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Insurance and Healthcare Consultant

Tammy Burns is an experienced health insurance advisor. She is ACA-certified for health insurance and other ancillary, life, and annuity product.

Vision-Insurance-for-Individuals-and-Families-Badge

Eyes are your windows to the world, and vision insurance can help you protect them. With a good vision insurance plan, you’ll get help paying for exams, glasses, contacts, and other services. Your options for vision insurance vary: you may have coverage through your employer or enroll in a Health Insurance Marketplace health plan that provides vision care. Medicaid, Medicare Advantage Plans, and your state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program may offer vision coverage.

This guide reviews your options so that you can find an affordable vision plan that suits your needs.

What You Should Know About Vision Insurance Plans

  • Typically separate from health: Your vision coverage is usually not part of your major health insurance plan.
  • Medicare or Medicaid coverage: You may get vision coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Consider your priorities: If you primarily need vision insurance for exams, a basic plan may suffice. But if you think you’ll need corrective lenses or LASIK, consider more comprehensive coverage.
Vision insurance company Financial strength rating Customer satisfaction rating Value rating Coverage rating Overall rating
Ameritas: Best for comprehensive coverage options 4.5 3 4 5 4.1
Davis Vision: Best for network access 3 5 5 5 4.5
Direct Vision: Best for quick access to service 3 5 5 4.9 4.5
EyeMed Vision: Best for immediate service 4.5 3 4 5 4.1
Humana: Best for free exams 4.3 5 5 5 4.8
UnitedHealthcare: Best for marketplace access 4.3 5 5 5 4.8
VSP Vision Care: Best for eyewear coverage 4.5 5 5 5 4.9

How We Rate Vision Insurance Companies

Financial strength: The financial strength rating is based on the insurance company’s AM Best financial strength rating. AM Best is a credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry, which rates an insurer’s ability to meet ongoing obligations.

Customer satisfaction: The customer satisfaction rating takes into account Kaiser Permanente’s Better Business Bureau, National Committee for Quality Assurance, and Consumer Affairs ratings. These ratings are calculated using customer complaints and satisfaction ratings.

Value: The value rating calculates an insurer’s overall value based on monthly premium, annual deductible, office visit cost, ER visit cost, and annual maximum out-of-pocket cost.

Coverage: The coverage rating considers the insurer’s availability of coverages, plan types, and network size.

What is the Best Affordable Vision Insurance?

There are several options for enrolling in a vision health plan. Here are the best ways that you can find a policy that covers your eyecare.

  • Employer insurance: Your employer may offer group coverage through health insurance or a separate policy. However, not all offer vision coverage, so make sure you review your health plan to see whether or not your employer offers vision coverage. If it’s not covered, you can look outside of your employer-provided insurance.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace: If you shop for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can search for policies that include vision coverage. Every Affordable Care Act plan must include vision coverage for minor children, though the ACA does not mandate adult vision coverage.
  • Standalone policies: If your employer doesn’t offer a vision plan or you can’t find a marketplace plan with vision coverage, you can buy a separate vision policy.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: Original Medicare includes Part A and B and does not cover vision care. Medicare Advantage Plans, administered by private insurance companies, often have vision coverage or the ability to add it.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is available to eligible individuals and families with low income. Some states cover eye exams and corrective lenses for all ages, and all states cover vision screenings for children and adolescents.
  • CHIP: Every state has a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides coverage for a wide breadth of medical services. Children who qualify for the program receive coverage for eye examinations, glasses, contacts, and medical procedures that can be deemed medically necessary. If your child needs vision coverage and you cannot afford it, check with your state’s Medicaid program to determine if you qualify for CHIP.

Ameritas Vision Insurance: Best for comprehensive coverage options

Ameritas-Vision-Insurance

Ameritas fulfilling life Health Insurance Overview
Overall rating: 4.1
Company founded 1887
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M Best rating A
BBB rating C+
LASIK coverage Yes
Waiting period Not specified
Annual vision exam coverage No
Glasses or contacts allowance No
Provider network Large

Established in 1887, Ameritas offers the most comprehensive suite of coverage options available if you’re looking for vision insurance. While Ameritas offers extensive coverage options, you’re likely to pay more for a policy. And there are customer service concerns. Consider the following if you’re considering a policy from Ameritas.

Is Ameritas a Good Vision Insurance Provider?

What we like about Ameritas vision insurance plans: The drawbacks of Ameritas vision insurance policies:
  • Coverage for annual vision examinations
  • Coverage for frames, lenses, and contact lenses
  • You may be able to purchase a policy without a waiting period
  • Customer service complaints
  • Expect premiums to match the level of coverage

What do Ameritas Vision Insurance Plans Cover?

