Does VSP Have Insurance Plans for Sunglasses?

By Nadya JosifovLast Updated September 9, 2020
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If you’ve ever been to the eye doctor or had to pay out of pocket for new glasses or contacts, you know that eyewear and other ocular devices can be expensive. That’s why it’s helpful to have vision insurance, which can defray the costs of some of those items that you have to pay for. Your employer may include vision coverage in your benefits package, or you may have to purchase insurance on your own.

Vision Service Plan — or VSP for short — is the largest vision benefits provider in the United States, and it also serves nearly 80 million people worldwide. Consumers across the North America, Australia, Europe and Asia rely on VSP to shoulder the burden of some of the costs of eye care and vision accessories. Learn more about VSP coverage, which includes insurance options for sunglasses, and the additional costs involved.

Are Sunglasses Really That Important?

Some people wonder if sunglasses are necessary, but they’re more than just a fashion statement. Sunglasses give your eyes crucial protection against both the harsh light and harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. It’s easy to see how sunglasses help shade your eyes from sunlight, and they come in handy for keeping you comfortable when it’s sunny and bright outside. The glare protection that sunglasses give you also helps preserve your vision.

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Sunglasses serve the same function for your eyes that sunscreen does for your skin. The sun emits ultraviolet rays that can do damage to your body, and sunglasses help guard your eyes against those rays. Additionally, sunglasses help prevent aging because they shield the skin around your eyes — which is some of the thinnest, most delicate skin anywhere on your body — from damage. Sunglasses really do much more than make you look stylish.

Do You Really Need Prescription Sunglasses?

Sunglasses are important, but do you need to get them from your optometrist, or can you just grab a pair off the shelf? How do you know if you need prescription sunglasses? If your prescription is minor, or if you just need glasses to read, you may do well with sunglasses from the store. Standard sunglasses are fine if you don’t have trouble seeing while you’re wearing them.

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However, if you’re constantly taking off your standard sunglasses and putting your prescription glasses on while you’re in the sun, you should consider prescription lenses. If you still need help seeing what’s around you, it’s worth the expense of purchasing prescription sunglasses, especially when you can take advantage of your VSP benefits. You might also be fine with non-prescription sunglasses if you wear contacts most of the time — but you still may want a prescription pair for those just-in-case times.

How Does VSP Cover Sunglasses?

Prescription sunglasses are tinted lenses, and VSP considers lens tinting an enhancement under its coverage, which means you’ll pay some costs out of pocket to get prescription sunglasses through a VSP plan. The costs for tinted lenses depend on where you live and what plan you have, so check the details of your plan for specifics about charges.

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You may not be interested in prescription sunglasses, but VSP can still help you save money on standard sunglasses. VSP offers its clients discounts and special offers on leading brands of sunglasses and additional pairs of glasses. Some VSP offers give you extra cash to spend on an extra pair of glasses — including sunglasses if you’re just buying regular frames that don’t have prescription lenses.

How Does VSP Work?

Like many other benefit providers, VSP relies on a network of doctors who accept its coverage in order to provide services to patients. You can choose one of those doctors and pay a small copay for your eye exam, along with another copay for basic lenses. If you choose to visit a doctor who isn’t in VSP’s coverage network, you’ll incur more expenses, but a VSP plan could still help prevent you from paying full price.

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VSP gives you an allowance for your glasses or contacts, but if you incur costs above that allowance, it also gives you a discount on your additional costs. Options for specific types of lenses and lens enhancements — like tinting for sunglasses — have a flat charge. Some of these charges depend on the specific plan you choose.

How Can You Get Vision Insurance Through VSP?

VSP’s vast network of providers and quality benefits have made it one of the most popular options for vision insurance. If the company you work for offers vision benefits, you can see if VSP is an option for eye care. Your employer may include VSP as part of a standard benefits package, or it may be available to you at an additional cost. Check with your human resources department to see if VSP is available to you and whether you qualify for it.

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If you’re not happy with your employer’s vision coverage or if your company doesn’t offer eye care insurance, you can purchase VSP on your own. Premium costs depend on where you live and what coverage options you want. You can purchase coverage for yourself or for your entire family, which will also determine how much you’ll pay.

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