Yes. Your vision and eye health are worth it. People rely on their vision more than any other sense. In fact, 80% of all learning is visual. That’s why the American Optometric Association recommends an eye exam for babies, toddlers and school-age children. Most people say their vision is the sense they do not want to lose. However, over 12 million Americans aged 40 and older have some form of vision loss or impairment. This includes about one million who are legally blind.
Vision insurance can make a difference in helping people maintain healthy eyes throughout their lives. Some workers sign up for employer-sponsored vision insurance. Or their employer can recommend they purchase individual vision insurance online from a reputable carrier. For example, Ameritas offers vision plans with access to vision network giants VSP and EyeMed. Although people know that vision loss could impact their lives, many still ask, “Is vision insurance worth it?
1. Health insurance isn’t enough
Many people think their eyes are healthy, so they don’t need vision insurance. If they develop a serious vision problem, they figure that their health insurance will cover the cost. However, health insurance plans typically only help with vision costs associated with accidents and eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Oftentimes, the member has to meet an annual deductible before the health plan covers vision-related costs. That’s where vision insurance comes in.
Most people don’t have vision accidents or develop eye diseases. Instead, they are more likely to need eye exams for vision correction needs. Vision experts report that vision impairment and blindness is expected to double in the U.S. by 2050. They anticipate that people will need more help with vision problems, especially as people get older. One big reason is increased screen time on phones, computers and TVs.
Scheduling regular eye exams are essential to detecting vision changes and correction needs. During the appointment, the eye doctor will conduct tests to evaluate vision acuity, eye health and detect signs of possible medical conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Professional vision exams are vital to not only your vision health, but also your overall wellness.
2. Eye doctors catch medical conditions, too
Most people don’t notice vision changes until there is a significant difference in their vision. When that happens, they find an optometrist and make an appointment. The eye doctor will run several tests during a routine eye exam to look for signs of vision correction needs and any eye diseases that could impact the ability to see. Often, eye diseases develop without any noticeable symptoms, like glaucoma. By the time you detect a vision change, the condition may have progressed vs. being caught early and treated.
As part of the eye exam, the doctor will look for changes in your vision and eye health. It’s fairly common for eye doctors to notice changes in the eye that could signal the onset of medical conditions. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and eye disease. Catching these problems early can help resolve them with less expensive, and often less invasive, treatments.
At age 40, regular eye exams become even more important, especially if there is a family history of vision problems. After age 60, people are more like to develop an eye disease. So, it’s essential that they see an eye doctor to detect any vision or eye changes.
3. Get vision insurance for exams and more
People with vision insurance are more likely to schedule regular eye exams. It’s during these appointments that the eye doctor can detect vision changes. Most vision insurance plans cover most, if not all, of the cost of an annual eye exam.
In addition, most vision plans cover a portion of the cost for materials, such as prescription eyeglasses or contacts. The vision plan design will determine benefit amounts and frequencies for frames and lenses, including bifocals or progressives, and for contact lenses. Some plans include discounts on laser vision correction, such as LASIK.
4. Take charge of your health
Vision insurance is an investment in your long-term health and wellness. It also can reduce healthcare costs by finding signs of medical issues early. Good vision impacts every area of your life. It gives you accuracy, independence and peace of mind.Remember, every vision insurance plan will provide different coverage. Make sure to get a plan that works for you.
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