Even if you don’t need corrective lenses, you should get an eye exam once a year, says Melody Healy, senior vice president and chief strategy & integration officer at VSP Vision Care. She says studies show that people with insurance get exams more often than those who don’t.
“Taking good care of your vision is linked to overall health,” Healy says. “Eye doctors are often the first to find signs of serious health conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.”
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Although vision care plans typically don’t cover treatment of medical issues related to the eye, optometrists and ophthalmologists can detect early signs of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and certain kinds of tumors that may increase pressure in the eye, McLean says.
If you want to know if insurance makes sense for you, contact optometrists and ophthalmologists in your area to see what they charge for an uninsured eye exam, McLean says. Then check the price of the frames, which may cost more than an insurer will pay. You should also ask how much extra tinting and protection against glare and scratches will cost.
“Think about how often you’ll see the eye doctor and how often you’ll need new frames, lenses, or contacts,” McLean says. “Then compare these costs with quotes for vision insurance plans in your area, and what these plans will pay out for your exams and vision hardware.”