti-reflective coating $113 $69 $44
Photochromic lenses $109 $70 $39
Polycarbonate lenses $57 $31 $26
Annual premium for VSP plan (employee only) -0- $90 -$90
Total $682 $295 $387


Typically, you pay for group vision insurance through payroll deductions or flexible spending accounts (FSAs). VSP is available online to individuals.

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