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Oklahoma Vision Insurance Guide [+ Alternate Plans]

Gigly team, Marketing at Gigly
Oklahoma vision insurance for glasses

Did you know your eye has dozens of parts that work together and make it possible for you to see? It’s an incredibly interesting part of human anatomy that allows us to blink, cry, distinguish colors, and much more.

Yet, if any of those pieces aren’t operating at 100%, your vision begins to decline, resulting in one of many diseases that affect the eyes.

Statistics show that over 12 million people in the United States have some form of visual impairment. However, with early detection, you can avoid many of these conditions, which is why having vision insurance is a wise idea.

Most primary health insurance plans don’t cover optic care in Oklahoma. Therefore, you need a separate policy for vision, but not all policies are the same.

This guide will walk you through how to find Oklahoma vision insurance, know what’s covered, and your alternative options to take care of your eye health.


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Vision Insurance Plans in Oklahoma


If you’re an Oklahoma resident or sports fan, you know that being a Sooner is where it’s at, and the government recognizes this, too. It’s evident in the name of the health insurance plan, called SoonerCare.


SoonerCare and Medicaid


SoonerCare is the state’s Medicaid program. It’s funded by the federal and state governments and helps cover medical bills for those who can’t afford healthcare expenses, sometimes paying the cost entirely. But unlike federally-funded Medicare, SoonerCare benefits extend to dental and vision.

To be eligible for SoonerCare, you must be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien and a resident of Oklahoma. You also must meet the financial income and resource requirements. But if you can’t get your Sooner vision care this way, there are other types of vision plans in the state.


Employer-Sponsored and Private Vision Plans


When you work in larger companies with 50 or more full-time employees, your employer must offer affordable health insurance. This coverage is federally mandated under the Affordable Care Act but does not include vision insurance as part of the required criteria.

Still, your company might offer a vision care plan since it’s an inexpensive add-on. If so, you won’t have too much say in how your policy covers you, and you’ll need to go to an in-network provider (typically larger providers, like Pearle Vision or LensCrafters).

Private vision plans are available when your employer doesn’t offer coverage or if you’re a freelance UX designer, freelance teacher, or freelance real estate agent. You can apply for a policy through a direct vision plan provider, such as VSP Vision Care or Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. Some Medicare Advantage plans, like Humana, also have vision components.

If you qualify for health insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace, you’ll have the opportunity to add vision and dental insurance as optional coverages for an extra monthly premium. This opportunity is only available during the open enrollment period, which is when you choose your base health plan.

In the next section, we’ll go into what’s covered in a typical vision plan so you can better understand your employer-sponsored or a private policy.

Need help marketing a smaller business? Check out this guide!


What’s Covered in a Typical Vision Plan


Eye test and a pair of glasses

Vision insurance coverage is an excellent way to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses when you need glasses or contacts. You’re also more likely to go to the optometrist for regular checkups if you have insurance that pays for the visits.

Vision loss affects over three million people over age 40 annually. Yet, these conditions aren’t usually an overnight problem. Instead, they come on gradually and could have been slowed or avoided with annual checkups. But the cost of medical, dental, and vision visits has one in four Americans skipping preventive and non-urgent trips to the doctor.

With a vision plan that costs $15 per month, you can catch the problems that run in your family or your unique DNA early. The typical vision benefits include preventive wellness care, routine eye exams, part or all of glasses and contacts, and some treatments, like Lasik.


Plan Coverage


As you shop around for vision plans, each policy will be different. However, a good plan will cover the most common visits and treatments with no or low cost to you.

Preventive care, including eye exams, vision tests, and other vision care essentials, should be free or have a small copay. Your plan should also have provisions to allow you to purchase eyeglass frames up to a certain cost, and you can pay anything that exceeds that limit if you want pricier frames.

Most plans also cover prescription lenses for your glasses with little or no expense to you. Treatments for those lenses, like scratch resistance and blue-light filtering, may cost extra.

If you want contact lenses, your plan likely includes a limited allowance for them, like eyeglass frames or a copay.

When your doctor recommends therapies for your eye impairments, your insurance usually discounts those expenses. For example, you can have corrective surgeries or special lens treatments, like progressive lenses, as long as you can pay your portion of the cost.

Your share of these treatments will depend on the level of coverage you’ve taken out with the insurer. Cheaper plans will likely involve less responsibility on the part of the insurance and more from you. They’ll also have more exclusions. These are best for people who primarily want their annual visits and preventive care covered.


Common Exclusions


Regardless of the type of plan, every insurance will usually have exclusions — things they don’t cover, even with a prescription. For vision policies, commonly excluded services would be:

  • Subsequent eye exams in a calendar year after each annual visit
  • Frames and lenses after the first sets are covered unless the glasses are under warranty
  • Glasses purchased without a prescription
  • Treatments for your eyes that are covered under health insurance
  • Experimental treatments
  • Fees or charges not related to treatment

If you’re aiming for coverage for any of these excluded goods and services, you’ll need to shop for the top-of-the-line plans and expect to pay a higher monthly premium.


