VSP Vision Insurance
VSP Vision Insurance (strictly speaking, not a type of insurance) is a way to reduce the cost of eye care. You or your company pays a small monthly premium and, in return, you get access to discounted exams, eyeglasses, contacts and related services. Protect your eyes - it couldn't be simpler.
What Is VSP Vision Insurance?
VSP stands for Vision Service Plan and is a subscription vision plan service that reduces the cost of lenses, glasses, contacts, LASIK surgery, and eye exams. There are over 10,000 different VSP vision benefits plans available, each offering a different vision plan benefit for eyeglasses or contact lenses. To find out exactly what your plan covers, contact VSP or your plan administrator. VSP Vision Care comes in two forms depending on your circumstances. These are as follows:
Self-employed, seniors, part-time workers, and those between jobs can apply for individual VSP coverage. These vision plans start at around $13 per month and include all the standard VSP vision benefits, including reimbursement for eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, and various other services.
Employee vision care services work in much the same way and may include an annual eye exam, generate eye care, glasses, and contact lenses. On some annual eye exam schemes, you also get access to more advanced treatments, such as laser eye surgery. You will need to consult with your employer on the type of vision coverage they offer and whether it is sufficient for your needs.
How much you or your employer pay will vary according to your plan options. Top plans are still relatively inexpensive, at less than $76 per month [as of November 2022] while most others fall within the $30 to $50 per month range.
What Does VSP Vision Care Cover?
VSP coverage is extensive. Plans will pay for most eye related expenses, but not all, as we explain below. Whether it is essential, you will need to discover for yourself. First of all, check your medical insurance to see if it covers a routine annual eye exam (which we think is essential); if it does not, then VSP is a better deal for you.
Out of Network Benefits
VSP is not insurance, it is a "defined benefit" plan which must be used before the end of the year, or you lose it. You can only use the in-network benefits at a network provider, who jacks up the price so that you can get a discount. And VSP makes its profit when you pay for the plan, but don't use it because you forgot. The best way to get the most out of your plan is to buy online where prices are much lower, and then use your Out of Network Benefits, which could be as much as $150. You can also use this benefit on prescription sunglasses.
Vision care covers regular glasses costs up to a certain allowance every year. You'll need to pay any extra cost out of pocket. For instance, if the allowance is $150 and you purchase frames for $200, you'll need to pay the remaining $50 out of pocket.
You can also use VSP vision insurance to get regular single-vision lenses free of charge. If you want lens enhancements or products with anti-glare or scratch-resistant coating, you may need to pay the extra cost out of pocket.
One trick to getting the most out of a VSP network provider, is to use contact lenses benefits. Many plans offer up to $150 for contacts, which could be more than you would get for eyeglasses, depending on your plan options.
Laser Eye Surgery
Laser eye surgery options such as LASIK are available as part of the VSP Laser VisionCare Program. You will not qualify for this treatment if you are only a member of a standard care package.
VSP vision insurance may also include annual eye exams. Here, your doctor will test your vision to see whether your eye health has changed. Generally, you need to pay a fixed (low) fee for the visit and VSP will top up the rest. If you are part of the VSP Premier Program, you do not have to pay any fees at all when you go to a Premier Program location.
Eye health issues
While you are fully covered for most eye-related expenses, VSP does not provide blanket coverage for all eye care issues. The scheme provides preventative exams and discounts off contacts and eyeglasses, but not treatment to deal with medical issues, such as glaucoma. For these, you'll need coverage via your regular health insurance plan.
Do We Recommend VSP Vision Care?
Vision is a personal matter. As an individual, you know what works for you and you want to place your care in private practice doctors you can trust.
VSP puts its members at the heart of everything it does. Regardless of economic or political circumstances, the scheme is just as reliable as it ever was. The organization's goal is to keep your eyes healthy so that you can enjoy your life as much as possible, something you can find out more about at the VSP website. Here are some of the reasons we support and participate in the scheme:
VSP has an incredible network of eye care doctors which makes it easy to choose the right practitioner. As a patient, the control is in your hands. You get to decide which optometrist or ophthalmologist you want to visit. It's that simple. Your eye doctor will then work with you to track your eye health over time, looking for signs of diabetes or hypertension.
