If you need basic vision care and have no special vision needs, EyeBenefits is an excellent choice. You only pay an annual fee – and no monthly premium.
Navigating in our world as we age becomes more difficult and sometimes more dangerous if all our senses are not keen. That is why it is important to stay on top of our eye health as we age. After 60, we may find that it becomes more difficult to drive at night due to glare, and we experience a reduction in peripheral vision. Medicare does not cover routine vision needs, so finding a way to get annual eye examinations, plus whatever eyewear we need, becomes a priority. EyeBenefits is not insurance, but a straight discount plan. It might be just what you need.
|None; annual fee of $30 for individuals, $45 for families (discounted rate for groups)|
Do you have one?
Do you pay one?
Ease of enrollment
Ways you can enroll?
Access to support
Availability to help?
|No customer service number; calls to the main number say to leave a message or visit the website|
What services are covered?
|Comprehensive eye exam, frames and lenses, or contact lenses, plus LASIK|
Limits to coverage
Annual maximum payment?
How long until use?
|Immediately upon enrolling|
Access to current doctor?
|None; If your doctor is not a member, you cannot use the benefit|
Types of payment accepted?
|Credit cards and automatic withdrawal from checking|
No matter what your age, you should be getting regular eye exams. After the age of 50, you should get an exam annually. As we age, our vision normally declines, and we become more susceptible to diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. That makes it critical to monitor your eye health with eye exams and deal with any changes as soon as they present themselves. EyeBenefits offers the same discounts to seniors of any age. The amount saved depends on whether you are using a national chain, regional chain or independent optical location. Doctors and vision centers accepting EyeBenefits claims exist in every U.S. state. The chances are that you will find one convenient to you in your neighborhood.
Mobility may become an issue in getting the most out of a plan such as EyeBenefits, so poor health may cause an added challenge. However, staying on top of your eye health is no less important as you go from great to good to poor health. Advanced states of age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration only increase the effort needed to fight declining health, so the sooner they are caught, the better. Also, loss of vision adds a discouraging note; it can be one more way in which you become dependent on others. So, to the extent possible, maintaining your eye health is an invaluable goal, and the savings offered by EyeBenefits can make that goal easier to achieve.
EyeBenefits is not an insurance plan but is a discount plan that offers savings on eye exams, frames and lenses. Once you have paid the annual membership, you can use the plan as often as needed throughout the year. As a straight discount plan, you may well see overall savings since there is no monthly premium to pay. However, the rate of savings differs based on where you use your benefits, so shopping around for different types of providers is important (independent locations vs regional chain locations vs national chains). Also, if you are uncomfortable not always being able to reach a live person on the phone, this service might disappoint you. In summary, if all you need is basic coverage, but don’t have any special vision care issues, this could be an excellent choice to meet your vision needs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the copay? There is no copay for EyeBenefits. You pay an annual fee only.
How and when can I get in touch if I have questions? You can call the number or send an email to the address listed on the company’s website. In most cases, you cannot speak to a person. You can call any time, but you will need to leave a message and wait for a callback.
If I sign up, are there any other benefits offered? Remember that EyeBenefits is a discount program, not insurance. The company does give you access to excellent discounts on hearing services.
Overview: EyeBenefits is not insurance. There are discounts on services, frames and lenses. Benefit levels vary depending on where you use the benefit.
Package Details: If you use a national chain such as Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club, you save $5 off the customary fee for exams. If you use a regional chain or an independent optical location (independent doctor), you will save 10-20 percent on exams. The savings are similar for a contact lens exam. Frames and lenses purchased at an independent optical location offer a savings of 15-30 percent off retail. At national chains, frames and lenses garner 30-percent savings off the retail price.
Other Services: EyeBenefits offers benefits on contact lenses: it has partnered with 1800AnyLens, an online mail order service for contact lenses. They offer ‘close to wholesale’ pricing with an additional 10-percent discount. Shipping is always free.
Contract Details: You must request cancellation within 30 days from the date you receive your EyeBenefits membership card to have access to a refund. Call the company at its toll-free number and follow the cancellation instructions they provide. Inquiries are acknowledged in writing within five business days of receipt, and the results of the investigation into your complaint will be provided no later than 30 days after the complaint was received by the company. This plan may not be available in AK CT, MT, RI and WA.
Warranty: While not stated as a warranty, the company says that its guiding principles include providing EyeBenefits members with quality products and services.
Accreditations: EyeBenefits has not received accreditation by the Better Business Bureau.
Company Details: EyeBenefits was established in 1987. The discount plan was offered originally as an enhancement to pre-paid dental plan packages. More recently, EyeBenefits has broadened its marketing efforts to include HMOs, insurance companies, third party administrators, employers and associations. Today the company has over 14,000 optical and LASIK locations in the U.S. The CEO/President of EyeBenefits, Mary Carder, has served since 1999. Its website states its guiding principles as follows: to establish an outstanding reputation in the industry, to provide EyeBenefits members with quality products and services and to hold the company and all associates to the very highest ethical standards.
P.O. Box 14106
Scottsdale, Arizona 85267