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Insurance Vision Insurance

Best Vision Insurance Companies

Nearly two-thirds of Americans need glasses or contacts, yet only around one-third of Americans are covered by vision insurance. Unless your or your spouse’s employer offers vision insurance as a benefit, you’re left to purchase it on your own. 

Vision insurance tends to be more affordable and easier to understand than health insurance because it’s more limited in what it covers. Still, several factors might point you in the direction of one vision insurance company over another.  

We’ve researched the best vision insurance plans featuring affordable premiums, excellent coverage options, positive customer reviews, and network availability. Here’s a closer look.

Best vision insurance companies and plans

Here are the best vision insurance companies offering affordable coverage for your vision care needs.

“When comparing vision insurance providers, check to see whether your current eye doctor is in-network or you’re comfortable with switching to a doctor who’s in-network,” says Chloe Moore, CFP®. “You should also compare waiting periods, deductibles, copays, and the claims or reimbursement process.” 

Click each company name in the table below to read more about its vision plan.

CompanyNumber of policy types offeredWaiting periodNumber of in-network providers
VSP4None36,000See plans
UnitedHealthcare2NoneNot disclosedSee plans
Davis Vision31 – 2 months135,000See plans
EyeMed3None66,000See plans
Anthem8Not disclosed40,000See plans
Humana1None95,000See plans
Aetna1NoneNot disclosedSee plans
AmeritasVariesVariesVariesSee plans


  • 4 vision insurance plans covering a wide range of needs. 
  • Must select coverage for glasses or contacts, not both in the same year.
  • The largest vision insurance company in the country. 

With more than 80 million members and a network of over 36,000 providers, VSP is the largest vision insurance company in the U.S. It offers several plan options, but all plans may not be available in every state. It’s also more expensive for those who wear contacts since you can’t get contacts and backup glasses in the same year. 

VSP’s EyewearOnly plan is its most basic option and a solid choice if you already have an up-to-date prescription and just need hardware coverage. The EasyOptions plan is the same as its Standard plan but with your choice of full coverage ($0 copay) of tinted or progressive lenses or an additional $80 toward frames. 

If you’re willing to pay a bit higher premium for top-of-the-line glasses, VSP’s Enhanced plan offers $0 copays on scratch- and impact-resistant lenses, plus a lower copay than the Standard plan on progressive lenses ($55 vs. $175) and anti-glare coatings ($15 vs. $85). 


  • No waiting periods

  • Not-for-profit company

  • Extra discounts on specific eyewear, additional glasses, and LASIK


  • $25 basic lens copay 

  • Poor customer satisfaction ratings

  • Available plans and pricing vary by state

  • Lens allowance applies to glasses or contacts—not both

Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowance
StandardVaries by state$15 $150$150
EasyOptionsVaries by state$15 $150–$230$150–$230
EnhancedVaries by state$15$150$150
EyewearOnlyVaries by state$0$120$120


  • Choose from 2 vision insurance plans.
  • Purchase separately or as a rider on a dental insurance policy.
  • Choose a plan that covers glasses or contacts, or one that covers both. 

UnitedHealthcare is one of the largest health insurance companies in the country, so it’s no surprise it offers vision insurance too. If you’re also looking for dental coverage, you can add vision insurance as a rider to your UnitedHealthcare dental policy. 

This can be a terrific option if you wear contacts but also want backup glasses. You can choose from two plans: one that covers glasses and contacts, or a plan that covers just one or the other. 

If you’re buying contact lenses, be sure to check UnitedHealthcare’s list of “select” contact lenses first to see whether your lenses are on this list. If they are, they’re covered in full rather than the typical arrangement, which requires you to pay any additional amount over an allowance. 