Highly Personalized Services
Whether you have an employee or individual plan, VSP offers highly personalized options for every patient. The not-for-profit organization always puts its members first and treats them like family. Whether you have dry eye or just want a check-up, the scheme takes care of you. According to online reviews, more than 92 percent of members are satisfied with the service they receive.
Savings And Special Offers
VSP vision insurance members can also sign up for Exclusive Member Extras for additional savings. Those who choose benefits carefully can get money off top brands up to $3,000 and can get extra discounts on selected frames.
What you can save changes from year to year, but savings can be substantial. Without VSP coverage, for example, you could expect it to cost $181 or more for an eye exam. Membership slashes that price to just $10. For polycarbonate lenses, it's $67 without a VSP cover, but with it, the price is just $31. And for anti-glare coating, you it's $144 at regular private practice doctors, but just $85 with VSP.
If you choose a Premier Program location – a practice that is part of the Premier Program scheme – you can access the very best services all in one place. These may include state-of-the-art eye exams using the latest equipment, discounts on branded eyewear, and access to Premier Offers. There are currently more than 700 retail locations around the world that take part in the scheme. VSP is the largest vision plan business in the world and it owns Marchon Eyewear, one of the world's largest eyewear manufacturers, so they are able to offer great deals on their line.
No Waiting Periods
Most covered schemes require a waiting period, but you are creating benefits immediately. You don't have to compromise your health or quality of life temporarily, just to fulfill sign-up requirements.
Largest National Provider
VSP is also the largest national provider of similar covered plans. While it isn't insurance in the strict sense, it remains popular for its reliability and the fact it is so affordable. Given its size, you can find participating doctors just about anywhere.
How to start using VSP care
If you or your family is a member or want to sign up, accessing your benefits is easy. Here's what to do:
Step 1: Enroll with VSP
The first step is to enroll or register and choose the coverage plan cost that meets your needs. Plan options cover all income and demographics, so you'll always be able to focus on something that suits your need. If you get coverage through your company or business, they will register for you.
Step 2: Choose A Plan With The Benefits You Need
VSP makes it easy to add features or remove them to save money. Note that not all plans offer free exams or laser surgery.
Step 3: Choose Your Preferred Doctor
VSP makes it easy to find the right doctor for you. Enter your address into the appropriate field on the sign-up page to find practitioners near your location, ready to serve you. You can then contact them for an eye exam or specific features.
Step 4: Go To Your First Appointment
VSP starts caring for you from the outset. After you find a suitable eye doctor, you can then schedule your first appointment. Here, the presiding physician will examine your eyes, check for signs of eye issues, and give you a prescription, if you need one.
Step 5: Make Your Copay At The Time Of Your Visit
When you go to your appointment, it will cost you some money upfront. However, VSP will cover any additional fees.
What it costs will depend on what you request. Fees vary from year to year but typically you save around $455 per year.
Who Accepts VSP?
The VSP business has more than 36,000 providers nationwide, so if you live in a populated area, you will always be able to find a vision provider near you. Plenty of big retail brands offer VSP providers in the U.S. Walmart, Target, Costco, and Sam's Club are all part of the scheme but so are local boutiques, so you can always go to independent providers if that is what you want.
What Doesn't VSP Cover?
Like all schemes, VSP doesn't cover everything. You don't usually get add-on benefits, such as anti-glare or UV protection included in the price. However, the precise discounts and costs depend on the plan you choose.
VSP For Employees
If you are a plan administrator, we urge you to research the features and benefits. We see many patients that have an annual eye exam benefit in their medical insurance, AND in their VSP plan, which is a huge waste of money. Also we see companies paying for VSP benefits for employees when a large percentage of employees don't use the benefits. Order this book to learn more about how to buy eyeglasses for your employees. Check out this page to learn why vision benefits are a bad deal for employees.