$1,000 LASIK Discount Washington DC
NVISION Centers
Call

Vision Insurance Providers in California

20 sources cited

Last Updated

There are numerous options for vision insurance providers in California. Vision insurance can save you money on routine eye exams and corrective lenses, and it can often offer discounts on other vision care services, such as refractive surgery like LASIK.

Vision insurance is usually separate from general health insurance, and plans are purchased individually. They can be offered through your employer or on an individual basis. 

Options for vision insurance providers in California include the following:

  • Anthem Blue Cross with Blue View Vision
  • Humana Vision
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield with Blue California
  • VSP
  • Versant Health with Superior Vision

In California, vision benefits through Medicare are offered through Medi-Cal. It is provided through in-network providers accepting Medi-Cal and those under Fee-For-Service-Medi-Cal. California uses Covered California through Obamacare, which offers VSP, EyeMed, and Superior Vision as choices for vision insurance providers. 

Blue View Vision With Anthem Blue Cross

The California Blue View Vision insurance plan offers coverage for routine annual eye exams with a copay of $10 or $20. Coverage is also provided for standard prescription lenses for corrective eyeglasses every calendar year, or once every 12 months, with single, bifocal, or trifocal lenses with a $10 or $20 copay. With this plan, you will have an allowance between $130 and $200 for new frames every calendar year or 24 months. 

You can also purchase conventional or disposable contact lenses every calendar year or 24 months with an allowance of between $80 and $200. You can also receive up to 40% off extra pairs of glasses when using a provider within your plan’s network. Upgrades, accessories, and non-prescription sunglasses can be purchased for 20% off. 

With Blue View Vision, you can save up to $800 on LASIK surgery through an offered discount. Exact benefits will depend on your specific plan. 

To sign up, you will just need to enter your California zip code and shop plans through the Anthem website. You will need to wait for open enrollment to be eligible, and coverage will begin at the start of the new year. 

Monthly premium rates will depend on your chosen plan. To be eligible for coverage, you will need to be current with your monthly premiums, and you will obtain the best rates and savings using in-network providers.

Humana Vision

In California, Humana Vision offers a PPO (preferred provider organization) plan that allows you to use any vision care provider of your choice. You will save money by choosing an in-network provider. 

There is no annual deductible or benefit maximum, and annual eye exams are covered with a $15 copay at in-network providers. Eyeglass lenses in single, bifocal, or trifocal are 100% covered with a $25 copay every 12 months when using an in-network provider. You will get an allowance for eyeglass frames every 12 months that you can even use on designer brands.

When contact lenses are deemed medically necessary, they are covered 100% through an in-network provider. When choosing contact lenses instead of prescription eyeglasses, you will receive an annual allowance that you can use. Discounts are available for LASIK and refractive surgeries when using the U.S. Laser Network. 

There is no waiting period for Humana Vision plans. To enroll, you will select your state and age on the website to get a quote and learn about plans, eligibility, and pricing in your area.

Blue California With Blue Cross Blue Shield

With one of the biggest vision networks in California, Blue California offers three different vision plans:

  • Ultimate Vision 15/25/120:  Monthly rates start at $6.90. Annual eye exams with participating providers are covered with a $15 copay and $25 cost for materials. There is a $120 frame allowance with participating providers, $120 elective contact lens allowance, and options for allowances for photochromic and progressive lenses as well as anti-reflective lens coating.
  • Ultimate Vision 15/25/150: Monthly rates start at $12.90. Annual eye exams with participating providers are covered with a $15 copay and $25 cost for materials. There is a $150 frame allowance with participating providers, $120 elective contact lens allowance, and options for allowances for photochromic and progressive lenses as well as anti-reflective lens coating.
  • Specialty Duo Dental + Vision Package: Monthly rates start at $42.10. Annual eye exams with participating providers are 100% covered, and there is a $25 cost for materials. There is a $100 frame allowance with participating providers, $120 elective contact lens allowance, and options for allowances for photochromic and progressive lenses as well as anti-reflective lens coating.

There are many choices for participating providers, from big-box retailers to private practices, and you can also order contact lenses online. With Blue California, you can get discounts on LASIK surgery through NVISION or QualSight LASIK. 

To apply online, simply enter your zip code, county, and the type of coverage desired through the drop-down menu to find available plans for which you are eligible.

VSP

There are four options for individual vision plans in California through VSP. You can enroll in these plans by choosing the plan and clicking the link on the website

The most popular plan is the Standard plan that starts at $17 per month. This plan offers coverage for routine eye exams with a $15 copay and a $25 copay for basic lenses. You will have an allowance of up to $150 for frames or contact lenses. 

