Two types of vision insurance plans
Today, a great number of people need regular eye care, including prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, and periodic eye exams and so on. While many people just visit a local optical store randomly once they need a specific service, there are actually many vision insurance plans that offer networked services. Buying such insurance usually brings more help and convenience. Before you decide whether a provider network meets your need, it is important to understand different provider networks. Generally, the approved networks vary in different vision insurance plans, though some benefits offered are similar. And those provided services are also different between specific vision plans.
Services from affiliated and unaffiliated providers
Eye care provider networks do not stand alone that they are always linked to vision insurance organizations. Some organizations restrict participants to access services from network providers, such as HMO (Health Maintenance Organization). Differently, PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) allows participants to access out-of-network providers at a greater cost. Of course, you can use any provider when you join in an indemnity insurance plan.
How to evaluate network providers?
Even if you have known those organizations related to your vision insurance, it is also necessary to be sure if the network providers can be reserved easily and whether you can accept the distance from your workplace or your home to the nearest provider. You can refer to the network providers list and make your own decision whether the service you get is worth your time and money.
Vision benefits package and vision discount plan
There are two types of vision plans you can choose based on your own requirements. One type is vision benefits packages, and the other type is vision discount plans. Both types provide basic coverage including a comprehensive eye examination and a pair of eyeglasses or set of contact lenses. Also both of them allow out-of-network services. Participants using an out-of-network provider need to pay the provider in full at the time of service. They can get reimbursement of an allowed portion of the costs from their vision insurance company later.
Details of a typical vision benefits package
If you choose a vision benefits package, you should pay an annual premium or membership fee. Sometimes the amount of fee is also related to the number of family members covered and the amount of co-pay. Before plan services going into effect, you must pay a deductible. When you access a service from a network provider, a co-payment is needed. Vision benefits packages offer allowances for LASIK or PRK refractive surgery, and sometimes for specialty lenses and designer frames. If you buy a group benefits package, you need to pay the premium or membership fee about $20 monthly. If you purchase a vision plan as an individual, you should pay a higher premium.
Details of a typical vision discount plan
Vision discount plans also require you to pay an annual premium or membership fee, the amount of which depends on the number of family members covered and the discounted amount. You can get eye care services at fixed discount prices and some plans may also include discounts for LASIK or PRK refractive surgery. Before you access services at discounted prices, be sure that you have taken your vision insurance ID card or some other proofs which guarantee the provider that the discounted prices will be paid by the vision insurance company. The premium or membership fee for a group vision discount plan is typically $20 per month.
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