Unless you've had vision insurance before, you're probably not sure what it offers. But whether you wear glasses, contacts, want LASIK, or have good eyesight, vision plans offer something for everyone. Here's what most plans have to offer:

Yearly Eye Exam

Most plans offer a free or low-cost yearly eye exam. You may have a small co-pay, usually $15 or under. Even if you don't have glasses, this eye exam offers important health benefits for you and your family. The eye doctor isn't just checking to make sure you can read the big "E" on the top of the eye chart. He or she is also checking to make sure your eyes show no signs of disease or cancer. There's no other way to get this kind of specialized exam. Your primary care physician can't perform these tests, for example. For things like glaucoma testing and cancer screening, you need an ophthalmologist.

Corrective Lenses

If you have a little trouble reading that eye chart, you probably need corrective lenses. Your vision insurance will contribute most of that cost. VSP vision insurance, for example, has a $25 co-pay on prescription glasses. Every 12 months, you can get a new pair of lenses (including lined bifocals and trifocals if you need them). Every 24 months, you can get a new pair of frames. VSP contributes $130 toward the frame of your choice, and offers you 20% off any out-of-pocket costs if you choose frames that are more expensive.

But what if you prefer contact lenses? That's not a problem. Vision insurance companies will usually offer a yearly allowance for contacts and your fitting exam. For example, VSP vision insurance offers $130 every year for the lenses and exam.

Discount on LASIK

Maybe you're tired of glasses or contacts. If you're ready to look into LASIK, your vision insurance can help you pay for your surgery. Most vision plans offer a discounted price if you have LASIK performed by one of their in-network providers. Discounts range from 5% to 15%, depending on your plan and provider.

If you need glasses, contacts, or LASIK, vision insurance can make sure you get the exams and materials you need at a discounted rate.

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