At International Student Insurance, every day, we receive many calls from international travelers and students like you, asking us about health insurance plans for when they start their studies in another country. Many of them also require vision coverage. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide, it is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of visual impairment. In the era where technology is part of our daily lives, taking care of your vision is very important. The artificial lights in offices and on our computer and cell phone screens are pretty harmful to our eyesight. That is why in this blog, we will give you some options on how to take care of your vision when you travel or study in the USA.
Vision insurance plans
When you travel to the US, the first thing you should know is that the health system is very different from what you may be used to in your country. Health insurance within the US does not cover everything 100%. Also, health insurance does not always include vision coverage. Many times, you will need to purchase vision insurance separately. Some of the companies that offer vision insurance plans include:
- Eye Med Insurance
- United Healthcare
These insurers offer plans that cost between $12 to $60 per month depending on your age, how many people are on the project, whether you consume or use tobacco, and the number of benefits they offer. You will usually only pay a copay between $10 and USD 25 for your eye exam with an insurance plan. After this, you will have coverage up to a certain amount, depending on whether you are looking for glasses or contact lenses.
Emergency eye exams
During your trip, it is essential to be prepared for any situation. If your glasses or lenses are lost or damaged in an accident, and you require an eye exam to get a new pair, some plans cover the cost of an emergency eye exam. Here are two options that will protect your eligible medical expenses as well as an emergency eye exam.
What if you don’t want a vision insurance plan?
As an international student, it is customary to worry about your finances abroad. Maybe having a vision insurance plan isn’t one of your priorities. You shouldn’t worry! If you don’t have vision insurance, you can get eye exams at chain stores like Walmart or Target for around $50. Or, if you need an expert, you can see an optometrist for about USD 250 per consultation.
After having your eye exam, you will get an optical prescription. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can now buy almost everything directly online, and it will arrive at your home in a few days or weeks. Including glasses and contact lenses! Sellers like Zenni Optical or GlassesUSA offer drinks starting at $6.95 plus shipping. You have to send them a photo of your optical prescription and choose the glasses you want.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like ordering things online and anxiously waiting weeks for them to arrive, you’re not alone! Many people prefer to buy their glasses or contact lenses the same day they have their eye exam. Some specialty retailers like America’s Best offer promotions to give you a free eye exam if you commit to buying two pairs of glasses for around USD 69.95.
As you can see, vision care is as essential in the US as anywhere in the world. There are plenty of options so you can get the care you need within your budget.