VISION BLOG

The Best Vision Insurance for Seniors

The Best Vision Insurance for Seniors

As you get older, it’s normal to notice some changes in your vision. Even if you never had to wear glasses or contact lenses in the past, you might need them in your senior years. Unfortunately, they can be expensive. And when you’re on a fixed budget, it may be difficult to cover the cost of vision exams and corrective lenses.  There’s no need to sacrifice quality vision care at any time in your life, including in your golden years. The right vision insurance can help ensure you’ll be able to see clearly without breaking the bank.      Overview What Is the best vision insurance for seniors Direct Vision Insurance VSP Insurance Spirit Dental & Vision Insurance What is the best vision insurance for seniors on Medicare? Does Medicare cover any eye care? What Medicare plan covers vision? Are stand-alone plans also an option? Find vision insurance on the Direct Benefits Marketplace   What is the best vision insurance for seniors? 1. Direct Vision Insurance Direct Vision is a vision insurance company that offers plans with low premiums, so it can be a good place to start.  Plans may cover annual exams at 100%, so you can stay on top of your vision without needing to worry about cost. And because you may not have to deal with any waiting periods, you can book your appointment right away after enrollment.  Other benefits may include high allowances for frames and contacts, as well as discounts for prescription sunglasses and LASIK.   2. VSP VSP is another popular option in the world of vision insurance for retirees and seniors. You may be able to enroll in a plan that’s customized to suit your needs, and you might be pleasantly surprised by how low the monthly premium is.  Plan features might include same-day enrollment, savings on glasses and contacts, and coverage for comprehensive eye exams. Plus, you may receive discounts on LASIK and savings on lens enhancements. Although you aren’t required to choose an in-network eye doctor, you can get the most savings by doing so, and the good news is VSP has a large network.  3. Spirit Dental and Vision Insurance  Spirit is a smart choice when you’re searching for the best dental and vision insurance for seniors. This is a convenient option because you can affordably add vision coverage to your dental plan. A healthy smile and clear vision—who wouldn’t want that? The add-on vision coverage that Spirit offers is through the EyeMed Vision Care Network. It may help you save money on eye exams, eyewear, and lenses. And you might be able to get it all for just $7 per month.  With this insurance, there may be low deductibles (once annually or once every two years) for exams, glasses, and contact lenses.   What is the best vision insurance for seniors on Medicare? If you’re planning on enrolling in Medicare, you might have questions regarding what will be covered when it comes to vision care. Below are some answers to a few FAQs.  Does Medicare cover any eye care?  Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) might help cover the cost of eye care that’s related to a medical problem. For instance, if you’ve injured your eye or have a condition (such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or cataracts) that needs to be treated, Medicare might provide support.    In other words, Medicare may step in if you have a medical reason to have your eyes examined and treated. Example: you’re experiencing symptoms and need to have a doctor check and diagnose your eyes. Or, if you have a medical reason for needing glasses or contacts, such as after cataract surgery, Medicare might help.  Also, if you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that could affect the eyes (e.g. diabetes), Medicare might help cover the cost of having your eyes examined regularly to stay on top of changes. And if you’re at a high risk of developing a condition, such as glaucoma, you might be able to get coverage from Medicare in that case as well.  However, routine eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses typically won’t be covered by Original Medicare. What Medicare plan covers vision? Are stand-alone plans also an option? For extra vision coverage that can help cover the cost of routine eye exams and corrective lenses, check out Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans. This might help fill the gap left behind by Original Medicare.  If that still leaves you wanting more, rest assured that you can find stand-alone plans too. In fact, you might be able to find the best dental, vision, and hearing insurance for seniors by going directly to the insurers in your area and asking about their plans.    Find Vision Insurance on the Direct Benefits Marketplace Are you ready to shop for vision insurance but you aren’t sure where to begin? Direct Benefits Marketplace can streamline the process of finding and purchasing the right insurance for your needs. You can uncover the policies available in your area quickly and easily. Then, you can compare plans, select one, and begin the enrollment process. Get started now so you won’t need to go another day without this valuable coverage. What is the cost of eye insurance?

