Is a vision plan worth it? One mom’s perspective.

GLASSES ARE EXPENSIVE!!! We purchased a vision plan this year because we knew that my husband, daughter, and I would all need glasses. Luckily his work offered a plan and we figured we would try it out.  My pediatric ophthalmologist (covered with health care plan- thank goodness) looked at the optometrists and said that she wouldn’t recommend any of them as a place to purchase glasses for children unless they were covered under a plan.  BUMMER  But they steered me in the direction of the place that would have the best selection for children.  When I walked in, the lady at the desk took the prescription to be made and told me to pick out a pair of glasses from the wall that had cables.  Since I know nothing about glasses, I asked for help.  She went and got the only pair they had with cables and said these will fit.  When I asked if my daughter could try them on, she got very irritated.  They seemed too tight and I told her this, which was ignored.  The lenses were ordered and I believe because I called every day, the lenses were here in 4 days.  When I brought Elly in, however, the frames were still tight. They told me they were fine.  Luckily, my daughters pediatric ophthalmologist told me to bring the glasses in so they could check the prescription to make sure they were correct and that the glasses fit.  She of course agrees that the frames were too tight and put unnecessary pressure on her ears.  SO, back to the glasses store, where I relayed the message and had the manager look at them on my daughter.  Sure enough she also said they are too tight and they needed to order a pair of frames that fit.  Since pink was not available, we ordered purple.  Another 5 days (yes, I called daily to check and they now know my voice) and the frames were in.   When we got there however, the cables were BRIGHT BLUE. They rigged the glasses so the original frames gold with a little pink, were now with the longer blue cables. ARGH.  I wanted to cry, just give me something girly or plain so I can keep these things on everyday, but I know that a happy mom makes everything go smoother.  So, I plastered the biggest grin I could muster and turned to my daughter. “Do you want Grover Blue glasses?” I asked. She said yes and put them on…  Oh well, they fit, she wears them… I should count my blessings, a little blue never hurt anyone.  Here is the general price break down with and without a plan.

 

Year Plan $350

Cost of Elly’s Glasses with special lenses and 2 year warranty $60

Cost of Hubbies Glasses and visit $40

Cost of my driving glasses and visit $110

TOTAL $560

 

 

Without plan

Elly’s glasses $210

Hubbies glasses and visit $250

My driving glasses with anti-glare $360

TOTAL $820

 

 

SO, is it worth it?  By purchasing a Vision Plan we saved us at least $260, we all have glasses.  The hassle of dealing with a place not knowledgeable about children’s glasses was not fun. If doing it all over again, I would ask the ophthalmologist who they would recommend.  I would then call that office and ask them which vision plan company they accept and research that one.  We ended up canceling our current vison plan.  My baby has only 2 eyes and I want to make sure that I am making the best decisions about them.  In order to do that, I need a strong team of knowledgeable professionals to help.  For me, it would be worth it to spend a little more $.

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11 responses to “Is a vision plan worth it? One mom’s perspective.

  1. Thank you for this post! I have recently been considering getting a vision plan and haven’t crunched the numbers. Great info!

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  2. I also wanted to add if anyone else has found a good vision plan that is cost effective in the long run, let us know what it is please! My husband is self employed so we would be purchasing the plan individually. Thank you!

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  3. What a fantastic post! We’ve just paid for glasses out of our flexible spending account, so at least it’s pre-tax, but it’s great to see numbers broken out for a vision plan. I want to echo Melissa’s request – I’d love to hear if anyone else has found a vision plan that they’re happy with.

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  4. A lot of vision plans don’t do a whole lot for you. Many places offer great specials for kids, so it’s definitely something to weigh carefully. Maybe you can get some prices and compare the cost of copays and premiums vs. going out of pocket for everything before next year’s benefits election period. Most billable plans help you come out ahead, even if the actual amount you save varies widely. If it’s a discount plan, unless you pay a very small premium, you’re often better using sales and other promotional discounts.

    Btw, calling daily does nothing to speed up the lab, or the delivery of a frame. Our policy is to get jobs inspected and the patients called within 24 hours of receipt from the lab, and we manage that at least 98% of the time. Most dispensaries have similar policies. If yours sits on jobs once they come in or uses a lab that takes forever to get glasses to you, there’s bound to be another place nearby that will give better service.

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  5. Pingback: just starting out « little four eyes·

  6. Have you ever tried to submit your claim for glasses to your health insurance company. It is considered a medical device (just like a hearing aid or a cane or something like that) and may be covered under your health insurance. We have a vision plan through my husband’s work which is not voluntary, but since our PO has an optical place in the same office, we chose to get the glasses there since they should know better about glasses for children. They did not file our claim for the first set of glasses, so I filed it through our bc/bs insurance myself. They did not cover all of it, but a good portion of it, so you may try it and come out on top without a vision plan.

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  7. Ohhh. Great idea. We called about patches and they said we would be able to file a claim for them as they were also medically necessary, I didn’t even think about glasses. Thank you, we will try to see if it is not to late to submit a claim for glasses. It’s worth a shot.

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  8. THANK YOU!!! I didn’t even think about submitting a patches claim! Yes, it’s worth a shot, with the glasses. Most insurance companies want you to submit a claim within 30 days, but they will let you file a claim up to 1 year since the date of service even if they have the 30 day policy. How is patching going?

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  9. Thanks Corrie for the tip! I have BCBS & never thought about trying that! I think I’ll try it on the next pair we buy! Awesome!

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  10. Our BCBS plan says it specifically doesn’t cover glasses, though it covers ophthalmologist appointments and covered Zoe’s strabismus surgery in full. I’ve always submitted her frames for our medical flex plan, so at least we’re paying for them with pre-tax dollars.

    Seems like it’s absolutely worth asking if insurance will cover them, though.

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  11. Wow. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience but your insight was really helpful. I recently wrote about buying glasses for the first time ever (neither my hub or I wear them). We used our vision plan to help pay for our daughter’s glasses and ended up spending more than at another place that didn’t take insurance. But the latter had professionals in kids’ eyewear. In the former we dealt with a great deal of incompetence. We patch too. It never occured to me to try and get a reimbursement for that. Thanks!

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