Covered California is giving individuals and families another option for vision insurance with the addition of EyeMed vision plans in 2016. The new EyeMed plans compete against the VSP Covered California vision plans added earlier in the year. Before families enroll in one of the vision plans they should remember that health insurance through Covered California also includes vision benefits for household members 18 years old and younger.
Covered California has struck a deal with VSP vision insurance plans to offer Covered California members vision insurance. The VSP vision insurance plan is only available to Covered California members. For the bare essentials of vision coverage, the VSP – Covered California plan is very competitive when compared to other insurance plans on the market. However, there are some eye wear options that don’t have specific copayment amounts and could cost the plan member more in the long run.
When searching for supplemental health benefits like dental and vision insurance, be cautious of paying additional fees or joining membership associations tied to the insurance. VSP vision insurance, Delta Dental and AARP all have marketing agreements that mandate the purchase of an association membership or one-time fee. These associations may offer little value to the member and only serve as another revenue stream for the issuing company.
One of the secondary benefits of the Affordable Care Act is the new plan offerings in the individual market. Both VSP and Blue Shield of California have introduced individual and family vision insurance plans (IFP) with benefits rivaling group plans. Just as we have seen the medical benefits for IFP become equivalent to small group plans, the insurers are reworking their dental and vision insurance products to be more comprehensive as well.