The Best Vision Insurance Companies

The Best Vision Insurance Companies

Getting the corrective lenses you need to see clearly is crucial, but if you’ve ever gone to the eye doctor and had to pay for it all out of pocket, you know how expensive exams, glasses, and contacts can be. And the high cost might hold you back from seeing the doctor as often as you should.  The bad news: your medical insurance probably doesn’t cover routine eye exams or corrective lenses.  The good news: the solution is simple! Just enroll in affordable and comprehensive vision insurance.   Overview What Is the Best Vision Insurance? 4 Companies to Consider VSP Insurance Direct Vision Insurance Spirit Dental & Vision Insurance EyeMed What Should You Look For in the Best Vision Plans? What Is the Cost of Eye Insurance? Direct Benefits Marketplace Can Help You Shop for Vision Insurance What is the best vision Insurance? 4 companies to consider 1. VSP Insurance One of the most well-known vision insurance companies is VSP. Plan options include those with low premiums, same-day enrollment, and discounts on LASIK. But it doesn’t end there, as this insurer also helps you save on glasses and contact lenses. You might be able to save on lens enhancements as well. Plus, eye exams are covered, and you have a large network of doctors to choose from. But how much does a VSP plan cost? Individual plans start at around $13 per month.  2. Direct Vision Insurance    With Direct Vision, you might be able to find a plan that suits your needs and comes with the low price that fits your budget. In fact, monthly premiums might be less than $10. Benefits may include 100% coverage for annual exams, no waiting periods, and discounts for LASIK, along with savings on glasses, contacts, and prescription sunglasses. Plus, you might get up to a $150 allowance for frames or contact lenses.  3. Spirit Dental and Vision Insurance  Shopping for the best dental and vision insurance at the same time? Then check out Spirit! They offer a variety of dental plans, but you can add on vision coverage for as little as $7 per month. Plus, deductibles are low, so you don’t need to break the bank to access quality care. Once enrolled, this coverage can help you save money when you need an eye exam, glasses, or contacts. 4. EyeMed  EyeMed offers plans for individuals and families, and you may be able to find options that start at around $5 per month. Depending on the plan you go with, you might reap the benefits of discounts, covered allowances, or copays that help lower the cost of exams, glasses, and contacts. Plus, you can choose from a large network of eye doctors, online providers, and optical retailers.   What should you look for in the best vision plans?   The best eye vision plans can help cover the cost of eye exams, frames, lenses, contacts, and LASIK. But not all policies are created equal, so it’s wise to look into the details carefully before signing up.  As you browse the plans available in your area, consider the out-of-pocket costs. These include premiums, copays, and deductibles. Also, keep in mind that not all products and services may be covered at 100%. There might be limits on coverage or exclusions that aren’t covered at all. For example, even though an annual eye exam might be covered entirely, you might need to pay a portion of the cost of glasses or contact lenses, or there might be restrictions on how often you can get new frames or contacts.  When shopping for any type of insurance, it’s also important to look into a company’s network of doctors. Typically, you need to stay in-network to get the most coverage, but some insurers might give you benefits even if you go out-of-network. So, if you want to stick with a particular doctor, you might want to ask them which insurers they work with.    What is the cost of eye insurance? If you’re worried about how much this type of insurance will cost, rest assured that it can be super affordable, even for those on a tight budget. This means you don’t need to sacrifice having the best eye insurance that will give you peace of mind and help you save money.  Whether you’re looking for the best vision insurance for LASIK or the best vision plan for contacts, the ideal policy is out there, and it probably isn’t as expensive as you might imagine.  Of course, prices and benefits will vary from one insurer to another, and costs might depend on factors like where you’re located. For example, you might be able to find a basic vision plan that’s less than $15 per month. Plans that cover more will be pricier, of course, but they may still be less than $50 per month.  Direct Benefits Marketplace can help you shop for vision insurance Finding the best vision insurance providers in your area can be difficult. Simplify things by using the Direct Benefits Marketplace! We can help you compare plans to figure out which vision insurance is the right choice for yourself and your family. And once you’ve found the policy that suits your needs, you can sign up immediately, so you won’t need to delay getting the coverage you want.  

