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Is everyone in my family under my vision insurance coverage?

vision insurance family coverage on desktop computer screen

Which family members are covered by your vision insurance? That's a decision you make when you sign up for vision insurance and every year when your employer holds open enrollment.

Vision insurance and vision benefits plans typically cover the cost of an annual eye exam and prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. If you want your vision insurance coverage to cover your spouse and children, you will pay more. 

When you enroll in a vision insurance plan through your employer, you typically will be asked if you'd like to add coverage for your dependents. If your employer doesn't offer vision insurance and you purchase independent plan coverage, you can choose to cover yourself or your family.

FIND AN EYE CARE PROVIDER NEAR YOU WHO ACCEPTS YOUR VISION INSURANCE: Book an appointment for you and your family with an eye doctor near you.

Which dependents qualify for vision insurance coverage?

In most cases, you can add a spouse or other dependent on your vision insurance plan. 

Generally speaking, you can include any child on your vision insurance who:

  • Is under the age of 26.

  • Is a biological child, stepchild, adopted child or foster child. 

  • Are sisters, brothers, half-sisters, half-brothers or children of your child.

  • Has lived with you for at least six months.

  • Has an income of less than half of the cost of their support expenses.

  • Did not file a joint tax return that year.

  • Is not claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s taxes.

A non-dependent child who doesn't meet the above criteria in most cases cannot be added to your vision insurance. 

Can stepchildren be under my vision insurance?

A stepparent can add a stepchild as an eligible dependent on his or her vision insurance plan as long as the child meets the dependent criteria.

If your coverage is an employer group plan that provides benefits to children, you will have 30 days to enroll any new dependent. 

Can I add my significant other’s child on my vision insurance?

Who you can add as a dependent on your vision insurance depends on the status of your relationship, your employer's rules and the state you call home. 

Vision insurance generally can cover only legal spouses and children bound by marriage, but, many states do allow employer-sponsored group vision insurance plans to provide benefits for domestic partners and to insure domestic partners’ children.

Generally, to qualify as domestic partners, you have to have lived together for at least six months and plan to continue living together indefinitely. Sharing financial responsibility for basic living expenses can also be a requirement.

You likely also will have to sign an affidavit and provide proof that you are responsible for each other's welfare and the welfare of your domestic partner’s children.

What to know about family vision insurance coverage 

Basic family vision plans generally cover only the cost of an annual eye exam and prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. (Typically, in a calendar year, you must choose to have either new glasses or contact lenses covered). 

More comprehensive vision plans and policies expand coverage to include specialty options like eyeglass lens coatings and enhancements, such as anti-reflective coatings, photochromic lenses and progressive lenses. Vision plans also may provide discounted rates for LASIK and other eye surgeries.

Group vision insurance usually can be obtained through your employer or government programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid. If you are self-employed or not eligible for a group plan, you can purchase a vision insurance policy directly through most providers.

NEWLY COVERED BY A VISION INSURANCE PLAN? Find an eye doctor near you who accepts your insurance and book an appointment today for you and your family members.

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