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When can you use your vision insurance?

Your vision insurance plan will describe when you can use your benefits. In most cases, benefits are based on a calendar year schedule.

Healthy eyes and clear, comfortable vision make such a difference in our day-to-day lives, so if your plan includes an annual eye exam, be sure to take advantage of it — even if you aren't experiencing any obvious vision problems.

Using your vision insurance benefits will not only help you maintain optimal eyesight — it will make your eye care and eyewear more affordable as well. Your spouse and children also will benefit from savings on eye exams and eyewear if you opted to cover them on your vision insurance plan.

After you’ve enrolled in a vision insurance plan, you typically can start using your benefits within just a few days. Use that time to review your plan and find an eye doctor near you who accepts your vision insurance.

Schedule an eye exam

Once you choose an eye doctor, call the office to schedule an eye exam for a day and time that works best for your schedule. Be sure to give the eye doctor's office all your vision insurance information, including the insurance company’s name, the plan name, and your ID number. On the day of your appointment, your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive exam to determine the overall health of your vision. He or she also will determine if you need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve your eyesight.

If you already have an eyeglass prescription or contact lens prescription, your doctor will update it so you can purchase new lenses as needed.

Save on eyeglasses and contact lenses

Besides saving you money on eye exams, another major benefit of vision insurance is the discounts offered on prescription eyeglass frames and lenses or contact lenses.

Your vision insurance plan gives you a dollar amount toward eyeglasses or contact lenses, as well as discounts on optional lens enhancements like anti-reflective coating, photochromic lenses and premium progressive lenses. Discuss these options with your eyecare professional to decide which are right for you.

The importance of annual eye exams

You may not notice changes in your vision, but they can creep up on you over time. That’s why it’s advisable to get a comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor every year.

In addition to checking your vision, your eye doctor will look for early signs of serious eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Signs of other medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure also can be detected during a routine eye exam.

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