Get the Most from Your Vision Benefits (2024)

HomeVision Insurance | UnitedHealthcare

By Deb Hipp

Get the Most from Your Vision Benefits (1)

What is UnitedHealthcare?

UnitedHealthcare is a major health insurance provider. Their vision plan network is one of the largest on the market and includes private providers and most top vision retailers. A UHC vision plan can help you save on eye exams, eyewear and, with some plans, even laser surgery and contact lenses.

Vision insurance is a valuable health plan, even if you don’t wear glasses or contacts. With a UnitedHealthcare vision plan, you can save on eye exams and eyewear and stay on top of you and your family’s general eye health.

If you have a UnitedHealthcare vision plan, here are six ways to make the most of your vision plan benefits.

6 steps to get the most out of your UnitedHealthcare vision insurance

1. Start using your vision benefits right away

Your employer may offer group vision insurance that’s part of your employee benefits package. Many employers deduct the monthly vision plan premium—an amount that’s only a few dollars a week—from your paycheck. That way, you won’t have to keep track of making payments.

If you’re self-employed, a freelancer or a gig worker, you can still buy a UnitedHealthcare vision plan for yourself and your family.

With a vision plan, you can save money on glasses, frames, lenses and contact lenses. You may be able to upgrade to better eyewear or lenses with features like anti-reflective coating, progressive lenses or photochromic lenses.

Need to shop for a UnitedHealthcare vision plan? Go to UnitedHealthcare’s vision insurance page at and enter your zip code for vision plans in your area.

2. Know what your vision plan covers

To get the most out of your vision plan benefits, you’ll need to know everything that your vision plan covers. UnitedHealthcare offers two vision plans. One plan covers glasses or contacts. The other plan covers both glasses and contacts.

Do you have a "glasses or contacts" plan? You might think about switching to the vision plan that covers both glasses and contacts when your current vision plan ends.

Even if you’re a dedicated contacts wearer, you still need a pair of up-to-date glasses. Let’s say your contact lenses sometimes cause dry eyes. You may want to slip on a pair of glasses for a while to be more comfortable. What if you fall asleep wearing your contacts? You might wake up with irritated eyes and need to give your eyes a break from contact lenses for a day.

You can register at for full access to your vision plan benefits. You’ll need the subscriber ID for your UnitedHealthcare vision plan.

3. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam

The annual eye exam included in your UnitedHealthcare vision plan is essential to eye health. Your UnitedHealthcare vision plan covers one eye exam per year, so start using your vision plan benefits right away with an eye exam.

During a comprehensive eye exam, an eye doctor checks your vision to see if you need glasses or a new prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. An eye exam also includes a lot more than vision screening or a prescription, though.

The eye doctor examines your eyes to detect eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Your eyes can also reveal signs of other serious medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Scheduling an eye exam helps you stay on top of your eye health and make sure your glasses or contacts are up to date. The eye doctor can also answer questions you may have about your eyes.

SEE RELATED: Why children need eye exams, too

4. Use an in-network provider

With a UnitedHealthcare vision plan, using an out-of-network eye doctor or another provider costs more.

When you use a network UnitedHealthcare vision provider, you pay only a small copay for eye exams and eyeglass lenses. For frames, you pay any amount that goes over the vision plan’s limit. You won’t pay any copay for contact lenses if they’re from the list for UnitedHealthcare’s “select” contact lenses group.

When you use a non-network provider, you must pay any amount over your UnitedHealthcare vision plan’s limit.

For example, if you get a comprehensive eye exam from a network provider, the exam costs you only $10. If you use an out-of-network provider, your UnitedHealthcare vision plan pays up to $50 for the exam. Then you must pay the rest of the billed charges.

Search Find a Provider on the UnitedHealthcare site. If the doctor isn’t in the network, use the locator to find an eye doctor who is part of the vision network.

5. Look into eyeglasses that suit your lifestyle

If you’re like many people, you may spend hours at a time staring at a computer screen at work. That can lead to digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, a condition with uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • Headaches

  • Dry eyes

  • Neck and shoulder pain

  • Eye strain

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Burning eyes

  • Eye twitching

The good news is that you can reduce digital eye strain by wearing computer glasses designed to relieve focus stress from looking at computers, smartphones and tablets. To reduce glare, custom computer glasses can have anti-reflective coating and blue light filtering.

You may already own a pair of inexpensive over-the-counter computer reading glasses that claim to filter blue light. For the best viewing comfort, you might want to stay away from cheap computer glasses you can buy online. Instead, go with what your eye doctor suggests at your annual eye exam.

Prices for computer glasses can be about the same as other prescription glasses but could be more, depending on the glasses you choose. Basic frames are affordable, but high-end frames, progressive lenses or multifocal lenses cost more.

Depending on which plan you have, your vision plan may cover single vision, bifocal and trifocal/lenticular lenses, including standard scratch-resistant coating for eligible lenses. Keep in mind that you may pay extra for computer glasses.

READ MORE: Are computer glasses worth it?

If you’re into walking 10,000 steps a day, you don’t need a fitness tracking device. Not if you’re wearing smart glasses or smart sunglasses to keep track of your fitness goals. During your annual eye exam, your eye doctor can tell you about smart glasses that work with your daily fitness regimen.

6. Don't overlook member discounts

You can get more out of your vision insurance by taking advantage of discounts. For example, if you want laser correction surgery, you can get up to 35% off the price of laser surgery at QualSight Lasik, which has hundreds of locations.

You can also get a 10% discount on contact lenses at and discounts on non-prescription sunglasses. Vision plan members can buy custom-programmed hearing aids starting at $699 each.

RELATED READING: Does insurance cover LASIK?

Use all your UnitedHealthcare vision benefits

Now that you know how to make the most of your vision benefits, you and your family can stay in good eye health with regular eye exams. You may want to get computer glasses, stylish frames, or lenses with anti-reflective coating or photochromic treatment with your vision plan savings.

READ MORE: How to choose the best lenses for your glasses

Page published on Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Get the Most from Your Vision Benefits (2024)


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