How to Shop for Vision Plans


From the fine print to the premium, you need to look at the whole picture when you’re shopping for a vision plan.

Here, we’ll break down each part of the plan and how you can see what you’re getting into before you invest in unhelpful coverage.


What the Terms Mean


First, let’s look at the most common — and often confusing — terminology you’ll find as you look into eye care benefits.

This glossary should help you navigate the policies you’re exploring to find the one that is best for you.

  • Calendar year: Begins January 1 and ends December 31; benefit coverage usually goes by this time period.
  • Coinsurance: Your share of costs for each treatment or service after paying the deductible. Coinsurances vary based on the charges allowed by the insurance company.
  • Copay: A set amount you must pay when you go to the doctor for a particular service (annual eye exam, glasses, etc.)
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA): A special account set up by you or your employer to pay for medical benefits that aren’t covered by your insurance. The money in an FSA contains pre-tax dollars, making it a smart financial way to cover your healthcare.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA): Similar to an FSA, this is a savings account that you can create if you have a high-deductible health insurance policy. It lets you add pre-tax funds to cover your medical services.
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): Your plan will likely be an HMO or PPO (explained next). In an HMO, you can visit a group of doctors who provide maintenance coverage for a fixed monthly fee.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): A plan that allows you to get more services as long as you see doctors within the insurance carrier’s network. You can go out-of-network, but you’ll pay higher costs for your treatment.
  • Indemnity Plans: Coverage where you pay for services when they are provided and then submit a claim to the insurance for partial or full reimbursement.

Knowing the terms in this glossary gives you an edge as you search your policy for fine print clauses that could cost you later.


Reading the Fine Print


The last thing you want is to leave your eye doctor’s appointment expecting that you paid your copay and were done, only to get hit with a mega bill in the mail later. What happened?

Chances are, there was something in the fine print you missed.

This part of the contract is where the insurer explains things like exclusions, how you need to submit any claims, and if a service or procedure requires a referral for coverage.

Technically, the doctor’s office should handle this part before they see you, but that doesn’t always happen. Instead, they add a clause to the paperwork you sign that states that you’re aware that the balance due is your responsibility, whether or not the insurance covers the claim.

Another fine print clause refers to in- and out-of-network status. Some insurance plans allow you to see providers out of their network as long as you pay a larger share of the costs. Other plans exclude out-of-network providers entirely.


Premiums, Deductibles, and Copays


Finally, check the costs for your insurance plan, adding the monthly premiums, your deductible, and any copays you would expect to pay for reasonable treatment.

The least expensive premium might end up costing you more by the time you pay the deductible and copays for eye exams and other preventive care. Go through all the plans you’re considering, and check the overall costs before deciding which one is the best deal. It might be worth it to pay a few dollars more a month for coverage with a higher allowance on various services.

Freelancer with tax questions? Check out how Gigly can help!


4 Alternatives to Vision Insurance


Red piggy bank

Once you total your out-of-pocket costs, you might wonder if vision insurance is worth it for you. If you need more than an annual eye exam, or if that’s the only thing you need, is the monthly premium the right route?

You could look into other alternatives to an insurance policy.

Here are a few other ways to cover vision care costs:


HSA and FSA Saving Plans


Instead of paying high monthly premiums for an insurance policy that you might or might not use, consider investing in an HSA or FSA plan. As mentioned earlier, a health savings account and a flexible spending account are both funded with pre-tax dollars.

The difference is that a flexible spending account supplements a high deductible insurance plan, while a health savings account pays for any expenses your insurance doesn’t cover. In addition, funds in an HSA roll over, but in an FSA, they do not.


Vision Savings Plans


Another alternative for self-employed individuals and families who don’t want to invest in a traditional insurance plan is the vision savings plan.

A vision savings plan, like the kind offered by Gigly, gives you discounts when you go to the doctor. You pay an annual membership fee and receive a card or number that unlocks exponential savings.

With the vision plan, there are no copays or deductibles to deal with, no claim forms to submit, and no exclusions to cause you any worry. Instead, you go to one of the doctors in the plan’s network (Gigly’s is powered by Aetna, so you’ll get thousands of providers to choose from) and let the savings help you out.

When you arrive, you give them your membership ID card, and they discount your services. You can still submit the claim to your HSA or FSA for reimbursement if you have one.

It’s a hassle-free way of going to the eye doctor without the stress of referrals, insurance premiums, and unexpected bills in the mail.

Need alternatives for health insurance? Take a look at this telehealth guide!




Whether you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or somewhere in between, being a Sooner means you have access to various vision coverage options.

But an insurance plan isn’t your best route to healthy eyecare, especially if you can access group vision benefits through Gigly as a gig worker.

Head to Gigly today to see how you can save money on vision, dental, health, legal, and many other products and services.