Vision Insurance: Everything You Need To Know From A Pro

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Vision insurance is a type of health insurance that covers part or all of the costs of eye exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. It is essential to have vision insurance if you wear glasses or contacts because the cost of these items can add up quickly. This guide will discuss everything you need to know about vision care insurance! We will cover what it covers, how much it costs, and how to choose the right policy for your needs.

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What Is Vision Insurance?

Vision insurance provides coverage for medical expenses related to eye care. This can include regular checkups with an ophthalmologist to prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. The main goal of vision insurance is to help people maintain healthy eyesight. Vision plans typically cover various services, including screening tests, eyeglasses, specialty lenses, and medical procedures like cataract surgery.

In addition, many vision insurance plans also cover other healthcare services, such as preventive or urgent care visits. Ultimately, by helping to cover the costs associated with eye care, vision insurance enables people to better care for their vision.

How Does Vision Insurance Work?

Vision insurance works in much the same way as health insurance. A monthly premium must be paid, which covers a certain amount of the cost of services. However, there are also typically some out-of-pocket costs associated, such as copayments for office visits or glasses.

It is essential to review the terms of a vision insurance plan before enrolling to avoid surprises when it comes time to use the benefits. However, vision plans can help offset the cost of routine eye care (annual vision exam), making it more affordable for everyone.

Vision Insurance

What Does Vision Insurance Cover?

In addition to dental plans, having good vision insurance can be essential for healthcare. Most vision insurance plans cover many expenses, including routine eye exams, prescription glasses and contacts, laser vision correction surgery, and other corrective procedures.

Vision insurance costs can quickly add up, so having adequate coverage is crucial in ensuring that you stay on top of your eye care needs. Additionally, many vision plans offer additional benefits, such as discounts on frames and sunglasses, including Pearle Vision, Walmart, and Costco optical.

What Are The Best Vision Insurance Plans?

Vision insurance companies offer large provider networks with superior vision coverage options. In addition, most vision insurance providers offer an extensive network that includes out-of-network providers.


Humana offers one of the more comprehensive, flexible coverage plans for vision care on the market. This insurance provider is a popular choice for patients who wear contact lenses, as their plans include a yearly allowance to cover their costs, as well as contact lens fittings, replacements, and exams. Additionally, Humana plans are very affordable, with prices starting at just under $40.


  • affordable plans
  • free annual vision exam with dilation ($0 copay)
  • free annual hearing exam
  • over 95,000 locations
  • frame allowance every 12-24 months (including designer brands)


  • $35 initiation fee
  • no option to get refunded or cancel the plan during the first year


VSP vision care is considered one of the best vision insurance coverages available. It covers eye exams and screenings, allowance for glasses or contact lenses, discounts on lens enhancements, and additional savings and resources for diabetics who are at bigger risk of developing eyesight problems.

With vision insurance policies that start from $11.20 up to $75.79 monthly, VSP vision care is a valuable insurance provider for anyone.


  • very affordable plans
  • largest vision insurer in the country
  • no waiting period
  • discounts on glasses and lens enhancements
  • vision insurance benefits for diabetics


  • some plans may be unavailable in particular states
  • it’s not compatible with Medicare


Another highly regarded provider among vision insurance companies is Aetna, which got rewarded in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Vision Plan Customer Satisfaction Study. Their vision insurance plan offers annual eye exams without a copayment and a $130 allowance for frames or lenses, in addition to other discounts. It’s one of the best vision insurance companies that offer LASIK eye surgery discounts, as well as many other benefits, such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, and weight loss programs, among others.


  • LASIK surgery discounts
  • dental insurance cover available
  • affordable plan


  • vision insurance as a stand-alone is unavailable in some states
  • you can’t purchase vision insurance through independent insurance agents

Davis Vision

Davis Vision coverage can be the best vision insurance if you’re interested in really comprehensive coverage that includes hearing aids and diabetic programs. This company prepared three flexible vision insurance plans for families, couples, and individuals, meeting the needs of many patients.

Their prices are also quite affordable, as according to its parent company VersantHealth, plans start at around $12. There’s also a copay for an annual eye exam that amounts to $20. With over 135,000 points of access, their network is one of the largest in the country.


  • affordable prices
  • wide range of eye care services
  • flexible plans suited for various needs
  • many locations across the country


  • often doesn’t cover the out-of-network provider services


Superior offers flexible plans that include in-network and out-of-network services, including eye exams, prescription eyewear, contact lenses, discounts on LASIK surgery, and hearing aids. Their vision insurance coverage is offered through an employer, and with over 108,000 points of access, their services are easily attainable.


