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Home » News » What is vision insurance and how much does it cost?

What is vision insurance and how much does it cost?

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Vision insurance typically describes all health plans that are made to lower your out-of-pocket expenses for routine, preventive eye care services (i.e. eye exams) and prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some vision insurance plans also offer substantial discounts on elective procedures, such as LASIK laser eye surgery and PRK.

Our staff at Corktown Eyecare is knowledgeable about how vision insurance works and we can help you make the most of your benefits. Visit our Toronto, Ontario , anytime for more information.

Vision insurance vs. Medical insurance

In general, vision insurance plans are designed as discount plans or packages that give very specific benefits for an annual premium. In contrast, most major medical insurance policies offer unlimited benefits after co-pays and deductibles are met.

In some respects, vision insurance is like a gift card that can be used to cover a large part of the cost of routine eye exams and eyewear. Or you can use it to purchase premium designer eyeglasses or specialty products, such as progressive lenses, photochromic lenses, and anti-reflective coating at a more affordable price. When it comes to how to apply vision insurance, the choice is yours.

Every vision insurance plan is different – read the fine print

It’s smart to look through and fully understand the costs and benefits of your vision insurance plan. If you receive coverage through a plan from your employment, take the time to find out what’s being offered.

When you visit our Toronto, Ontario , optical store, we invite you to consult with our staff about what your vision insurance covers before your eye exam and eyeglasses purchase, so you don’t experience any surprises afterwards.

Where to get vision insurance

Vision insurance is commonly offered by companies and associations, or by government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. However, if you are self-employed, most providers of vision insurance also offer policies that you can buy independently.

Vision insurance is also offered frequently as a value-added benefit linked to HMOs, PPOs, and indemnity health insurance (traditional insurance that enables policyholders to choose their own medical providers), that contracted with vision care networks to offer basic eye care services.

Basic benefits of vision insurance

If you have a vision benefits package, you will usually receive free eye care services, prescription eyeglasses, and contact lenses within fixed costs – in exchange for an annual membership fee or premium. Generally, there is also a small co-pay (a fixed price) every time you access a vision service. Sometimes, a vision benefits package may also include a deductible, which is a fixed price you’ll need to pay your eye care provider out-of-pocket before your insurance benefits kick in.

If you have a discount vision plan, you will receive eye care, prescription eyeglasses, and contact lenses at a reduced rate – after you pay a yearly premium or membership fee.

Benefits include:

  • Access to a network of eye care providers, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, eyewear stores, LASIK surgeons, and optical laboratories
  • Annual eye exams and routine eye care services
  • Eyeglasses frames
  • Eyeglasses lenses
  • Contact lenses
  • Discounted rates for refractive laser eye surgery, such as LASIK and PRK

Cost of vision insurance

When selecting your vision insurance provider, our Toronto, Ontario , eye care team recommends shopping around, when possible, to make sure you get the best value for the benefits you want.

Group vision insurance is generally paid for through payroll deductions or flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Your FSA allows you to use pre-tax dollars to buy selected health benefits, such as vision insurance. If you’re self-employed and buying an individual vision insurance plan, you’ll be billed annually or monthly.

The price of vision insurance varies based on what state you live in, as well as on how the plan is designed. Vision Service Plan (VSP) is the largest vision plan provider in the US, and their costs are approximately as follows:

  • Annual premium for VSP plan (employees only) - $90
  • Eye exam - $10 co-pay
  • Eyeglasses frames with single vision lenses - $25 co-pay
  • Polycarbonate lenses - $31
  • Photochromic lenses - $70
  • Anti-reflective coating - $69

Speak to our Toronto, Ontario , eye care staff

If you have any questions about your vision insurance plan – exactly what it gives you and how much you need to pay – please stop by Corktown Eyecare to consult with our knowledgeable team!


At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

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