  • Offers discounts on LASIK

  • High ratings for customer satisfaction

  • No out-of-pocket expense for “select” contacts 

  • Available as a rider on a UnitedHealthcare dental plan

  • Plan option for purchasing contacts and glasses together


  • Network size unclear

  • Plan rules vary by state

Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowance
Plan AVaries$10If you don’t purchase contacts: $150If you don’t purchase glasses: 
$125 for non-select contacts

Full coverage for select contacts
Plan BVaries$10$150 (in addition to contacts)$0 (in addition to glasses)

Davis Vision

  • Offers 3 plans through its partner insurance company, SuperiorVision.
  • All plans offer the same types of coverage with different copay options. 
  • Plans aren’t available in many areas.

Davis Vision insurance plans weren’t available when we tested several ZIP codes to learn more about its plan options. However, if available in your area, you may qualify for good discounts of up to half off LASIK procedures with certain in-network providers. 

The Essential plan option offers basic coverage for eyeglasses or contact lenses. At the other end of the spectrum, the Premier plan offers increased coverage toward contact lenses, and if you opt for glasses, enhancements such as polycarbonate lenses and scratch-resistant coatings are covered in full.


  • Offers some frames for just $40

  • Large selection of in-network providers

  • 15% to 50% discounts with certain LASIK providers


  • Waiting period applies

  • Poor customer satisfaction ratings

  • Doesn’t offer vision insurance plans in some states

  • Covers glasses or contacts, not both

Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowance
EssentialVaries by state$15$125$120
ClassicVaries by state$15$150$150
PremierVaries by state$20$200$150


  • 3 coverage options in some states. 
  • Lowest-level option only offers discounts on eyewear, not an allowance.
  • Allowance applies to contacts or glasses in a given year, not both.

EyeMed’s insurance plan is typical in that you can only use your eyewear allowance toward glasses or contacts each year. Even so, this plan may be a solid option for wearers of contacts because you can purchase a pair of glasses at a 40% discount in addition to contacts. 

If you’re unsure whether you need glasses or contacts but know you need an eye exam, EyeMed’s Healthy plan might be suitable. Your eye exam is covered in full with no copay for in-network providers, and if you need glasses or contacts, you’ll get a discount rather than a set allowance. 


  • 20% off prescription sunglasses

  • 40% off a second pair of glasses


  • Annual allowance can only be used for glasses or contacts; not both

  • Plans may not be available in all states

Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowance
Healthy$5 per month$035% off retail priceUnspecified discount 
Bold$17.50 per month$10$130$130
Bright$30 per month$10$200$200


  • Offers 8 vision insurance policies.
  • Plans may vary and are only available to people in 14 U.S. states. 
  • Anthem doesn’t disclose much information about these plans online.

If you place a high emphasis on quality customer service and live in one of the states where Anthem offers vision insurance policies, you might prefer working with this company. 

As of October 2023, it’s only available in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

Anthem offers a jaw-dropping eight plans to choose from. If you dig into the details (somewhat difficult because the webpage is difficult to navigate), you’ll see each plan offers different allowance amounts for premium lenses, making it easy to dial in your coverage. 


  • 40% off a second pair of glasses

  • Many plan options

  • $800 discount with certain LASIK providers


  • Only available in 14 states

  • Waiting period length unclear

  • Can only apply benefits to contacts or glasses each year

Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowance
Blue View Vision ValueVaries by state$20$130 every 2 years$80 per year
Blue View Vision PlusVaries by state$10$130 every 2 years$130 per year
Blue View Vision BasicVaries by state$20$150 per year$150 per year
Blue View Vision EnhancedVaries by state$10$150 per year$150 per year
Blue View Vision Progressive SelectVaries by state$10$130 per year$130 per year
Blue View Vision PremierVaries by state$10$180 per year$180 per year
Blue View Vision PreferredVaries by state$10$150 per year$150 per year
Blue View Vision UltraVaries by state$10$200 per year$200 per year


  • 1 coverage option: the Vision Plus plan.
  • If you exceed your coverage allowance for glasses or contacts, only pay 80% to 85% of the remaining cost.
  • Plan availability is sparse in certain states.

