Vision Insurance 101 – the Five Ws of your Vision Benefits
Vision benefits are for everyone - whether you are a lifelong glasses or contacts wearer or have recently decided you need to pay better attention to your vision and overall health. A vision exam can detect eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. But did you know that an eye exam can also spot symptoms of other chronic diseases like cardiac disease, diabetes and high cholesterol? There are a variety of coverage options for individuals, families and retired Iowans. Let’s walk through the five Ws of vision benefits.
WHAT ARE VISION BENEFITS?
Vision insurance is a health and wellness benefit that can help reduce the costs of routine, preventive eye exams, as well as prescription glasses or contacts and some elective vision surgeries such as LASIK or PRK (depending on the vision plan you choose).
WHO SHOULD HAVE VISION BENEFITS?
Everyone! DeltaVision has benefit plans for individuals, families and retired Iowans or you may be eligible for vision care coverage from your employer. For less than $18 per month, you can have comprehensive coverage for exams and corrective lenses. Consider these statistics:
- 75% of adults use some form of vision correction1
- An estimated 1 in 4 children in the U.S. have an undiagnosed vision problem2
- The average American adult spends 11 of 18 waking hours looking at a screen3
Remember, Medicare does not cover eye care - except for surgeries and injuries - so it’s important to consider what your vision needs might be as you think about retirement.
WHERE CAN I USE MY VISION BENEFITS?
Your DeltaVision benefits are accepted by more than 74,000 eye care providers nationwide. So, whether you see a local independent optometrist, an ophthalmology group, or a retail-based provider, chances are good that DeltaVision is accepted. Similar to how medical insurance works, once you establish an eye care home, the provider will submit claims to your vision insurance provider, and then a bill will be sent to you. Typically, if you have co-insurance or co-pays for exams and corrective lenses, these will be due at the time of service. To get the most of your vision benefits, make sure you visit the DeltaVision website to find an in-network provider.
WHEN SHOULD I USE MY VISION BENEFITS?
As the saying goes, there’s no time like the present. Review your vision plan carefully to determine the frequency of your coverage. Typically, you are eligible for an annual vision exam. During the exam, your eye care provider will take a medical history and perform a series of tests to establish an eye health baseline or track any changes from previous exams. Be sure to note any vision changes and discuss them with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. If you need prescription eyeglasses or contacts, your plan will cover a certain percentage of the purchase after your co-payment is made.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE A VISION BENEFIT PLAN?
When we have insurance benefits, whether medical, dental or vision, we are more likely to schedule appointments and utilize those benefits. Vision care is an important part of overall health and regular eye exams can identify not only eye diseases but many other chronic illnesses. Lifelong learning and optimal health are more easily achieved when we take care of our eye health. Need more reasons why you should have a vision benefit plan? Here are reasons for all ages to have vision insurance:
- Diabetes is the #1 cause of blindness in adults.4
- About 2 million Americans have glaucoma and don’t know it.5
- 50,000 people lose their sight each year, even though half of all causes of blindness can be prevented with proper care.6
- 24.4 million U.S. adults over age 40 have cataracts, which can result in double or blurred vision.7
- Over 9 million adults experience macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans.8
- Almost 80% of employees say they deal with a vision disturbance at work every day.9
- 80% of learning in a child’s first 12 years comes through the eyes. Up to 25% of school-age children may have vision problems that can affect learning.10
How important is our vision to how we navigate in the world? As our eyes take in information, it is estimated that one-half to two-thirds of our brains are engaged in processing information. When our vision is not 100%, it can dramatically affect how we work, play, and interact.
Consider adding vision care benefits to your overall benefits package or through a separate policy. The monthly premium is an investment in your long-term health and will motivate you to schedule and keep your regular appointments with your eye care provider. Early detection of eye disease can help access treatment more quickly and you’ll be able to keep up on any changes to your vision.
To find out more about vision care benefits for yourself or your family, visit the DeltaVision website.
- VisionWatch - The Vision Council Member Benefit Report, 2016
- EyeMed Clear Line of Sight Brochure, 2020
- Nielsen Total Audience Report, 2018
- www.diabetes.org; American Diabetes Association, Statistics About Diabetes; sourced April 2016
- www.glaucoma.org; Glaucoma Facts and Stats; Glaucoma Research Foundation; sourced April 2016.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- National Eye Institute data, www.nei.nih.gov/eyedata/cataract, 2010.
- All About Vision, https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amd.htm, August 2018
- HR.BLR.com, 2015.
- Vision Council, February 2012 Parent for Child Report.