With a large network of providers, you are able to save the most money if you stay in-network. You can use an out-of-network provider at a lower coverage level. 

Additional plans include the EasyOptions and Enhanced vision plans that start at $29.43 and $35.32 a month respectively. They offer all of the benefits of the Standard plan with the option to choose an upgrade or get lower copays on lens enhancements. 

VSP Direct also offers the EyeWearOnly120 plan, starting at $11.30 a month for those who already have a vision prescription and just need basic eyeglasses. It offers an allowance of up to $120.

Discounts of up to 15% off the regular price or 5% off a promotional price are available for laser correction surgery through a contracted provider.

Superior Vision Through Versant Health

Superior Vision plans start at $12.50 a month for the Essential plan. The Classic plan is $20.62 per month, while the Premier plan is $22.50 a month. An annual eye exam is covered in full after the $15 copay with an in-network provider for both the Essential and Classic plans and for a $20 copay with the Premier plan. 

All three plans have a $25 eyewear materials copay and cover eyeglass lenses in full. A contact lens fitting is covered in full after a $25 copay for all three plans as well.

With the Essential plan, you will have a $125 allowance on eyeglass frames or contact lenses. With the Classic plan, you get a $150 allowance for either, and the Premier plan offers you a $200 allowance for frames and a $150 allowance for contact lenses. Polycarbonate lenses for dependent children are 100% covered with the upper two plans and discounted with the Essential plan. 

You are also able to receive between a 15% and 50% discount on LASIK surgery and additional discounts on vision health services and products. 

To enroll, simply use the provided link on the website. You are eligible to use your coverage the first day of the month following your first monthly premium payment when paid before the three-day cut-off at the end of the month.

Medicare

In California, Medicare is run through Medi-Cal, and there are two different ways that vision services are covered. The first is Fee-For-Service Medi-Cal beneficiaries, which provides coverage for the following vision benefits through in-network providers accepting Medi-Care managed care plans or Fee-For-Service Medi-Cal:

  • Routine eye exam every 24 months 
  • Eyeglass frames and lenses 
  • Contact lenses when there is a medical condition preventing the use of eyeglasses
  • Low vision testing for vision impairment when necessary
  • Artificial eye services for those who have lost an eye due to illness or injury

To find a Fee-For-Service Medi-Cal provider, check the Vision Care Provider Directory and click on your specific county to find local options. The other type of vision coverage under Medi-Cal uses Medi-Cal managed care plans, which offer partnerships with specific vision providers, including VSP, Envolve Vision, and L.A. Care.

To be eligible for Medi-Cal vision benefits, you will need to meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Have an income that is less than 138% of the poverty level
  • Disabled or blind
  • 65 or older
  • Under the age of 21
  • The parent or caretaker of an eligible child
  • Pregnant
  • Refugee status
  • Be enrolled in CalFresh, CalWorks, SSI/SSP, Foster Care or Adoption Assistance Program, or Refugee Assistance

You can apply online at Covered California or visit your county office to enroll in Medi-Cal.

Obamacare or the ACA

Under Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) serves to make health insurance more accessible and affordable to more people. 

In California, the health care marketplace for insurance is provided through Covered California, which offers three different vision insurance companies as providers: EyeMed, VSP, and Superior Vision. You will enroll in vision services directly with these companies for vision benefits.

EyeMed

Through Covered California, EyeMed offers three vision plans:

  • EyeMed Healthy: Plans start at $5.50 a month and offer a comprehensive eye exam that is covered after a copay, discounts on eyeglass lenses, frames, and contact lenses. You also have the ability to use out-of-network providers and receive discounts on services, which can include LASIK surgery.
  • EyeMed Bold: Plans start at $18 a month and offer a comprehensive eye exam that is covered after a copay. Eyeglass lenses are covered after a copay, and there are allowances for frames and contact lenses as well as the ability to use out-of-network providers and receive discounts on services, which can include LASIK surgery.
  • EyeMed Bright: Plans start at $31 a month and offer a comprehensive eye exam that is covered after a copay. Eyeglass lenses are covered after a copay, and there are bigger allowances for frames and contact lenses as well as the ability to use out-of-network providers and receive discounts on services like LASIK surgery.

To enroll in EyeMed through Covered California, get a quote started by entering your zip code on the quote page. There are no waiting periods, and you are eligible for benefits as soon as your effective date after signing up.

VSP

Under Covered California, VSP offers two plans starting at $15.16 a month. You will enroll with VSP directly. Options, coverage and benefits are based on your location (zip code).

