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Use It or Lose It Time with Vision Plans

Before turning your thoughts to Thanksgiving and the Holidays, there’s an important question to ask yourself: “Has my family used our vision plan benefits for 2017?” If your answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” Today’s Vision kindly asks you to check on those unused benefits, as they are likely to vanish on Dec. 31, 2017. On Jan. 1, 2018, you start over with a fresh set of vision plan benefits. That might sound okay to you, but there are several hitches. First, you may have a deductible to satisfy before the vision plan benefits “kick in.” If you put off your eye doctor visit and eyewear purchase until January 2018, you may find that you must pay out of pocket for eye exams and eyewear that would have been covered in November or December 2017. Second, your vision plan may only allow one eye exam or eyewear purchase per calendar year. If you have not had an eye exam in 2017, and you put it off until January 2018, your eye exam will not be covered again until 2019. The answer is clear: Schedule your eye exam and purchase new eyewear now. That may extend your benefits by making you eligible for reimbursement now, in 2018 and in 2019. Vision plan coverage is on the rise in American families, yet many people still neglect to use it to get reimbursed for eye exams, eyewear, and contact lenses for themselves and their children. If your plan is provided by your employer, you are missing out on an important part of your compensation package. If you are paying for it yourself, you are just plain wasting money by not using the vision plan benefits. To make sure you are not among those neglecting to use vision plan benefits, take these steps: 1. Check with your Today’s Vision provider to see if you or any member of your family has not been in for an eye exam in 2017 2. Schedule any family member who has not had an annual checkup this year for an appointment in November or December 3. Obtain a copy of your vision plan brochure or find out how to access it online; study it to find answers to these questions: • What services am I entitled to under my vision plan? • Do I need an I.D. card? If so, how do I obtain one? • How much is the deductible I must pay before the insurance company begins to pay its share of the expenses? • How much is my co-pay for each service? • Are there limits to what the plan will pay for any of the services? • If it is a discount vision plan, what discounted rate can I expect to pay out-of-pocket for each service? • How do I pay for services? Do I use a pre-paid discount card, pre-paid coupons, cash, check, or credit card?