Pros / It has the best frame and contact allowances.
Cons / VSP’s premiums are among the highest we saw.
Verdict / VSP has the best benefits we saw as well as one of the widest networks. However, its premiums are more expensive than other insurers’.
VSP is one of the largest vision insurers, providing individual coverage as well as group plans. If you don’t have vision insurance through your employer, you can buy an individual policy for yourself and your family and take advantage of its excellent collection of benefits.
This insurer’s biggest flaw is its higher-than-average premiums. However, it has a wide range of plan options to choose from, including an eyeglasses-only plan that costs $10 a month. The main plan we looked at is the Standard plan, which costs around $15 a month, though that varies depending on where you live. Even so, it is the most expensive basic plan we saw. The Enhanced plan, which has even stronger benefits, is $30 a month. Family plans start at $39 a month.
VSP’s advantage over other insurers is its superior benefits. Exam copays are $15, with VSP covering most of the cost. A typical eye exam costs between $100 and $200, so paying only $15 is already a significant savings. A few other insurers, like United Healthcare, have lower copays. However, VSP’s $15 copay is consistent across all its plans.
All plans also include a $150 allowance on frames. If you go over this amount, you get a 20-percent discount on the remaining balance. This is the highest frame allowance we saw and the best discount. Contact lenses have the same benefit: $150 and 20 percent off the remaining amount. This benefit is available once a year, and if you need additional glasses or contacts, you receive a 20 percent discount on them.
VSP covers a variety of lens types. Basic lenses cost $25, and if you want upgrades like UV protection, you pay between $16 and $33. Specialty lenses, such as anti-glare, light-to-dark tinted and no-line multifocal lenses, can cost between $80 and $175.
The EyewearOnly120 plan, which costs only $10 a month, doesn’t have any copays on eye exams. This plan has a frame or contact allowance of $120 and includes the 20-percent discount on the remaining cost.
VSP has a relatively large network of around 36,000 providers. There’s a tool on its website that can help you find nearby vision providers. In case you want to keep seeing your eye doctor and they don’t work with VSP, you can access some out-of-network benefits. These include up to $45 on eye exams, $70 on frames and $105 on contact lenses. One drawback to using an out-of-network provider is you have to fill out the paperwork yourself to get reimbursed.