Superior Vision

With plans starting at $12.50 a month for vision services, Superior Vision through Covered California offers members access to the largest network of providers in the state. Simply click on enroll now, and enter your zip code on the website to find a plan that suits your needs.

Comparison of California Vision Providers

ProviderAnnual Eye ExamLensesFramesContactsChoice of ProviderRefractive Surgery
Anthem Blue CrossCovered with a $10 or $20 copay with an in-network providerStandard single, bifocal or trifocal lenses covered with a $10 or $20 copay once a yearAllowance of $130–$200 every calendar year or 24 months from an in-network eye doctor or popular online retailerAllowance of $80–$200 on conventional or disposable contact lenses every calendar year or 24 monthsChoose between more than 39,000 providers in the networkDiscounts offered of up to $800
HumanaCovered with a $15 copay when using an in-network providerCovered 100% with an in-network provider once every 12 months after a $25 copay for single, bifocal, or trifocal lensesAllowance offered once every 12 months, which includes designer brandsWhen medically necessary, they are covered 100% with an in-network provider; elective contact lenses with an annual allowanceYes, but using an in-network provider will offer the lowest ratesDiscounts available when using US Laser Network
Blue Cross Blue ShieldCovered with a $15 copay for most plans when using a participating provider$25 cost for materials, allowance of $115–$200 for photochromic lenses, $140 for progressive lenses, and $100 for polycarbonate lenses for dependent childrenFrame allowance of $100$150, depending on the plan, when using a participating providerUp to $120 allowance when using a participating provider for elective contact lensesMust use a participating provider, of which there are numerous big retail and private provider optionsDiscounts offered when using QualSight LASIK or NVISION
VSPMost plans cover eye exams with a $15 copayBasic lenses are covered with a copay of $25 for most plansFrames have a variable allowance based on the plan ranging from $120 to $230Contact lenses are covered at the same amount as the frame allowance as an alternate optionYou can use any provider, but there are a wide variety of in-network providers to choose from, which is most cost-effectiveUsing a contracted facility, you can receive up to 15% off laser correction surgery or 5% off promotional price
Superior VisionCovered with a $15 or $20 copayBasic lenses are covered in fullEyeglass frames have an allowance of $125$200 depending on the planContact lenses have an allowance of $125$150You will use an in-network providerYou can receive discounts between 15% and 50% on LASIK surgery
Medi-CalCovered every 24 months with an in-network provider accepting Medi-CalBasic eyeglass lenses are covered in full through an in-network providerBasic frames are covered in full through an in-network providerContact lenses are only covered when there is a medical necessityMust accept Medi-Cal beneficiariesNot covered
EyeMed through Covered CaliforniaCovered after a copayCovered after a copay with most plansMost plans provide an allowance for framesMost plans offer an allowance on contact lensesUse the vast network of in-network providersDiscounts are offered

References

  1. Medi-Cal Vision Benefits. (September 2022). State of California.
  2. Vision Coverage. (2022). Covered California.
  3. Vision Insurance Plans in California. (2022). Anthem Blue Cross.
  4. Vision Plans Available in California. (2022). Humana.
  5. Let’s Find Your Plan. (2022). Blue Shield of California.
  6. California Vision Plan. (2022). Vision Service Plan (VSP).
  7. Superior Vision Vision Plans. Versant Health.
  8. Vision Care Provider Directory. (September 2022). State of California.
  9. Do You Qualify for Medi-Cal Benefits? (February 2022). State of California.
  10. See the Future with Envolve Vision. (2022). Envolve Vision Benefits, Inc.
  11. Vision Services. (2022). L.A. Care Health Plan.
  12. Health Insurance When You Need It. (2022). Covered California.
  13. Our Options. EyeMed Vision Care, LLC.
  14. EyeMed. EyeMed Vision Care and Insurance Services.
  15. Flexible Coverage Built Especially for You. (2022). Vision Service Plan (VSP).
  16. The Effect of Health Insurance Coverage on Medical Care Utilization and Health Outcomes: Evidence From Medicaid Adult Vision Benefits. (November 2015). Journal of Health Economics.
  17. Vision Benefits Lead to Better Eye Health. (April 2020). California Broker.
  18. Reported Eye Care Utilization and Health Insurance Status Among US Adults. (March 2009). JAMA Ophthalmology.
  19. Why This Move by Covered California Could Mean Big Business for VSP. (February 2016). Sacramento Business Journal.
  20. Best Vision Insurance Companies of 2023. (January 2023). Forbes.

The information provided on this page should not be used in place of information provided by a doctor or specialist. To learn more, read our Privacy Policy and Editorial Policy pages.