  • a wide range of services
  • large network spreading countrywide
  • flexible plans for individuals and families
  • many discounts


  • coverage available exclusively through an employer
  • low coverage limits


Guardian’s vision insurance policies include yearly eye exams with a $15 copay in addition to eyewear and lenses allowance with a $25 copay. There are also some additional discounts, like 20% off for an additional pair of glasses. The company offers three plans that may vary in availability from state to state. They also include discounts on hearing aids.


  • flexible plans suited for various needs
  • many discounts for various services


  • more copays required than with the competitors


Metlife offers vision and dental insurance both through an employer and for private individuals. They cover the costs of in- and out-of-network vision providers. You can also count on many discounts, up to 60%, on various services. The company has a large network of providers which include Davis Vision, Superior Vision, and VSP Choice, among others.


  • offers both in- and out-of-network vision providers
  • has a large network of providers
  • offers value-added features, like LightCare, to protect from UV and blue light exposure


  • more copays required than with the competitors


If you’re looking for a really affordable vision insurance policy, then you should look further into what EyeMed has to offer. Their cheapest plan starts around just $5 per month, and it’s a generous coverage that includes 35% discounts on frames, 15% on lenses, and 30% on premium progressive lenses, with no copayments required.


  • three flexible plans
  • a lot of favorable discounts on various services
  • very affordable pricing
  • network of over 70,000 access points


  • limited benefits and discounts for out-of-network providers


Vision insurance from Principal is provided via an employer, which means its costs can vary depending on the terms accepted by your company. The insurance packages include access to both independent providers and retail chains and discounts on name-brand eyewear. This vision insurance typically covers eye exams, Prescription glasses/lenses after a copay, and elective and necessary contacts.


  • additional benefits emotional health support line for employers
  • dental insurance included
  • large network of providers


  • only available through an employer


Spectera insurance is underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company and consists of different plans, including a stand-alone vision coverage and a plan that offers dental insurance as well. These plans cover standard eye care services, such as lenses, eye exams, prescription sunglasses, and eyeglass fittings and adjustments. Additionally, you can count on 20 to 40% discounts on vision services.


  • considerable discounts on many services
  • includes some out-of-network benefits


  • many services, like corrective vision treatments, are not included in this insurance


Cigna insurance plans can cover up to 50% of the costs for your vision exams, as well as offer a $100 allowance to use toward eyewear. There are no deductibles and no waiting period; however, different states will have different pricing. Cigna offers 24/7/365 customer service, and all of that is included in the Cigna Dental Vision 1000 plan, which contains dental care as well.


  • compatible with Medicare
  • two plan types


  • a limited number of services
  • limited availability

United Healthcare

This insurance provider might be the best choice for individuals who wish to benefit from discounts on LASIK procedures. United Healthcare Vision offers up to 35% discounts on such services, in addition to a free consultation. Apart from that, beneficiaries of this insurance can choose between two different plans: Plan A, which offers glasses or contacts, or Plan B, which pays for both.


  • considerable discounts on LASIK services
  • flexible plans
  • affordable copayments


  • not available in some states
  • a minimum 12-month premium term commitment

What is the most common vision insurance?


The most common type of plan is known as an HMO. With an HMO, policyholders receive coverage for a set number of visits to an eye doctor in an in-network provider. The benefit of an HMO is that it typically has lower monthly premiums than other types of plans. However, the downside is that policyholders may have to pay more out-of-pocket for services not covered by their plan. Waiting periods for an annual eye exam may be longer too.


Another common type of vision insurance is known as a PPO. With a PPO, policyholders can receive coverage for both in-network and out-of-network providers, including private practice doctors. The benefit of a PPO is that it offers more flexible coverage than an HMO. However, the downside is that PPO plans typically have higher monthly premiums with higher out-of-pocket costs. Therefore, when choosing a vision plan, it is essential to consider your needs and budget to find the right fit.

Best Vision Insurance

How Much Is Vision Insurance?

Many people are unaware of how much vision plans cost. However, the truth is that the cost can vary greatly depending on several factors. The most crucial factor is usually the type of coverage that you select.

For example, some policies will cover the cost of routine eye exams and a pair of glasses, while others will also cover contact lenses and more serious medical procedures.

In addition, the amount of coverage you select will also affect the cost of your policy. For instance, if you only want to ensure your eyesight against catastrophic events, you can expect to pay less than if you select a policy that provides comprehensive coverage.

