Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial research influence how products appear on a page. Insurance Vision Insurance Best Vision Insurance Companies Updated Dec 06, 2023   |   13-min read   |   This article has been reviewed by a Certified Financial Planner™ for accuracy. Written by Lindsay VanSomeren Written by Lindsay VanSomeren Expertise: Mortgages, personal loans, student loans, auto loans, banking, budgeting, debt, insurance, credit cards, credit Lindsay VanSomeren is a personal finance writer living in Suquamish, Washington. She's passionate about helping people learn how to manage their money better so that they can live the life they want. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor adventures, reading, and learning new languages and hobbies. Learn more about Lindsay VanSomeren Reviewed by Chloe Moore, CFP® Reviewed by Chloe Moore, CFP® Expertise: Equity compensation, home ownership, employee benefits, general finance Chloe Moore, CFP®, is the founder of Financial Staples, a virtual, fee-only financial planning firm based in Atlanta, GA, and serving clients nationwide. Her firm is dedicated to assisting tech employees in their 30s and 40s who are entrepreneurial-minded, philanthropic, and purpose-driven. Learn more about Chloe Moore, CFP® 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. Table of Contents Skip to Section Best vision insurance companies and plansHow to choose the best vision insurance planHow to apply for vision insuranceFAQ 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 providersVSP4None36,000See plansUnitedHealthcare2NoneNot disclosedSee plansDavis Vision31 – 2 months135,000See plansEyeMed3None66,000See plansAnthem8Not disclosed40,000See plansHumana1None95,000See plansAetna1NoneNot disclosedSee plansAmeritasVariesVariesVariesSee plans VSP See 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). Pros No waiting periods Not-for-profit company Extra discounts on specific eyewear, additional glasses, and LASIK Cons $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 allowanceStandardVaries by state$15 $150$150EasyOptionsVaries by state$15 $150–$230$150–$230EnhancedVaries by state$15$150$150EyewearOnlyVaries by state$0$120$120 UnitedHealthcare See plans 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. Pros 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 Cons Network size unclear Plan rules vary by state Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowancePlan AVaries$10If you don’t purchase contacts: $150If you don’t purchase glasses: $125 for non-select contactsFull coverage for select contactsPlan BVaries$10$150 (in addition to contacts)$0 (in addition to glasses) Davis Vision See plans 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. Pros Offers some frames for just $40 Large selection of in-network providers 15% to 50% discounts with certain LASIK providers Cons 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 allowanceEssentialVaries by state$15$125$120ClassicVaries by state$15$150$150PremierVaries by state$20$200$150 EyeMed See plans 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. Pros 20% off prescription sunglasses 40% off a second pair of glasses Cons 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 allowanceHealthy$5 per month$035% off retail priceUnspecified discount Bold$17.50 per month$10$130$130Bright$30 per month$10$200$200 Anthem See plans 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. Pros 40% off a second pair of glasses Many plan options $800 discount with certain LASIK providers Cons 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 allowanceBlue View Vision ValueVaries by state$20$130 every 2 years$80 per yearBlue View Vision PlusVaries by state$10$130 every 2 years$130 per yearBlue View Vision BasicVaries by state$20$150 per year$150 per yearBlue View Vision EnhancedVaries by state$10$150 per year$150 per yearBlue View Vision Progressive SelectVaries by state$10$130 per year$130 per yearBlue View Vision PremierVaries by state$10$180 per year$180 per yearBlue View Vision PreferredVaries by state$10$150 per year$150 per yearBlue View Vision UltraVaries by state$10$200 per year$200 per year Humana See plans 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. Pros 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 Cons Only 1 plan option Policies not available in all states Plan nameStarting premiumEye exam copayFrame allowanceContacts allowanceVision PlusVaries by state$0 – $10$200 – $250$200 Aetna See plans 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. Pros 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 Cons 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 allowanceVision PreferredNot disclosed$0$130$130 Ameritas See plans 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. Pros Most plans have no waiting periods Can purchase dental insurance with a vision policy Cons 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 CFP® 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. FAQ 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.