Most vision insurance plans offer an allowance toward glasses and contacts each year, and if you exceed that limit, you pay out of pocket for the full difference. 

That’s not the case with Humana’s vision insurance, which offers a 15% to 20% discount off your out-of-pocket expenses above this allowance amount. 

A downside is these plans are limited. You get one plan choice—if one is available at all. Only a handful of states are listed in its drop-down menu when you search for a quote, and even some of those options—such as Alaska—return an error message saying it’s unavailable. 


  • Offers LASIK discounts

  • Many choices for in-network providers

  • Can purchase with health care and hearing insurance

  • Pay 80% to 85% co-insurance above allowance amount


  • Only 1 plan option

  • Policies not available in all states

Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowance
Vision PlusVaries by state$0 – $10$200 – $250$200


  • 1 vision insurance plan: the Aetna Vision Preferred policy.
  • You can’t purchase Aetna vision insurance on its own, only as a part of dental policy.
  • Discounts on glasses or contacts if you exceed allowance amount.

As with Humana’s vision insurance coverage, you might be more inclined to choose a higher-priced option above your allowance amount with Aetna’s vision insurance plan. 

If you exceed these limits, you’ll pay 80% of the cost of glasses and 95% of the cost of contact lenses rather than the full 100% other insurers stipulate. 

The biggest downside of Aetna’s vision insurance is you can’t purchase it on its own. It’s only available for those buying a dental insurance policy—also wise if you don’t have coverage—and only in certain states. That’s a shame; Aetna’s customer service reviews are excellent.


  • 40% off additional prescription glasses

  • 15% discount off certain LASIK procedures

  • Pay 80% to 95% co-insurance above the allowance amount

  • Highest-rated for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power


  • Not available in seven states (listed below)

  • Can’t use glasses and contacts allowance in the same year

  • Can only purchase as an add-on to an Aetna dental policy

Unavailable in: Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Virginia, or Washington

Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowance
Vision PreferredNot disclosed$0$130$130


  • Plan options vary depending on where you live. 
  • Partners with VSP and EyeMed to offer vision insurance plans.
  • No waiting period with most vision insurance plans. 

Ameritas is a large corporation offering a wide range of financial and investment services, including vision insurance coverage. It partners with other companies, such as VSP and EyeMed, to sell policies that can look different depending on where you live. 

Even so, it’s worth checking your options to ensure you’ve covered all your bases.   


  • Most plans have no waiting periods

  • Can purchase dental insurance with a vision policy


  • Coverage options vary by state

How to choose the best vision insurance plan

Selecting the right vision insurance plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Break down the process into manageable steps to make an informed choice.

“One of the biggest mistakes with vision insurance is not running the numbers,” says CFP Chloe Moore. “It’s important to understand your annual costs with and without insurance for each plan you’re evaluating. Also, consider the annual premium, copays, and deductibles. In some cases, vision insurance might only save you a couple of hundred dollars a year.”

Assess your vision care needs

First, get a handle on what your vision care costs.

  • Out-of-pocket costs: Estimate how much you’d spend each year on eye exams, glasses, and contacts without insurance.
  • Extras: Account for additional services or products you might want, such as anti-reflective lens coatings, LASIK surgery, or polarized prescription sunglasses.
  • Backup glasses: If you’re a contact lens wearer, don’t forget the cost of a backup pair of glasses. Consider how often you’d like to replace your backup glasses—if you primarily wear contacts and your prescription doesn’t change each year, you might only replace your glasses every few years.

Check provider network

Once you know what you’ll need, check whether your preferred eye care providers are in-network.

  • In-network providers: Ensure your favorite eye doctor or optometrist is in the plan’s network.
  • Exclusions: Scrutinize the list of services that aren’t covered to ensure the plan aligns with your needs.

Compare quotes and costs

After confirming your provider options, it’s time to look at the numbers.