5 Signs You May Need Reading Glasses

5 Signs You May Need Reading Glasses

It's inevitable. As we age, the lenses and intricate muscles of our eyes--just like our shoulder, knee and hip joints--lose elasticity and flexibility. Are you having trouble focusing on close-up details? Reading the fine print on the vitamin bottle? Finding the right spot - by moving your arms out and in - where the book or tablet is readable? Then you have presbyopia{...}. Originating from Greek language, meaning "elderly vision," presbyopia develops as we age, causing our eyes to strain as we focus on close or nearby objects. The treatment is simple. It's time for reading glasses.  Need more convincing? We have a few other indications that it may be time for readers.  Physical symptoms Squinting, eye fatigue or strain, headaches, blurred vision: These physical symptoms occur because the lenses in your eyes are becoming less flexible and your eyes are working harder to see.  Let there be light Are you starting to turn on all the lights when you enter a room? Not to worry. Studies show that people over the age of 60 require up to three times as much light as millennials to read or perform close-up tasks. You do need plenty of light in order to read--even with reading glasses.  Seeing halos If you see glowing circles around car headlights, street lights or light bulbs,  you may have presbyopia.  Your optometrist says so If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s time for an eye exam. Your doctor may suggest readers, bifocals, or a new prescription for your daily eyewear. Staying current with your comprehensive eye exams and visiting your eye doctor at the onset of any of the above symptoms is key to maintaining good eye health well into your years.  Half or full frames? Ask your doctor if full frames (the entire lens includes your prescription for reading) or “half-eyes” (those Ben Franklin style glasses that sit lower on your nose) might be right for you. How much time do you spend reading or performing close-up tasks? If the answer is “a lot,” then talk with your doctor about getting full frames. Always make sure you are covered with the best possible vision insurance. We know this business inside and out, and we’ve got your back. We’ve done the research and are here to help with any questions. Chat with one of our teammates, call at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. We’re glad to assist anytime. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Also, please speak to your doctor before using any form of medication, whether that is prescription or nonprescription drugs.  

Healing a Scratched Cornea

Healing a Scratched Cornea

It can happen in an instant. A twig snaps or leaf blows across your face, a poke with the mascara wand, a speck of dust, a contact lens fail: Any of these happenstances could result in a scratched eye. Known as a corneal abrasion, a scratched eye is a common occurrence, but how do you heal a scratched eye? Let's help you be prepared{...}. First of all, what exactly is the cornea? It's the clear outer layer of your eye that protects your eye from dirt, germs, and other harmful substances. The cornea is full of pain receptors--more than in your skin. So when it's damaged? It can be painful. To help you heal a scratched eye, whether it’s happens to you or someone you love, we’ve compiled some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology about caring for a corneal abrasion. If you suspect you’ve injured your eye, see your opthamologist. He or she will use a special dye that highlights the damaged area so they can diagnose the problem and recommend treatment options. If you feel an injury needs urgent treatment, get to urgent care or an emergency room right away. Once a doctor diagnoses a scratched cornea, treatment options vary depending on the injury. Options might include an eyepatch, or moisturizing or antibiotic eye drops. Contact lenses designed to alleviate pain and speed up the healing process might be prescribed, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. A minimal injury might heal in a few days. More serious injuries, of course, take longer. To accelerate the healing process, be sure to do the following: •  Blink to clear away anything that’s not meant to be in your eye. •  Rinse your eye with saline solution or even fresh water. •  Wear protective sunglasses. •  Don’t rub or touch your eyes, as this could worsen your injury. •  If you regularly wear prescription contact lenses, wear your glasses until your doctor says it’s okay to wear your contacts.  •  Don’t use eyedrops intended for redness, because this could cause more pain to a scratched eye. Prevention is good medicine. Always wear eye protection when playing sports or doing yard work. Take your time and pay attention when putting on eye makeup or brushing your hair, as fast-moving brushes close to your face are common ways in which corneas get scratched.  Finally, enjoy peace of mind and make sure you’ve got the best vision insurance possible to protect you and your family. We’ve done the research and are here to help choose the best plans for your family. Chat with one of our teammates at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology  

Tips for Visiting Your Eye Doctor Yearly

Tips for Visiting Your Eye Doctor Yearly

An eye exam may be one of the least stressful, least invasive doctor's visits you experience. So much so, that you might forget to include an eye exam on your annual wellness calendar. Still, good eyesight is critical to health and wellbeing. As you prepare for a visit to the eye doctor, or to take a loved one for an examination, provide the doctor with the most up-to-date health information. We have a few things you'll want to be ready to talk about{...}: 1. Overall health Report any current health concerns, from headaches, neck aches, and back aches to diseases, conditions, or other health concerns. Bring your medication list. Include the name of each medication, what the medication treats, the dosage order and strength, and how long you have been taking the medications. Also include any vitamin or herbal supplements, and how much, you take daily. Allergies? If so, be sure to tell the eye doctor. 2. Family history Provide information on anyone in your family with eye problems or diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. Provide information on anyone in your family with a history of other health problems that could affect the eyes, including diabetes, heart disease, blood disorders, or cancer. Mayo Clinic suggests compiling information on three generations of your family. Be sure to include great grandparents, grandparents, and parents, as well as uncles, aunts, siblings, cousins, children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. 3. Past vision health problems or injuries If you’ve experienced any eye problems or injuries in the past, describe them to your doctor, along with any treatment you received. 4. Glasses or contacts If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, the doctor will want to read your prescription. Be ready to discuss any changes you need to contacts or glasses. 5. Current vision Discuss with your doctor any general eye problems or concerns you have, which might include blurry or hazy vision at specific distances, trouble with side or peripheral vision, or pain or discomfort in certain light. 6.  Non vision-related questions Did you come to the appointment with specific concerns? Do you have immediate and longer-range vision needs? Do you have questions about vision care? 7. Bring all appropriate documents to your appointment Be sure to bring your ID, as well as your health and vision insurance information. Be sure you’ve got the best vision insurance possible. We’ve got your back. Have a question? We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, call at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Also, please speak to your doctor before using any form of medication, whether that is prescription or nonprescription drugs.

