Best Vision Insurance Plans: Get Covered With An Individual Plan

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UnitedHealthcare logo
Ameritas logo

The best vision insurance plans can save you hundreds of dollars every year. If you’ve never had vision insurance before, you’re probably wondering: What does eye insurance cover? And how much is vision insurance?

We’ll answer these questions and more to help you find affordable vision insurance.

Article Overview

What Is Vision Insurance?

Basic vision insurance typically covers an eye examination with dilation, eyeglass frames, eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. Some plans even include partial coverage for refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK.

If you need eye surgery or have significant medical issues with your eyes, those conditions should be covered by your regular health insurance plan.

There are two main types of vision insurance:

  1. As part of a comprehensive health insurance plan
  2. As an ancillary, stand-alone plan.

Some employers offer one of these options in their employee benefits packages. But not all employers do, leaving you on your own to weed through all of the individual vision plans on the market.

Is Vision Insurance Worth It?

It only makes sense to purchase vision insurance if you require glasses or contacts. Everyone should get regular eye exams to make sure your eyes are healthy. But you’ll end up spending more on insurance in the long run than if you pay for your eye exam out-of-pocket.

You can save a good chunk of change with vision care insurance if you must wear glasses or contacts regularly. These savings are especially significant if you have to cover multiple family members.

Be sure to consider the specific types of products and services offered and pay close attention to vision insurance quotes.

What Are The Largest Vision Insurance Companies?

Before we get to our vision insurance reviews of the best vision plans for individuals, let’s take a look at the big players. The table below lists the top 10 largest eye insurance companies in the U.S.

They’re ranked by vision insurance market share. We’ve indicated the companies that offer plans for individuals (not through an employer) with an asterisk (*).

RankCompanyTotal Participants
1.EyeMed Vision Care159,000,000
2.VSP Vision Care*54,767,676
3.Davis Vision50,000,000
4.OptumHealth Vision & UnitedHealthcare Vision*17,683,369
6.WellPoint Inc.2,444,000
7.Advantica Eyecare Inc.2,000,000
8.Guardian Life Insurance Co.1,220,000
9.Ameritas Group*985,685
10.Principal Financial Group191,782

Best Vision Insurance Plans For Individuals

The following vision insurance plan features are standard for the industry:

  • Coverage is for one eye exam and equipment once every 12 months.
  • Most plans cover eyeglasses OR contact lenses every 12 months (not both).
  • Most plans require a 12-month contract.

We’ve based our reviews on the variable factors, such as vision insurance cost and value, where insurance is accepted, special coverage and more.

VSP Vision Care Direct Review


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We’ve chosen VSP Vision Care Direct as the best eye insurance for individuals and families. With several plans to choose from, VSP gives you more flexibility in finding the type of coverage that fits your needs.

Some plans are even customizable. Copays and allowances care competitive. And more than 33,000 vision care providers in all 50 states accept VSP.



  • Competitive allowances
  • Four different plans to choose from
  • Access to a large, 33,000 provider network
  • You can go out-of-network
  • Discounts on laser surgery
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Monthly premiums for 1-2 people are slightly above average


The following pricing is for VSP Direct’s Standard Plan. Be sure to check out their enhanced plans, where you can enjoy savings on premier lens features.

Monthly Premiums

Monthly premiums vary by state. Below are estimates for North Carolina. View your estimate for free.

  • Individual: $16.01/month
  • Two People: $30.31/month
  • Family Plan: $41.49/month

Standard Benefits

  • $15 copay for eye exam
  • $150 allowance for frames
  • $25 copay for eyeglass lenses
  • $150 allowance for contact lenses

UnitedHealthcare Vision Review


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UnitedHealthcare Vision Insurance stands out for its Vision Plan B that covers a pair of glasses AND contact lenses during a 12-month period. They also have a standard Vision Plan A that covers one of the two. If you live in one of the 30 states UnitedHealthcare serves, give them a closer look.

UnitedHealthcare Vision insurance is available in these states: AL, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NV, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, WV and WY.



  • Low copays
  • Offers a plan that covers both glasses and contacts within a 12-month period
  • You can go out-of-network
  • Discounts on laser surgery
  • Unavailable in 20 states
  • Provider network not as large as our #1 pick, VSP

Monthly Premiums

Monthly premiums vary by state. Below are estimates for Plan A (glasses OR contact lenses) in North Carolina. Plan B premiums (glasses AND contacts) are an additional $5+ per month.

  • Individual: $11.40/month
  • Couple: $18.60/month
  • Family of Four: $33/month

Standard Benefits

  • $10 copay for eye exam
  • $150 allowance for frames
  • $10 copay for eyeglass lenses
  • $0 copay for select list of contact lenses
  • $125 allowance for non-select contact lenses (Plan A)
  • $150 allowance for non-select contact lenses (Plan B)

Ameritas Group Review


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Ameritas, a large U.S. life insurance provider, offers two individual vision insurance policies and access to VSP’s network of 33,000 providers or EyeMed’s network of 78,000. Whether you get VSP or EyeMed depends on your state of residence and the specific plan you choose.