Ameritas offers coverage for the following:

  • Annual vision examinations
  • Preventive care for common eye conditions and illnesses
  • Corrective surgeries such as LASIK
  • Eyeglasses and contact lenses, including frames
  • Treatment of rare disorders

How is Ameritas Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Ameritas.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 3 Value rating: 4 Coverage rating: 5

Davis Vision Insurance: Best for network access

Davis-Vision-Insurance

Davis Vision Health Insurance Overview
Overall rating: 4.5
Company founded 1991
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M Best rating Not Rated
BBB rating A+
LASIK coverage Yes
Waiting period 90 days
Annual vision exam coverage No
Glasses or contacts allowance No
Provider network 104,000 in-network providers

Established in 1991, Davis Vision is a growing vision insurance company that serves all 50 states. While a plan from Davis Vision can provide comprehensive coverage, you will not be able to use your policy for at least three months. You’ll also pay out-of-pocket for eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses. Read on to understand what you can expect before you choose a plan from Davis Vision.

Is Davis Vision a Good Vision Insurance Provider?

What we like about Davis Vision insurance plans: The drawbacks of Davis Vision insurance plans:
  • Access to a large network of providers
  • Limited coverage of LASIK and other surgical procedures
  • Good customer service ratings
  • Eyeglasses or contact lens coverage may cost more
  • Since Davis Vision only offers vision policies, you’re unable to purchase coverage through the Healthcare Marketplace

What do Davis Vision insurance policies cover?

Davis Vision offers coverage for the following:

  • Annual eye exams and preventive care
  • Surgical procedures such as LASIK, PRK, and more
  • Hearing screenings and treatment
  • Ongoing treatment for vision problems and illnesses

How is Davis Vision Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Davis Vision.

Financial strength rating: 3 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

Direct Vision Insurance: Best for quick access to service

Direct-Vision-Insurance

Direct Vision Health Insurance Overview
Overall rating: 4.5
Company founded 1998
Coverage area All states except Alaska, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York
A.M Best rating Not Rated
BBB rating A+
LASIK coverage Yes
Waiting period None
Annual vision exam coverage Yes
Glasses or contacts allowance No
Provider network 157,000 in-network providers

Established in 1998, Direct Vision offers vision coverage with no waiting period to most of the United States. You can take advantage of in-network and out-of-network benefits. Read on to learn what you should consider before purchasing a policy with Direct Vision.

Is Direct Vision a Good Vision Insurance Provider?

What we like about Direct Vision insurance policies: The drawbacks of Direct Vision insurance plans:
  • Access to a large network of providers
  • Good customer service rating
  • Online, virtual, and phone customer service access
  • Annual eye examinations require a copay
  • Coverage is not available in all states

What do Direct Vision Insurance Plans Cover?

Direct Vision offers coverage for the following:

  • Annual eye exams
  • Optometrist-prescribed treatment of eye conditions
  • LASIK corrective vision surgery
  • Access to a large network of vision specialists

How is Direct Vision Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Direct Vision.

Financial strength rating: 3 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

EyeMed Vision Insurance: Best for immediate service

EyeMed-Vision-Insurance

EyeMed Health Insurance Overview
Overall rating: 4.1
Company founded 1988
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M Best rating A
BBB rating Not rated
LASIK coverage Yes
Waiting period None
Annual vision exam coverage Yes
Glasses or contacts allowance No
Provider network 20,000 in-network providers

EyeMed Vision began in 1988 and now offers policies to members across all 50 states. While you can access providers immediately after enrolling for coverage, there are some costs you are responsible for that you need to consider. Before purchasing a policy from EyeMed, understand all of your options.

Is EyeMed Vision a Good Vision Insurance Provider?

What we like about EyeMed Vision insurance policies: The drawbacks of EyeMed Vision insurance policies:
  • You can see a provider as soon as you complete enrollment
  • Good financial strength rating
  • Access to customer service over the phone, internet, or virtually
  • Free annual vision tests and eye examinations
  • Glasses or contact lenses may require a copay or have a maximum allowable amount

What do EyeMed Vision Insurance Plans Cover?

EyeMed Vision offers coverage for the following:

  • Regular eye examinations and preventive care
  • LASIK and alternative surgical procedures for permanent vision correction
  • Access to optometrists and vision specialists for treatment of serious eye conditions

How is EyeMed Vision Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated EyeMed Vision.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 3 Value rating: 4 Coverage rating: 5

Humana Vision Insurance: Best for free exams

Humana-Vision-Insurance

Humana Health Insurance Overview
Overall rating: 4.8
Company founded 1961
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M Best rating A-
BBB rating A+
LASIK coverage Yes
Waiting period None
Annual vision exam coverage Yes
Glasses or contacts allowance No
Provider network Large

Is Humana a Good Vision Provider?