You can purchase vision plans from an employer or an insurance agent. But ultimately, the best way to determine the cost of coverage is to get quotes from multiple insurers and compare their rates. By doing so, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible deal.

How Do I Get Vision Insurance?

When making decisions about your health and well-being, choosing the right insurance is often one of the most challenging aspects. There are many different options, each with unique advantages and drawbacks. One essential type of health insurance is vision coverage, which helps ensure access to the care you need. So how do you get it?

The first step is to consider your specific needs and goals regarding your vision plan. For example, if you wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses regularly, finding participating providers with a large selection of high-quality glasses and contacts is essential.

Additionally, if there are particular services that you regularly need – such as laser vision correction or annual eye exams – then it’s essential to look for a health plan that covers those services. Once you’ve assessed your needs, you can compare different options to find the right health plan.

Can I Get A Dental And Vision Insurance Bundle?

Yes, you can get a vision and dental insurance bundle. This insurance bundle can save money on your dental and vision care needs. You can get a dental and vision bundle in a few different ways.

  • One way is to purchase both types of insurance from the same insurance company.
  • Another way is to purchase one type of insurance from one company and another from another.

You will want to compare the companies that offer this bundle type to ensure you get the best deal possible. You may also want to check with your employer to see if they offer any discount health plan you can take advantage of.

Is Vision Insurance Worth It?

There is no easy answer to the question of whether vision insurance is worth it or not. On the one hand, having coverage for vision care can be incredibly valuable, as it helps to ensure that you have access to quality eye care when you need it most. On the other hand, you can avoid out-of-pocket costs, costly copays, and deductibles at the doctor’s office by paying a monthly premium. It also often includes perks like free annual routine eye exams and discounts on prescription eyewear.

However, on the other hand, some people may find that they do not use their vision insurance plan very much. After all, while regular checkups are essential for maintaining good eye health, they don’t always require a trip to the doctor – simple at-home remedies like warm compresses and saline solutions can often work just as well.

And depending on your needs and health plan, prescription glasses and contact fittings can often be purchased without a copay or deductible through your standard health insurance options. So, investing in vision care may not always be worth it.

Next Steps

Vision insurance is essential health insurance that helps people maintain healthy eyesight. By covering various services, including an eye exam, screening tests, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medical procedures, vision insurance plans can help people save money on their eye care expenses. If you need a vision plan, contact us for a quote today. We can help you find the perfect vision insurance company to fit your needs and budget.

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General Insurance Inquiry


To determine the best vision insurance companies and plans, I used the following criteria:

  • the scope of services
  • the copays for eye exams
  • the copays for glasses, contact lenses, and frames
  • additional benefits
  • network and its size
  • waiting periods

Companies included in this article present the most beneficial plans for vision care on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What insurance does Walmart vision take?

Walmart accepts a wide range of insurance plans to ensure your vision is covered. They accept both eye health and vision plans and Medicare and Medicaid. Some specific insurance plans they accept include VSP, Eyemed, Unitedhealthcare, Cigna, Humana, Aetna, and more. They also have our in-house insurance plan, which can be used nationwide at any Walmart Vision Center.

Is vision insurance the same as health?

Vision insurance plans are often confused with traditional health insurance, but these two types of coverage are quite different. While health insurance typically covers a wide range of medical conditions and services, vision insurance is narrower in scope. Rather than covering the entire body or all aspects of health, it typically focuses on providing coverage for eye-related medical expenses.

While this may include some essential vision services, such as routine checkups and eye exams, it typically includes coverage for more specialized treatments like corrective surgery or laser eye procedures. So while health and vision policies can play an essential role in protecting our overall well-being, they should be approached as distinct types of coverage.

How much do glasses cost without insurance?

In addition to an eye exam, the cost of glasses without insurance can vary widely depending on the type of frames and lenses used and where you purchase them. For example, basic prescription lenses may range from around $50 to $150, while high-quality lenses costing more than $200 are also reasonably common.

As for frames, they tend to be significantly more expensive, often between $100 and $400. Factors such as brand name and designer status significantly impact the final price of glasses, so it is essential to do your research and comparison shop before making any purchasing decisions.

How Much Does An Eye Exam Cost Without Insurance?

The cost of an eye exam can vary depending on several factors, such as the location of the exam, the type of exam being performed, and the provider performing the exam. An eye exam without insurance can cost anywhere from $50 to $250.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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