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FAQs of Vision Insurance Plans

How and Where Does One Obtain Vision Insurance?

Individuals can buy a vision benefit plan. Vision insurance plans may be available through your place of employment, school district or through social plans like Medicare or Medicaid.

Indemnity health insurance is traditional insurance, which allows policyholders to access medical providers of their choice. Vision insurance is often a value-added benefit included in indemnity health insurance plans, health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and plans offered by preferred provider organizations (PPOs).

An HMO health plan requires its members to access health care only from HMO providers. HMOs provide health care services to plan members at discounted rates. HMOs include a range of health care professionals – doctors, laboratories and hospitals.

A PPO is a network of health care professionals who provide health care services to membership at discounted rates. Plan members may use out-of-network providers, but they usually will pay more for the services rendered.

What Types of Vision Insurance Plans Are Available?

Vision insurance comes in two forms, a discount vision plan or a vision benefits package.

Discount Vision Plan – Eye care at fixed discounted rates after an annual premium or membership fee and a deductible are paid.

Vision Benefits Package – Usually, a vision benefits package requires an annual premium or membership fee, a yearly deductible for each enrolled member and a co-pay each time a member accesses a service.

Discount vision plans and vision benefits packages are custom-designed to meet the different requirements of a wide range of customers, such as unions, big, mid- size and small companies and school districts.

What is included in vision insurance?

Standard Vision insurance usually includes the following services and products:

  • LASIK and PRK vision correction at discounted rates
  • Annual eye examinations
  • Contact lenses
  • Eyeglass frames
  • Eyeglass lenses

Usually, services acquired from network providers are more affordable than services from out-of-network providers.

Are there payment options?

If group vision insurance is available from your employer, you pay for it through payroll deductions or flexible spending accounts.

A flexible spending account, sometimes referred to as a cafeteria plan, allows an employee to use pre-tax dollars to purchase selected health benefits such as vision insurance. This plan saves your money because you receive the full benefit of income that has been set aside for health costs, making it not subject to or reduced by taxation.

If you are self – employed or if your employer does not offer vision insurance then you can expect to be billed monthly or annually.

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Dear Patients,

As of Tuesday evening, March 17th, the CDC has recommended that all routine eye care be deferred until further notice, in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19 through our community.

Please be assured that we are still available to triage all urgent and emergent calls during this challenging time.

We are officially closing our offices effective at 3:00pm today, March 20 th and tentatively plan to reopen on April 1 st . We are rescheduling all routine visits and are available by phone to triage ocular emergencies.

Our phone lines will be open:

Monday the 23 rd and 30 th : 10:00am to 5:00pm

Tuesday-Friday (24 th -27 th and the 31 st ): 9:00am to 3:00pm

What does this mean?

1) If you are scheduled for an annual eye examination we will tentatively reschedule you starting April 1 st

2) If you are running out of a medication please contact us and we can transmit a refill electronically to your pharmacy.

3) If you have an issue which cannot wait for an office visit, contact us and we will schedule a Telephone appointment with one of our doctors. Medicare has temporarily relaxed its telehealth rules to allow this type of communication during the pandemic crisis. Other insurers may follow suit and allow for reimbursement of virtual care costs. The consultation must be initiated at your request.

4) If you have an ocular emergency we are, as always, available to help you at any time. Call 1-850-455-0120 andwait for instructions at the end of the message.

Dr. Leonard or Dr. Charbonneau will discuss your condition by phone and make the best treatment decision for you on a one on one basis.

5) Please remember that 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild and resolve within a week. However, if you feel your symptoms are worsening, call ahead before visiting your doctor’s office or emergency department and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

The CDC has many wonderful resources. Arming yourself and your family with clear information will help you avoid undue stress.

https://bit.ly/2WxWYIe and https://bit.ly/33FBlXZ

Together we will weather this storm.

With sincerest wishes for your continued good health we remain at your service,

Dr. Clare L Leonard

Dr. Mary Charbonneau