Ameritas’ PrimeStar Vision Select plan is a cheap vision insurance alternative if you only need coverage for glasses or contacts once every 24 months. Their PrimeStar Vision Choice plan gives you competitive premiums, copays and allowances for once-every-12-month coverage.

Both plans cover an annual eye exam.



  • Competitive copays
  • Access to VSP or EyeMed networks, two of the largest in the U.S.
  • You can go out-of-network
  • Discounts on laser surgery and enhanced lens features
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Family plan pricing is slightly higher than average
  • Some user complaints about poor customer support

Monthly Premiums

Monthly premiums vary by state. Below are estimates for North Carolina.

 PrimeStar Vision Select PlanPrimeStar Vision Choice Plan
Glasses or Contact Lenses Once Every 24 MonthsGlasses or Contact Lenses Once Every 12 Months
One Person$10.67/month$16.34/month
Two People$19.63/month$30.07/month

Standard Benefits

Standard benefits include the following copays and allowances. Ameritas also provides discounts for premium lens features.

 PrimeStar Vision SelectPrimeStar Vision Choice
Glasses or Contact Lenses Once Every 24 MonthsGlasses or Contact Lenses Once Every 12 Months
Eyeglass Exam Copay$25$10
Contact Lens Exam Copay$15Up to $60
Eyeglass Lens Copay$25$20
Allowance for Frames$130$150
Allowances for Contact Lenses$130$150

Other Best Vision Insurance Plans Reviewed

The following vision plans didn’t make out top three, but each has unique features you’ll want to consider.

EyeBenefits | Humana

EyeBenefits Review

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EyeBenefits is a savings plan rather than a traditional vision insurance company. You pay a low yearly fee and get roughly 20% to 30% discounts on eye examinations and products — and there’s no limit to the number of times you can use your benefits. You can purchase coverage from one to three years.

The EyeBenefits Provider Networks consists of 12,000 optical and LASIK locations nationwide, including popular national and regional chains like VisionWorks, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and Target Optical.

This vision care plan is best for people who have simple vision needs, and it makes an excellent supplement to your vision insurance plan.



  • Low single and family annual fees and no enrollment fee
  • No limit on how frequently you use your benefits
  • Up to $500 savings at participating LASIK centers
  • Users report excellent customer support
  • Can’t go out-of-network
  • Disposable contact lenses aren’t covered
  • They don’t guarantee the quality of services or products
  • Not available in AK, CT, MT, RI or WA


Single plans are $30/year; Family plans are $45/year. EyeBenefits offers a 30-day cancellation refund. Discounts are as follows:

 Independent Optical LocationsRegional Optical LocationsNational Chain Locations
Eyeglass Exam10%-20%10%-20%$5 off
Contact Exam10%-20%10%-20%$5 off
Eyeglass Lenses15%-25%10%-30%30%
Contact Lenses
(Non Disposable)

Humana Vision Review

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Humana, a well-known insurance provider, offers one vision plan with the option to add on family members. Compared to other eye insurers, Humana’s plan has higher than average premiums, an enrollment fee — and exam copays are higher than average.

Like most other vision insurance, this plan covers exams and products once every 12 months.

Humana Vision does offer added discounts on extra features, such as tinting, progressive lenses, anti-reflection, scratch-resistance and more. But unless you want these special add-ons, you can find better savings elsewhere.



  • Competitive premiums
  • Available in more than 40 states
  • Some benefits available if you go out-of-network
  • Discounts on laser surgery and enhanced lens features
  • Save with dual vision/dental insurance plans
  • Enrollment fee of $35
  • Copays on the higher side
  • Unavailable in AK, DC, HI, MT, NH, OR, RI, VT or WA

Monthly Premiums

Monthly premiums vary by state. Below are estimates for North Carolina.

  • Individual: $15.99/month
  • Couple: $27.99/month
  • Family of Four: $45.99/month

Standard Benefits

  • $15 copay for eyeglass exam
  • $40 copay for contact lens exam
  • $150 allowance for frames (then you pay 80%)
  • $25 copay for standard plastic eyeglass lenses
  • $150 allowance for conventional and disposable contact lenses
  • Additional copays available for premium lens features

Do You Need Glasses (Or Can You Wait)?

Many of us who require glasses or contacts recall the days when we held off taking the plunge into the vision wear pool until it became a necessity. If you’re on the fence about whether you need glasses yet, take a peek at this brief video to help you determine if it’s time.

Other Insurance Options

When shopping for supplemental insurance to accompany your health insurance, you may also be seeking dental insurance. We’ve got you covered with review of the Best Dental Insurance. If you are not sure where to look for health insurance either, get started with our review of eHealthInsurance, which provides vision in addition to many other types of health insurance.

Do you have any other individual vision insurance plans you’d recommend?

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing, and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those that may be used for example purposes in this article.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.
Sally is a passionate writer but her interests do not stop there. She spends a lot of time daydreaming about the beach, however, she spends most of her time taking advantage of all the activities her town has to offer in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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