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EyeBenefits review

Great discounts but small network

EyeBenefits review
(Image: © EyeBenefits)

Our Verdict

In these difficult days a workplace that provides a decent vision plan is a rare thing, so if you need a cost-effective safety net for you and your loved ones’ eye care, EyeBenefits offers a great avenue to explore.

For

  • Low, annual membership fee
  • Discounts as often as you need them
  • LASIK included

Against

  • Not a traditional insurance policy
  • Small network

EyeBenefits has been trading for more than 30 years and is based in Scottsdale Arizona. The company was originally formed to enhance existing dental packages with eye care benefits, but has since expanded its remit to include a whole range of vision discounts available to the public directly, and if you already have the best vision insurance for your eye care needs, EyeBenefits is a great way to enhance it.

Eyebenefits operates a little differently to most insurance companies. It bills annually rather than monthly and for a single membership, the fee is just $30 per year, the fee rising to $45 to cover your whole family. Compared to a comprehensive vision insurance policy, it’s really good value. You can use your discounts as often as you need them, and costly procedures such as Lasik surgery are advertised with free exams at discounts of as much as 50 percent. A different approach to vision care financing, and one that could work in your favor.

For this, rather than a standard policy with benefits, you get discounts for any unexpected vision expenses you might incur. No copay, no allowance, just a fixed percentage discount on a range of eye care related procedures and equipment. 

When you visit a participating doctor in the network, you’ll get the discounts you expect. And what’s more you and all of you family can use the discounts as often you choose. You can nominate your favorite doctor’s office for membership, and they’ll get the benefit of inclusion on EyeBenefits’ site and the additional business that brings. 

The network consists of over 14,000 eye care locations, taking in both independent doctors, as well as larger chains and superstores. As a discount scheme rather than an insurance policy, it’s easier to administer for everyone concerned. 

EyeBenefits review: overview

The whole EyeBenefit scheme (club, discount program, call it what you will) isn’t an insurance policy, but it’s intended to work either instead of, or in support of your vision insurance. 

For a really low annual fee ($30 or $45 if you need to include members of your immediate family) you get fixed discounts on vision exams, glasses and contact lenses. The network of doctors that support the scheme isn’t as big as some traditional insurance networks, but it stands at over 14,000 currently, and is growing. 

You can also nominate your existing doctor as a new member, giving them the benefit of increased advertising and network membership in return for those discounts.

EyeBenefits: available discounts

The fact that you and your family can access the discount as often as you like could, depending on your circumstances and spending, be a really good deal. 

If you’re a regular shopper for new frames, have a taste for designer eye fashion or are the sort of person who loses, breaks or damages their glasses often then a regular discount might work out significantly more cost effective than an annual allowance. Also, if you’re a big user of color or cosmetic lenses, this might allow you new and discounted options.

EyeBenefits: financing options

This different way of financing your eye care is EyeBenefits big selling point, and your current spend (and where you choose to spend it) is going to decide whether this model works for you and yours. 

In the times we live, workplace policies are harder to find, and paying for your own vision insurance alongside the host of other household expenses is an expensive chore. EyeBenefits, being outside the regular insurance industry, cuts down on paperwork, doesn’t require you to claim back expenses, and cuts down on monthly outgoings that need to be factored into your budget. $30 a year for a fixed discount or $16.34 a month with a $15 copay and $150 allowance every second year. The simplicity is a real boon.

EyeBenefits review: discounts

A major string to EyeBenefits’ bow is the inclusion of LASIK surgery in its plan. Of all the optical expenses you’re ever likely to incur this could be the most significant single bill. Most laser surgery is considered an elective procedure, so isn’t regularly covered by eye care insurance policies. Some do offer a discount or partial allowance, but it’s not universal by any means, so if this is key to your buying decision be sure to check. 

EyeBenefits website will redirect you to qualsight.com if you ask about LASIK. They’re an accredited discount laser surgery clinic who advertise 40-50 percent savings on their operations, but it’s not easily clear what additional discount EyeBenefits’ members should expect.

EyeBenefits review: verdict

EyeBenefits doesn’t fit in to an existing category of insurer, instead choosing to act as a members’ discount scheme. It’s designed to enhance your vision policy if your eye wear spending is still high after your allowances have been spent already. 

The network isn’t huge, but it’s extensive enough for most people, and well spread across the states. There are no monthly fees, you pay annually, and the $30 for an individual membership is low. 

If your regular spending on eye wear is cosmetic, this could work our very cost effective as a stand-alone package. 

Corrective LASIK surgery qualifies for a (rather unspecified) discount, and your membership applies you discount as soon as you join. So if you think you need laser surgery, this is worth checking, at least. 

This offering is a novel approach, one that cuts down on paperwork and admin, as well as upfront fees. It won’t suit everyone’s needs but if you’re a big spender on eyewear it could save you money.

EyeBenefits review: insurance options

If you don't have vision care insurance and are interested in coupling EyeBenefits with coverage, take a look at our reviews of VSP Direct vision insurance, Ameritas Vision, Anthem Blue View Vision and Direct Vision Insurance. For a budget option, try Humana Vision