Vision and dental plans are typically offered through employers as additional health coverage. Others receive coverage through Medicare or Medicaid. But for some, this coverage is not offered or they don’t qualify, and going without makes it difficult to acquire necessary medical exams and products needed for healthy daily living.

Many producers don’t realize that health insurance can be just as important as life insurance. In fact, coverage provides access to medical resources that can save or extend lives.

Take vision for example.

Mike Hill has poor vision. He won’t be characterized as “blind as a bat,” but he isn’t able to read street signs in the dark as he drives. Unfortunately, he can’t afford to see the eye doctor, and he certainly can’t afford to pay for eyeglasses, contacts, or corrective eye surgery. Around 40% of Americans fall into the category of visually impaired but do not seek coverage. Yet, Mike still drives—in traffic, at night, on the freeways at high speeds.

Wouldn’t we all be safer if Mike got the tools he needed to see better?

Luckily, people like Mike can obtain group or individual plans that come in one of two forms. A benefits package includes free eye care and eye wear up to a fixed amount. A discount plan reduces the cost of exams and eye wear. Both plans can be obtained for an annual premium, or a yearly membership into the plan.

In each, items like lenses, frames, and contacts are covered. Routine eye exams are also covered, and in some cases, the plans discount eye-repair surgery (e.g. LASIK). Injuries to the eyes (short term) and disease (long term) are not covered by vision insurance—those are covered by standard health insurance.

The cost of vision insurance varies by plan and state. But the following table is a simplified version of what coverage could look like.

Benefits Package

Discount Plan

Annual Membership (per year)

$170 indiv./$430 family

$70 indiv./$150 family

Routine Eye Exam

$15 co-pay

20% off


$25 co-pay, then 1st pair covered

20% off


$25 co-pay, up to $120 benefit

25% off


Up to $120

15% off

Eye-Repair (LASIK)


15% off


20-25% off 2nd pair of glasses

20% off sunglasses

Mike didn’t qualify for Medicare, but his employer doesn’t offer vision insurance. The out-of-pocket expenses were too high for Mike to see the optometrist on his own and get the glasses he needs. So he skipped it.

Luckily, you were there to help him obtain vision insurance.

Now he can go in for routine eye exams and get the glasses he needs to drive safer. Maybe contacts and LASIK—options that were definitely out of the question—are realistic alternatives down the road. And who knows… all of that might have just saved lives.