9 Tips For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

9 Tips For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

Of all of our five senses, sight may be the sense we experience the most difficulties with. We want to make sure your eyes remain as healthy as possible throughout your lifetime. So we've put together these healthy eye tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Optometric Association, and the National Eye Institute{...}. Know your family history. Who in your family has experienced vision changes? Diabetes? Glaucoma? Cataracts? Know your genetic history, so you can talk with your eye doctor about any elevated risks you may have for conditions or diseases. Staying ahead of any potential changes means you’ll experience good vision longer.  Ask your ophthalmologist to include a dilated eye exam. Many common eye problems — including glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and macular degeneration related to age — don’t have warning signs. During a dilated eye exam, the ophthalmologist places drops in your eyes that dilate the pupils, so the doctor can see into the back of your eyes for a thorough examination. Add dark leafy greens to your diet. Besides eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, include dark leafy greens. Spinach, kale, and collard greens are among the dark leafy greens that benefit healthy eyes. Also, include fish — like halibut, tuna, and salmon — to your diet, and you’re adding high amounts of eye-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Yum! Give up the cigarettes. Numerous studies show that smoking increases the risk of cataracts, optic nerve damage, and age-related macular degeneration. All of these conditions, if left untreated, can lead to blindness, according to the National Eye Institute. Care for your contacts. If you’re one of the more than 40 million Americans (according to the American Optometric Association) who wear contact lenses, here are three quick tips for you. Take great care to avoid problems like blurred or fuzzy vision, red eyes, pain, inflammation, or irritation by:  Washing your hands, before putting in or taking out contacts.  Disinfecting contact lenses on a regular basis.  Replacing contacts at any sign of discomfort or when your eye doctor says it’s time.  Always protect your eyes. Whenever you’re outside, protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses with 99 to 100% protection from UV-A and UV-B radiation. Wear protective eye gear when participating in sports; doing yard work or gardening; puttering in your workshop; or working on house projects. Your eye care provider can recommend protective eyewear for any work or play situation.  Take a break from your screens.  In the U.S., two-thirds of us spend approximately seven hours per day looking at our screens: whether computers, smartphones, or tablets, according to the American Optometric Association. This can lead to dry eye and eye strain, as well as headaches, neck aches, backaches, and fatigue. Here’s a common remedy: the “20/20/20” rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break. Stand up, take in your surroundings, and be sure to look at something 20 feet away. Your eyes, neck, and back will thank you. Know the warning signs. If you experience any of these warning signs with your eyes or sight, contact a health professional immediately to make an appointment:   •  Decreased vision •  Eye pain •  Eye redness •  Eye drainage •  Double vision •  Seeing flashes of light •  Seeing “floaters,” which are tiny specks that float in front of your eyes •  Seeing halos or circles around light sources Be sure you have great vision insurance. So, is vision insurance worth it? Yes. Good vision insurance helps you prepare for — and stay protected from — any changes in your eye health. You and your family deserve the best vision health protection you can find. We’ve done the research and are here to help! Chat with one of our team members by calling us at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Sources: National Eye Institute, American Optometric Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Is LASIK Surgery Right For You?

Is LASIK Surgery Right For You?

Thinking about LASIK surgery? If so, you've probably talked to friends and family members who have had the procedure about their experience. You've done plenty of research. You've checked out various doctors and clinics, and asked for testimonials from their clients. You're likely aware of the pros and cons. Still, we want to make sure you've considered the basics{...}: your age, overall health, the risks, and the costs involved. Let us help you make the best, and right, decision. Before deciding on LASIK surgery, think about points:  How old are you? LASIK is not recommended for anyone younger than 18, as   vision can change dramatically during the adolescent years. If you’re older than 40 and struggling with blurry vision, solutions like reading glasses could be a much better option.  How’s your overall health? If you are pregnant, have dry eye syndrome, have large pupils or thin corneas, or if you have other conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disease, or collagen vascular disease, consult with your physician to evaluate whether LASIK is a viable option for you.  Consider the risks. This is a surgery that, like any medical procedure, comes with risks. Post-surgical risks with LASIK include dry eyes, under-corrections or over-corrections in vision, glare, halos and double vision, as well as vision loss or other changes.  Consider the costs. Let us help you with this one. If LASIK surgery is right for you, give us a call. We’ll look over your current plan or a future plan that provides you with the right coverage. We’ll also compare and contrast different plans, so you receive the best value. We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, call us at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com.

