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How do I check my vision insurance benefits?

Checking your employer's or individual plan vision insurance benefits usually can be done easily by visiting the website address listed on your insurance card.

For example, with VSP Vision Care, the largest vision insurance provider in the United States, just click on the View My Benefits link on the VSP website. A calculator on the site will help you see how much you and your family can save during the course of the year.

With EyeMed Vision Care and other vision insurance programs, log in to your account to view your vision insurance benefits.

If you don't find the answers online or prefer talking to a real person, call the number on the back of your vision insurance card.

Vision insurance benefits can vary widely depending on the plan, and changes can occur to the same plan you have had for several years. For these reasons, it's a good idea to know how to check your vision insurance benefits at least annually.

To avoid financial surprises, it's important for you to clearly understand your vision insurance coverage and what your financial responsibilities are, including fees and copays.

Choosing a vision insurance plan

The best time to check your vision insurance benefits is before you sign on the bottom line for them whether it is the plan offered by your employer or you are seeking an individual plan.

If possible, consider several different vision insurance plans, comparing the benefits each offers and noting your potential out-of-pocket costs in addition to your paycheck deduction or annual premium. For example, check the number of eye doctors in the vision insurance plan’s provider network. Are you able to easily find an eye doctor near you who is on your vision insurance provider's list?

Also, become familiar with services and products — such as eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses — that are covered by the plan. Are they included as part of a specific annual benefits package, or are they provided for a discounted fee? Are there any allowances for upgrades, such as progressive lenses, photochromic lenses and anti-reflective coating?

If you are considering elective LASIK or PRK refractive surgery, check first if either procedure is covered and what you are required to pay.

Try to anticipate what products and services you may need and then find the vision care plan that comes closest to meeting those needs.

Choosing a vision discount plan

Alternatively, you can consider a vision discount plan that charges an annual premium or membership fee that gives you access to a network of eye care providers offering services and eyewear at specified discount prices.

In vision discount plans, subscribers pay in advance for a membership that allows them to receive discounted fees and prices on products and services within the plan’s network.

How to check and use your vision plan benefits

Whatever option you choose, you can get additional information about your benefits from the plan’s managers through the plan's website or app, or by calling a customer service number on your vision insurance card.

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