Q: Why don’t you take vision insurance?
A: ‘Insurance’ implies financial protection in the event of illness. There is no such thing as a true, separate insurance for vision. Medical insurance covers the eyes, and that includes exams for eye injury, infection and ocular disease diagnosis/management. The same insurance typically includes a comprehensive eye exam every 1 or 2 years.
If you also have a vision discount plan, like VSP or EyeMed, you (or your employer) fund this plan each pay period. These plans negotiate a lower rate of reimbursement with optometrists and opticians in exchange for mention in a directory. Patients pay for a discount, and providers don‘t have to work quite so hard at advertising.
I don’t participate for several reasons.
-Most of these plans restrict the products available to you, the patient. I want freedom to use exactly what you need.
-Some plans, in an effort to control costs, require use of their own lab for lens fabrication. I find these labs often create lenses of substandard quality, and can create delays.
-These vision plans also own frame companies, lens companies and the like. For example, Luxottica owns EyeMed, and VSP owns Marchon. As an independent optician, I balk at supporting vertical integration.
-Finally, their billing and reimbursement systems create chaos. You’ll see bigger savings with my prices as a result of avoiding these plans.
I am happy to assist you in submitting out-of-network paperwork so you receive a reimbursement check directly. I am not able to quote or otherwise guarantee reimbursement amounts.