If you don’t wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may think you don’t need vision insurance. But think again. Many vision plans cover the full cost of an annual eye exam. Some plans also cover comprehensive eye exams, which give your eye doctor a chance to catch early signs of disease and treat them before causing permanent vision loss.
Here's a look at the potential value of vision insurance plans.
What is vision insurance, and what does it cover?
The products and services covered by vision insurance can differ between companies and plans.
Typically, vision insurance can help cover costs for preventive care and prescription eyewear like:
- annual eye exams
- eyeglass frames
- eyeglass lenses
- contact lenses
More comprehensive vision plans may offer coverage for specialty options like eyeglass lens coatings. These eye care plans may also offer discounted rates on elective vision correction surgery like laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
What is not covered by vision insurance?
This can vary as well, but some products and services typically not covered by vision insurance include:
- additional eye exams
- replacement of damaged or lost eyeglasses or contact lenses
- non-prescription glasses, like magnification reading glasses
- experimental or investigative procedures
Also, any eye treatment that is considered “medical” may not be covered by vision insurance. Examples include vision loss, floaters and dry eyes. These treatments will likely be covered under a health insurance policy.
How much does vision insurance cost?
The cost for vision insurance is based on many factors. Monthly premiums can be as low as $5/month or over $30/month based on your age, where you live and what type of coverage you choose.1 To learn more, check out how much vision insurance may cost.
What do vision services cost without insurance?
If you don’t have vision insurance, the average cost of an eye exam is around $95, with prices ranging from $50 to $250.2 This amount varies from region to region and between different eye doctors.
Some low-cost alternatives for eye care without insurance include medical schools, optometry schools and hospitals. Most of these training institutes usually offer discounted or free vision care.
Benefits of vision insurance
Each vision plan comes with its own set of perks. For example, our Humana vision insurance plans offer the following benefits:
- Eye exams to maintain your vision health and spot problems early
- Contact lenses from a variety of brands
- Frames that fit your style and budget
- Exclusive discounts on LASIK eye surgery
Who needs vision insurance?
Everyone could benefit from having vision insurance, whether or not glasses or contact lenses are needed. Vision coverage options like Humana vision plans help individuals and families save on routine eye care and prescription eyewear.
Individuals who should get regular eye exams
Even if you don’t currently have eye problems, your healthcare provider might recommend getting an eye exam once every 2 years. Once you turn 40, it’s a good idea to get your eyes checked annually or at least every 2 years. Regular exams can help you catch early signs of eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts or age-related macular degeneration.3
Individuals who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses
If you use corrective eyewear, most vision plans offer coverage that can help you get an accurate prescription for ordering glasses or contacts online or from your eye doctor’s office. Some vision plans also help cover the cost of prescription lenses, frames and contact lenses.
Individuals who have a family history of eye conditions
Many eye diseases and health risks to your vision are hereditary. If you have a family history of glaucoma, diabetic eye disease or cataracts, it may be a good idea to get vision insurance coverage. Detecting a problem early through routine exams can help your eye doctor treat a condition and prevent vision loss.4
You may start to notice more vision problems as you get older, but children need regular eye care, too. Kids typically start to get regular eye exams before starting kindergarten.3 Vision insurance plans for families could help you save on routine preventive care, as well as on frames or contact lenses, if your child needs prescription eyewear.
Protect your vision by choosing a vision plan
Even if you don’t need eyeglasses or contact lenses, it might be a good idea to get a vision insurance plan. Most vision plans can help cover routine eye exams, and some plans include coverage or allowances for frames and corrective lenses.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.
- “Is Vision Insurance Worth It? Exploring Benefits and Costs,” GoodRx Health, last accessed May 11, 2023, https://www.goodrx.com/health-topic/eye/is-vision-insurance-worth-it.
- “How Much is an Eye Exam Without Insurance?”, Vision Center, last accessed May 11, 2023, https://www.visioncenter.org/blog/eye-exam-without-insurance/.
- “How Often Should I Get My Eyes Checked?” WebMD, last accessed May 11, 2023, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/what-to-expect-checkup-eye-exam-adults.
- “Keep an Eye on Your Vision Health,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed May 11, 2023, https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/resources/features/keep-eye-on-vision-health.html.