What we like about Humana vision insurance plans: The drawbacks of Humana vision insurance plans:
  • No waiting period to use coverage
  • LASIK procedures have limited coverage
  • Large provider network
  • Free annual vision exams in network
  • Eyeglasses and contact lenses aren’t fully covered
  • Limited coverage options

What do Humana Vision Insurance plans cover?

Humana vision policies offer coverage for the following:

  • Eye examinations
  • Preventive care
  • Surgical procedures such as LASIK or PRK
  • A portion of the cost of your frames or lenses after you pay $150
  • Treatment of eye conditions requiring ongoing care

How is Humana Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Humana.

Financial strength rating: 4.3 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

UnitedHealthcare Vision Insurance: Best for marketplace access

UnitedHealthcare-Vision-Insurance

UnitedHealthcare Health Insurance Overview
Overall rating: 4.8
Company founded 1977
Coverage area All states except New York
A.M Best rating A-
BBB rating A+
LASIK coverage Yes
Waiting period 90 days
Annual vision exam coverage Yes
Glasses or contacts allowance No
Provider network 120,000 in-network providers

UnitedHealthcare was formed in 1977 and serves most of the United States. It offers a variety of services, including health insurance, dental coverage, and vision. The insurer boasts one of the largest networks of vision specialists. While highly rated for financial strength and customer service, there are drawbacks of UnitedHealthcare’s vision coverage, including some costs you’ll need to cover on your own. Here is what to consider before purchasing a plan from UnitedHealthcare Vision.

Is UnitedHealthcare a Good Vision Insurance Provider?

What we like about UnitedHealthcare vision insurance plans: The drawbacks of UnitedHealthcare vision insurance plans:
  • Large network of providers
  • Well rated byM Best and the Better Business Bureau
  • Glasses and lenses are covered up to an allowable amount
  • Coverage may be included in marketplace plans
  • Eye exams may require a copay
  • Not available in every state
  • 90 day waiting period to use your coverage

What do UnitedHealthcare Vision Insurance Plans Cover?

UnitedHealthcare offers coverage for the following:

  • Treatment of eye problems and illnesses
  • Surgical procedures such as LASIK and PRK
  • Glasses and lenses, up to an allowable amount

How is UnitedHealthcare Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated UnitedHealthcare.

Financial strength rating: 4.3 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

VSP Vision Care Vision Coverage: Best for eyewear coverage

VSP-Vision-Care-Vision-Coverage

VSP Health Insurance Overview
Overall rating: 4.9
Company founded 1955
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M Best rating A
BBB rating A+
LASIK coverage Yes
Waiting period 90-day
Annual vision exam coverage No
Glasses or contacts allowance No
Provider network 36,000 in-network providers

Founded in 1955, VSP Vision Care is one of the largest vision insurance companies in the United States, covering one out of every four people with vision insurance. Coverage includes your eyewear, though you may have a small copay for your annual vision exams. Understand your options when reviewing a plan by VSP Vision Care.

Is VSP Vision Care a Good Vision Insurance Provider?

What we like about VSP Vision Care: The drawbacks of VSP Vision Care vision insurance plans:
  • Eyewear costs are covered up to an allowable amount
  • Covered treatment for common eye problems and diseases
  • Coverage for LASIK
  • Smaller provider network than some other vision insurance companies
  • Annual eye examinations may require a small copay

What do VSP Vision Care Vision Insurance Plans Cover?

VSP Vision Care offers coverage for the following:

  • Preventive eye care, including ongoing treatment for common eye problems
  • Corrective procedures that include options such as LASIK or PRK
  • Corrective lenses and contact lenses, including frames and lenses

How is VSP Vision Care Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated VSP Vision Care.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

How to Compare Vision Insurance Companies

Vision insurance policies vary in coverage, cost, network, and more, so it pays to compare your options for vision insurance plans. Look at more than just the monthly premium: think about your total cost of care. You may save money in the long run with a more expensive policy if it significantly reduces your out-of-pocket expenses.

Use the following checklist when comparing vision policies:

  • Find plans available in your area. When reviewing insurance companies, make sure that they offer coverage to the state or county you live in. Some insurers only offer coverage to specific states or regions within a state.
  • Research the network. Some policies only cover providers in the network. Make sure policies cover the providers you want to see.
  • Compare monthly premiums. While you’re considering what you can afford each month, also review what you’re receiving for your premiums. The lowest cost isn’t always the best value.
  • Compare copays. Some services, such as eye exams, require a copay.
  • Understand coverage limits. Expect limits on how much the insurance company will cover. For example, you may have glasses covered, but only up to an allowable amount. You’ll be responsible for the remainder of the cost.
  • Check insurer ratings. Check each company’s ratings with the Better Business Bureau, A.M Best, and online review sites. Seeing what other people think of an insurance company can give you an idea about what you can expect when you require service.

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