3 Signs Your Child Has a Vision Problem

3 Signs Your Child Has a Vision Problem

We know you keep a close eye on your children's growth and development. But do you know how to tell if your child is having problems with their eyesight? We've done the research for you, so you know just what to look for and when. Your child's vision is as critical to their development as their overall health and wellness. In order to read and learn effectively in school, children need to have visual{...} acuity, eye focusing, eye tracking, eye teaming, visual perception and hand-eye coordination, according to the American Optometric Association. Our researchers have compiled three things to look out for as your child develops. If your little one shows any of these red flags, make an appointment with an eye doctor right away. The doctor will provide you with a diagnosis and a treatment plan to keep your child’s vision healthy. 1.Eye irritation Does your child rub their eyes a lot? Are their eyes are constantly red? Do their eyes water or tear up a lot? A pediatric eye doctor can diagnose the issue and prescribe treatment. 2. Eye Sensitivity Does your child squint or close their eyes when outside in sunlight or indoors among bright lights? This is another warning sign. Make an appointment with the ophthalmologist right away. 3. Abnormalities A variety of vision abnormalities may manifest as one or several of these symptoms: Your child can’t focus or see close-up objects clearly (for example, they have trouble reading, sit too close to the TV, or hold a tablet very close to their face) Your child can’t focus or see objects that are far away (for example, they can’t see the Smartboard at school) They have trouble tracking a moving object After 6 months of age, their eyes seem out of alignment If you notice any of these tell-tale signs, schedule an appointment for your child with a pediatric eye doctor as soon as possible. Eye problems that are caught early and diagnosed can be easily managed and oftentimes corrected. Through treatment and other preventive measures, you can often heal existing problems and avert future vision health issues. And be sure you are covered with the best possible insurance for your child and your family. We know this business inside and out and we’ve got your back. We’ve done the research and are here to help with any questions. Chat with one of our teammates, call us at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. We’re glad to assist anytime. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Also, please speak to your doctor before using any form of medication, whether that is prescription or nonprescription drugs.

4 Questions to Ask Your Eye Doctor

4 Questions to Ask Your Eye Doctor

Seeing a new eye doctor? Ready to impress your current eye doctor? We know just what you need in order to elevate your level of self-care with a forward-looking approach to caring for your eyes. Get ready for your next eye exam by consulting our list of four questions, which our researchers compiled with the National Eye Institute(which is part of the National Institutes of Health){...}. Next time you're scheduled for an eye exam, ask your doctor these questions to get the most from your visit. These questions are for your loved ones, too, so they receive the best possible care.  Question 1: What changes can I expect in my vision?  Know what to expect for your vision health based on age, profession, and vision needs so you can proactively ensure optimal eye health.  Question 2: What lifestyle changes, if any, might help my vision?  Diet, exercise, and screen time (computers, tablets, smartphone) can affect eyesight. Talk about your lifestyle with your eye doctor. Talk about ways in which you could make lifestyle changes that will improve eyesight or even prevent future vision problems. Question 3: How can I protect or prolong my vision? Talk with your eye doctor about steps you can take. Depending on what you do for work and play, your eye doctor can describe common mistakes people make in caring for their eyes — and what you can do to avoid making those mistakes. Question 4: Can you help me better understand my medical directions?  Concerns or questions about instructions your eye doctor has given you? Ask them to print out directions, or explain instructions more clearly. It’s okay to bring a family member or friend with you to appointments: They can take notes, help with interactions, or ask for clearer information. Clarifying questions you might ask could include:  “What do you mean by that?” or “Could you share an example?” or “Could you repeat that?” Are you insured? If you’re heading to an eye appointment and are unsure if your fully covered under your insurance, we’re here to help. If you’re interested in comparing and contrasting different plans, get in touch. We’ve done the research and are here to help! To chat with one of our team members, call us at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at info@directbenefits.com. Of note: The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes. Also, please speak to your doctor before using any form of medication, whether that is prescription or nonprescription drugs.