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Being self-employed, I purchase my insurance from the healthcare.gov websites. website. Until this year, I always chose the plans that do not include dental or vision care, since they were cheaper. However, starting this year, I included both, and that ended up costing me about $15 more per month. That means I pay an extra $180 a year for this coverage. In return, I get two free dental checkups, 1 free vision exam, and $100 credit for glasses or contact lenses.
In the past my dental checkups cost, on average, about $100 per visit. So right off the bat, I am saving about $200, which more than covers the premium I would pay over a year. On top of that, I ended up saving about $50 on my vision exam, and $100 on the contact lenses I purchased. All said, my savings each year end up being well over $100 per year. For this reason, I now recommend that everyone who buys insurance over the government website include dental and vision care if those options are available. Of course, it goes without saying that each plan will be a bit different, so it is very important for you to read the fine print and make sure you understand all the details about the plan you choose. But for the most part, based on my experience and based on the plans I've looked at, it does seem that choosing a health insurance plan with dental and vision coverage will end up working to your advantage.
One mistake I did make, however, was to purchase the contact lenses at the doctor's office since it was easier that way to redeem my $100 credit for contact or glasses. However, the doctor's office charged $70 a box for my Air Optix Night and Day contact lenses. If I had purchased these boxes from a vendor like Lens.com, however, I would have ended up paying under $40 for each box. And if I had decided to use a coupon for Lens.com, I would have received free shipping as well. On the other hand, it would have been up to me to file the necessary paperwork to redeem my credit. And having dealt with insurance companies in the past, that was a headache I was not eager to take on. But for anyone who is looking to save the most money possible, buying contact lenses online from discount stores like Lens.com would almost always be the easiest way to get the lowest price possible on your lenses. This is true not just for contact lenses, but for eyeglasses as well.
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