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We're losing VSP - go without?

Oct 2009

My family is losing VSP (Vision Services Plan) vision care coverage post-COBRA due to my husband's retirement. I priced individual family coverage through VSP and it is double our previous cost. Can anyone recommend an alternative insurer that would not be so usurious? Or would anyone recommend going without insurance? I have used Costco successfully for soft contact lenses in the past. L


Most VSP plans cover routine care only. An exam every year and glasses every two, OR contacts every year is pretty standard. I'll bet you when you look at the premiums you would be paying and do the math, you are highly unlikely to be saving much money at all. Since you are probably not looking at VSP that covers medical eye issues, having the insurance ''just in case'' something catastrophic happens is not necessary, and once you have a medical eye problem, your major medical insurance will kick in anyway.

My one bit of advice, however, is not to go doctor hopping each year to find the cheapest deal. There is something to be said about continuity of care, and there is one disease in particular, glaucoma, where continuity is essential. If you want to go to Costco for your eyecare, I'd say that's OK, but remember that you get what you pay for, and for most Costco docs, that means a 15 minute exam with no dilation. You can pay extra for dilation, but then you are in the range of what most private practices charge anyway. And, remember that you can get your exam wherever you like and take your prescription wherever you like--meaning that you don't have to buy your glasses and/or contacts from the doc who did your exam. So, get your exam from the doctor you like and then take your Rx to Costco or shop around for the best deal on materials. optometrist


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