Vision Insurance, FSA and HSA: How To Get The Most From Your Plan
If you have vision insurance benefits, a flex-spending benefit, or an HSA account, be sure to access your benefits before year end. The biggest mistakes that consumers make are 1) Not using their benefits before year end, and 2) Staying "In-Network".
"Out of Network" Benefits Are Usually Better Than In-Network
Eyewear stores are able to accept your vision insurance benefits for two reasons: 1) their prices are inflated so that they can show you a discount, and 2) there are many restrictions on what you can buy. But most plans have a fixed dollar amount of reimbursement for purchases you make outside the network. So, you can buy eyewear at low internet prices, submit the invoice to the insurance company, and receive a check for money, thus getting your eyewear for the lowest possible spend.
FSA Flex Spending Accounts
Some employees may be paying into a flex spending account. Typically, these funds must be spent before the end of the year. You can spend FSA funds on eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses.
HSA Health Savings Accounts
Health savings accounts are another type of account, but unlike flex spending accounts, the funds do not expire at the end of the year. You can spend HSA funds on eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses.
How to Use Your Out-of-Network Benefits
Step 1: Call your insurance company.
Step 2: Give them your plan number, and your verifying information.
Step 3: Ask them to describe your the Out-of-Network benefit for your plan. Ask for the information necessary to submit the out-of-network claim.
Step 4: Get a price for your glasses from Eyeglasses.com, subtract from that your out-of-network benefit, and get your total price for glasses. Compare that to the total price offered by your local optical store to determine the best value for you.
Pricing Example - Eyeglasses.com:
Frame Cost + $120
SV Polycarbonate Lens Cost + $59
Your Out-of-Network Benefit - $100
Your Total Cost = $69
Pricing Example - Typical Optical Store:
Frame Cost + $195
Frame Allowance - $120
SV Polycarbonate Lens Cost + $89
Lens Allowance - $49
Copay + $25
Your Total Cost = $140
The store "sticker" price is $284 and you pay $140, so it looks like you are saving $144, over 50%. However, you are STILL paying too much!
The Best Plan: NewVision Benefits Plan
We strongly recommend the NewVision Benefits Plan. This plan is available free to any organization with 500 members or more. The plan offers a 50% discount from typical retail prices, applies to all employees, families, and retirees, and is free. There are no copays, and the benefits are unlimited compared to other plans which only offer one benefit per year. Truly, the best plan on the market today! For more information, follow this link to read more about the NewVision Benefits Plan.