Pros / It has plans with premiums as low as $6.
Cons / It is only available in California.
Verdict / Vision Plan of America has a good collection of benefits and reasonable premiums, but it’s only available in one state.
Vision Plan of America offers affordable vision insurance but only if you live in California. Because it’s limited geographically, it’s obviously not the best option for many people. But if you live in the Golden State, you can get plans with good benefits and affordable premiums. If you live elsewhere in the country, United Healthcare is worth looking into.
The most basic plan, called A Pair and a Spare, has a monthly premium of $6. This is one of the cheapest plans we saw. The VIP Premier plan has better benefits and costs $12 a month. Plans that cover spouses and dependents also cost $12 a month. One drawback of Vision Plan of America is it charges a $16 enrollment fee to join.
A Pair and a Spare offers some decent benefits for a low-cost plan. Eye exams have a $36 copay, and Vision Plan of America covers the rest of the cost. Since eye exams cost between $100 and $200 without insurance, this is already a substantial savings. You also get a 25-percent discount on frames and are eligible for various copays and discounts on contact lenses, depending on the lenses. These benefits are typical of most basic low-cost plans.
If you want stronger benefits, look at the VIP Premier plan – its benefits are more in line with what most people expect from vision insurance. There’s a $25 annual exam copay, and after you pay that, there’s no charge for eye exams and lenses. You get a $100 allowance for frames, and contact lenses are subject to various copays or allowances.
Vision Plan of America is the smallest insurer we reviewed. It has a network of around 400 providers, and you can use a tool on the company’s website to find eye doctors nearby. One of this insurer’s disadvantages is it doesn’t have any out-of-network benefits. Also, its provider network doesn’t include retail locations like Target and Costco.