Roughly 40% of people age 70 or older in the U.S. experience some form of vision loss. Not only does that vision loss put them at a higher risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s, but many of those seniors also feel isolated and experience loneliness as they’re forced to work harder to participate in conversations or activities with others.
It’s important to make sure your senior has a plan to monitor and address their eye health. Regular checkups and exams with an eye doctor are a critical part of their overall health plan. In fact, beyond regular exams to monitor vision strength, many other health conditions can be identified through eye exams, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid diseases and certain types of cancer.
Vision insurance covers both routine eye exams as well as frames, lenses and lens enhancements. Often, plans also include savings on retinal screening and laser vision correction. And even though open enrollment is closed for this plan year, vision insurance through certain providers can be purchased year-round.
I missed open enrollment. Can my senior still get coverage under a vision plan?
The good news is many options are available for vision coverage online any time of year. The bad news is most Medicare plans don’t offer comprehensive, routine vision care, and neither do most insurance plans. It’s worth looking at your senior’s medical insurance coverage to see if vision is included. Likely, it isn’t.
Luckily, VSP, the largest provider of vision insurance in the U.S., offers individual vision plans at a very reasonable price, meaning your older adult doesn’t have to be a part of an employer-sponsored plan to receive the same benefits.
VSP Individual Vision Plans offer coverage for any individual or family, outside of an employer plan. Plans can be purchased online in a matter of minutes, and full-service plans offer the following benefits:
- 30% savings on lens enhancements – With fully covered standard progressives
- One-year warranty – When purchased at a Premier Program location
- Extra savings – Plus, extra $40 to spend on select frame brands, as well as savings on contacts, LASIK, diabetes care and more
- Generous frame allowance – From $150 to $230, depending on plan selection
- 20% off additional pairs – Including glasses, sunglasses and lens enhancements
Why are VSP Individual Vision Plans good for seniors?
VSP offers a simple, easy way to view and compare plans, calculate costs of monthly premiums and plan expenses based on your needs, and purchase same-day coverage—all through its website. And with plans starting as low as $13 a month (which won’t fluctuate dramatically between plan years), it’s a great option for those on fixed incomes.
Keep in mind, not all vision insurance plans cover comprehensive eye exams. Some insurance plans only cover basic exams, which check for abnormal vision or vision impairment. A comprehensive exam screens for other health issues or indicators of larger health problems, along with checking for vision impairment. Every VSP network doctor performs a comprehensive WellVision Exam at each annual screening, covered in full (after a small copay) by the VSP Individual Vision Plans.
And with a national network of eye doctors, coverage through VSP Individual Vision Plans is simple, cost-effective and stress-free, making them perfect for seniors.
How do I find an in-network eye doctor with VSP?
Visit VSPDirect.com to quickly and easily find VSP network doctors near you. VSP has the largest network of private-practice eye doctors in the country. Its Premier Program locations offer advanced eye exam technology, and VSP network doctors always accept new patients.
One caveat, however, is that coverage for out-of-network (OON) providers is not offered in Washington, Massachusetts and some parts of Maryland. And with OON expenses, you’re likely to pay more than with in-network providers.
If your senior wears glasses or contacts – or hasn’t been to an eye doctor for more than a year – it’s likely time to look at vision insurance. The plans and coverage offered by VSP Individual Vision Plans, as well as the price point, make managing your senior’s eye health easier than ever. To learn more, visit VSPDirect.com.