Should You Take Vision Insurance?

Image: Granada Hills Optometry
Image: Granada Hills Optometry

There has been some interesting threads on Facebook forums about taking vision insurance. It is also a trend to stop taking any type of insurance altogether. As all doctors are becoming fed up with the cost associated with insurance, many are going to concierge type of practice and or quit taking insurance at all.

What I find interesting is that doctors losing money with insurance is not just relegated to eyecare. We are also quick to point out what is wrong in our industry and apply to others.

Is is scary, yeah.. especially when 50-80% of your income might be from some type of managed care company. What is even scarier, working for FREE.

That said, I thought I would put up an older thread minus the names to give you some input as to what others are saying. Even

I just got off of the phone with XXXXX from VSP . I told him that I cannot continue to accept the $65.00 that I get for an eye exam (VSP $55 + $10 copay). He told me that if they increased my reimbursement that they would have to increase what they charge their customers. If they did that they would lose customers and then I would have less patients. ??? He also explained that if I sell inferior products that I would make more money.??? I will not continue to accept 40% of what I bill. For every 10 VSP patients that I see I am seeing 6 for free. That includes glasses and contacts. In addition to the low fee, I have to take hit from the credit card companies. I have to pay my staff hours/month to pull authorizations. I have to pay my staff hours/month to bill and reconcile the payments. Na, na, na, na. Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey goodbye.

  • The main problem is the exam fees have not increased in the 21 years we’ve been open and they have taken away the profit from materials. Good luck.
  • Hmmm… VSP at $65… In Ontario the provincial plan pays 39.15 to 47.00 depending on age and social status. VSP sounds great to me… Lol
  • I’ll take VSP exam payments over CombBenefits and EyeMed ANY DAY of the week!
  • I recommend you if you are going to remove yourself from the panel. XXXXX just gave you the same VSP spiel that they will give to everybody: see more patients, get less profit per patient, work harder to MAYBE get the same amount of income. What is wrong with that picture?
  • I have never accepted any “vision plan” of any sort. I think they demeanor OD’s and do not put the patient first. I strongly encourage our profession to all stand in unison and shout “NO” or HTTN for the vision plan scam. You CAN survive without vision plans. My practice has been surviving with me for almost 15 years and the prior practitioner 45+.
  • Congratulations, you will see fewer patients but in the end, your more relaxed and customer service centric staff will be seeing a lot more private pay. You will in only a few months make more money, have a higher referal rate, and enjoy your career just a bit more.
  • I fear that in 10 years there will be very little medical plans to bill and most eye exams will all be vision plans. I just don;t know how optometrist are going to make ends meet.
  • If you lose money on each vision plan patient, you can’t make it up on volume… Adios!
  • the ACA is shifting that in WA to more medical plans offering routine eye coverage, and less managed care. Even non ACA corporate clients are asking for eye exam coverage.
  • 40% of nothing =0. Just sayin’
  • VSP’s bigger problem is the frame reimbursement. It’s set up so you get wholesale for the frame and retail is based on a 3x mark-up. Who uses 3X mark-up anymore with today’s competition?
  • Does anyone ask or find out what each patient actually pays for their vision coverage per year and let them know what a bad deal they are getting?
  • I recently had the same conversation with VSP and decided to drop them as well..
  • The only ways they offered for me to achieve higher reimbursement was to carry over $15k in Marchon or Altair Eyewear, & utilize the UNITY line of lenses through their V…
  • DUMP V.S.P. 12 YRS AGO
  • Congratulations!!! I’m 15 mos out from dumping them and L O V I N G it!
  • 65 is good! Eyemed paid 40
  • do you accept any vision plans? I only take VSP but seriously thinking of dropping. I refuse to carry their frames and use their lenses. That’s why I’ve never took Eyemed or Lux. (it’s the principle )
  • VSP charges about $24-40 a month in premium
  • You should ask XXXX where did the two billions $ Marchon purchase $ came from ? Where VSP got the money purchase Labs all around US? Why did IRS suit VP for taxes? VSP had 56 million in profit 2012
  • Stop playing poor
  • Your exam reimbursement is higher than mine. $49.50 and $10.00 copay from patient!! What gives? Have you tried to find a frame company not in frame facts? Send me a private message I have a few names.
  • My theory,as always, is that when one of us leaves it’s a “high five” at the executive offices. They are probably on commission.
  • Colleagues listen to yourself trying to make a “silk purse out of a sow’s ears”. No plan that pays you substantially less then your worth is worth keeping. Learn how to grow a practice apart from managed vision care! Please for your own sake!
  • Right, and the plans will reach an apex when more of us quit. It’s part of the evolution of medical vs. retail practices.

Other resources

IOT Camber Steady Plus - The Optical Journal