Also sometimes known as eye insurance, vision insurance is a type of healthcare coverage that helps to offset the costs of routine eye care such as annual eye exams and the purchase of corrective lenses. In some cases, the coverage will also include forms of refractive surgery to correct a limited number of vision problems, such as LASIK surgery. Vision insurance may be obtained as a separate policy or be bundled in with a more comprehensive health insurance plan that includes hospital, general medical, and prescription coverage along with basic eye protection treatments.
The scope of vision insurance is normally aimed at general maintenance of the eyes. To this end, services that are usually provided by an optometrist or ophthalmologist in his or her office will be covered by the terms and conditions of a vision plan. This extends to surgical procedures such as LASIK that help to create vision problems like nearsightedness. The terms of the typical vision care insurance policy will also help defray the costs of eye exams and the purchase of contact lenses or glasses.
One of the goals of vision insurance is to encourage people to have annual eye exams. Doing so makes it easier to identify emerging health issues involving the eyes and begin a course of treatment that can possibly prevent the conditions from causing damage that proves to be permanent. While it is important for everyone to have regular eye care, people with health conditions that could affect the eyes should be especially diligent in obtaining regular checkups. This includes people with diabetes, since the disease can eventually begin to impact the quality of eyesight, even when blood sugar levels are kept under control.
It is important to note that vision insurance usually does not provide much in the way of protection when eye problems caused by some type of massive trauma, such as in an auto accident, take place. In this instance, the major medical coverage found in a broader health insurance plan will normally cover the costs of any surgery and follow-up treatments required to deal with the damage to the eyes. When the vision insurance is bundled into a broader health insurance plan, the provider will evaluate the circumstances and the type of treatment administered and determine exactly how to process the claim according to the provisions within the policy. When a separate insurer provides the vision insurance, requesting the assistance of each provider to determine where claims should be submitted may be necessary.