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Does vision insurance cover sunglasses?

Sunglasses may help shield your eyes from the effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Since heavy exposure to UV rays can increase the risk of skin cancer, cataracts or macular degeneration, it’s important to take precautions like wearing sunglasses.1

But can vision insurance help you pay for sunglasses? It depends. We’ll help you break down when your vision insurance plan may help you pay for sunglasses and when it might not.

Benefits of wearing sunglasses

There are lots of good reasons for wearing prescription sunglasses. Since prescription sunglasses help correct your vision and provide shade, you won’t need to juggle 2 pairs of glasses on a sunny day or worry about bringing contact lenses to the beach.

There are some health benefits to wearing sunglasses, too. Sunglasses with UV protection are designed to help protect the eyes from the effects of ultraviolet radiation. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage the eyes. It can also raise the chance of developing certain diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts or skin cancer on the eyelids. Wearing sunglasses is one way you can help shield your eyes from UV rays and protect your vision.2

Does insurance cover prescription sunglasses?

Most vision insurance plans provide coverage for prescription sunglasses. Generally, vision coverage is limited to products that help correct your eyesight. But some plans might also offer discounts for non-prescription sunglasses from in-network healthcare providers.

If you buy prescription sunglasses from a store in your network, your vision insurance coverage could help you pay for the order automatically. If you go outside the network, you might have to file a claim online or through the mail. If your insurance company accepts the claim, you should get a check for the amount of the purchase that your vision plan covers. However, some insurance companies may not cover sunglasses if you go outside of their network.

How to use your vision insurance for sunglasses

Generally, if you want insurance to cover some of the cost of sunglasses, you need to order a prescription pair. Here’s a few basic steps you can follow to get insurance coverage for prescription sunglasses:

  • Shop for a vision plan: If you don’t have coverage, Humana has vision plans that may meet your needs.
  • Get an exam: In order to get prescription sunglasses, you’ll need to get an eye exam and an up-to-date prescription from an eye care professional. Use our online tool to find an eye doctor in our network.
  • Choose your sunglasses: Some retailers may offer specialty products, like polarized lenses designed to protect your eyes from glare. Find the right type of sunglasses that work for you.
  • Give your prescription to the store: If the store is in your insurance plan’s network, you could have your insurance benefit automatically applied at checkout. If it’s out-of-network, you may have to file a claim to seek any possible reimbursement, either through the mail or online. Make sure to keep your receipt.

Sources

  1. “The sun & your eyes,” Skin Cancer Foundation, last accessed June 8, 2022, https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/eye-protection/.
  2. “The sun & your eyes.”
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