  • Monthly premiums: Collect quotes from various plans and calculate the annual cost of each.
  • Copays and deductibles: Apply these to your estimated annual vision care expenses to get an accurate cost comparison.

Evaluate and decide

Now, weigh your options.

  • Cost-benefit analysis: Determine how much you’ll spend on vision care with and without insurance.
  • Other factors: Don’t overlook additional elements, such as customer reviews and ease of claims processing.

By following these steps, you equip yourself with the information you need to select a vision insurance plan that best suits your needs.

How to apply for vision insurance

Nearly half of U.S. employers offer vision insurance as a part of their regular benefits package, and this is where most people get their coverage. If that’s not an option for you, or if you don’t like your employer’s vision insurance plan, you’re free to apply for and purchase your own coverage. 

Here are our tips:

Explore the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace

Vision insurance is different from health insurance. If you have children, you may be able to purchase vision insurance for them on your state’s ACA marketplace. Insurers aren’t required to offer vision insurance for adults on the ACA marketplace, but some do. 

Shop around

If you’re looking to purchase a separate vision insurance policy, you’ll need to shop around. Your state’s insurance commissioner may have recommendations. 

You can also contact an insurance broker to help you out, use rate-shopping websites, or contact vision insurance companies for a quote. You’ll need to provide basic information about yourself, such as your name and contact information. 

Select the right policy

Gathering quotes and applying for vision insurance is a quick process. Once you decide on an option, it may only take a few minutes to complete your policy purchase. 

However, be sure to consider any mandatory waiting periods before you’re eligible to use your coverage, which most insurers impose. 

Ask the expert

Chloe Moore


You really have to crunch the numbers and compare your out-of-pocket costs with and without insurance coverage. Vision insurance typically covers your exam, contact lens fitting (if applicable), glasses (frames and lenses), and contact lenses. If you don’t wear glasses or contacts, or you don’t see an eye doctor often, vision insurance might not be worth the cost.


What are the types of vision insurance plans?

Vision insurance plans fall into two categories: discount plans and benefits plans. 

A discount plan isn’t really insurance, but it offers a discount on vision services and equipment. Since they’re more limited, they’re often cheaper, with an annual fee instead of monthly premiums.

A benefits plan is a true insurance policy. You’ll pay a monthly premium in exchange for increased coverage. If you visit an in-network provider, they can often bill your insurer rather than requiring you to file for reimbursement after paying out-of-pocket. 

Is vision insurance worth it?

If you have kids, vision care is considered an essential health care service and is even included in ACA plans. For adults, it’s less clear-cut. Unlike health insurance, vision insurance is more limited, making it most useful for people who need glasses or contacts. 

If you don’t, it may be cheaper to forego vision insurance. Your medical insurance should cover any medical problems, such as eye infections, cataracts, or glaucoma. The only benefit you would gain is a lower price on eye exams—but paying out of pocket for an annual exam may cost less than vision insurance.

Can I use vision insurance with other discounts?

It depends. Vision insurance and discount plans may not allow you to take advantage of discounts on top of your plan, depending on the fine print. Discounts from retailers and eye care centers vary in whether you can combine multiple discounts. 

How do I file a claim with vision insurance?

If you see an in-network provider, in most cases, they can file a claim for you or offer you a discounted rate if you show them your membership card. If you see an out-of-network provider, you’ll need to submit an itemized receipt online or by mail along with a claims form to get reimbursed. 

Can I add family members to my vision insurance plan?

If you get your vision insurance through your employer, you can add eligible family members during open enrollment when you select your benefits. If you buy separate vision insurance, your insurer may offer family vision insurance plans. 

Can I buy an individual vision insurance plan if my employer offers one?

You’re not required to purchase vision insurance through your employer if it offers it, but some employers will share the cost. If you’d prefer to buy a policy on your own, you can. Some people use this as a way to get glasses and contacts in the same year, for example.