VISION INSURANCE FOR YOUR EYE EXAMS

What is Vision Insurance? 

Vision insurance - aka "eye insurance" or "vision plan" or even "vision discount plans" are all types of vision benefits that cover all, or part of a routine eye exam (the type of eye exam that is a check up which does not include management of medical eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, corneal abrasions, strabismus, amblyopia, convergence insufficiency, eye tracking problems, diabetes or even eye allergies or pink eye.  All your visits for these types of problems are billed to medical insurance carriers like Medicaid, Medicare, BCBS and Aetna).

A routine exam is designed for our optometrist to check for eyeglasses prescriptions, contact lens prescriptions, and to monitor eye health, often with dilation eye drops, but it is not designed for appointments to manage those medical eye problems listed above.

What vision insurances do we accept?  Below are some of the ones we take.  Call us for the most updated list or if you have any questions.

eyemed vision plan logo
metlife vision
vsp - vision service plan logo
nbn - northwest benefits network vision plan

About Your Eye Insurance - FAQs

Insurance For Eye Glasses

How do I use my vision plan to buy glasses?


This is a common question we get from patients who've never gone through the process before. The first step is to select a frame and then after that, our optical team member will sit down with you and discuss options that you decide on for your lenses (like deciding to get anti glare coatings, tints, or different materials). We will take measurements with the frames on your face so that you'll look and see your best while you wear your new eyewear. Vision plans cover a certain amount for frames and a certain amount for lenses. If you select products that exceed this "allowed amount" then the remaining balance is your responsibility. However, there is often a contracted "discount" that your optometrist will apply for the leftover balance.




My vision plan covers $150 towards frames. But what if the frames I want cost $300?


If your frames cost $300 and the allowed amount is $150, then your out of pocket expense will be $150 ($300 - $150). However, a lot of vision plans force us to apply a discount for the "overage" (i.e. your remaining balance). Often times, the discount will be 20% off. So if we take 20% off, then your out of pocket cost for the frame would actually be $120 ($150 - 20%).




I don't want to "break the bank" for my new eyewear.  Can I get glasses through my plan without spending any money?


Probably. As long as you select a frame under or at the allowed amount, and select lenses that are covered "in full" by your plan, you will walk away with a pair of glasses that may be fully covered.





Insurance At Optometry Clinics - Basics

Which types of insurance does your eye clinic accept?


As of fall of 2020, we are in network with the following vision plans ✔ VSP (Vision Service Plan) ✔ Eyemed ✔ NBN (Northwest Benefits Network ✔ Metlife Vision Note, these are vision plans only, and are not considered insurance because they only help with costs for routine services and products.




Can I use my vision plan for eye emergency visits?


Vision plans, such as VSP, Eyemed, and NBN do not usually cover visits for emergency reasons because they are designed to help with costs for routine services (eye exams, contacts and glasses related) and products only. However, there may be exceptions to this depending on your plan. Please call our front desk staff to inquire about your benefits and we will be happy to research this for you.




Do you accept Medicare and Medicaid?


No. Northwest Vision Development Center is not currently contracted with either of the above.





Insurance For Contacts

Can I use my vision plan to get contacts?


It depends on your plan, but yes, most plans have coverage for contact lens services (the evaluation the Optometrist makes to determine your contact lens prescription) and products (the actual boxes of contacts you will purchase for your annual supply). We will make sure to tell you your coverage as soon as possible after your visit is scheduled.




Can I use my vision plan for contact lenses AND glasses?


Usually your vision plan will cover only contact lens related service/products OR eyeglasses related products in one year's time. So many people who wear contacts will use their benefits towards glasses and pay out of pocket for their contacts but we can help you decide which to use based on which will be less expensive for you.




I like a certain brand of contact lenses.  Does my vision plan cover any brand?


Vision plans will usually cover the same amount of money towards contact lens evaluations and products no matter what brand, material, shape or size of lenses. So you don't have to worry about your coverage changing depending on which brand is prescribed.





Contact Us

NORTHWEST VISION 

DEVELOPMENT CENTER

1616 Cornwall Ave. #105

Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone: 360-393-4479 

Email: nvdcbellingham@gmail.com

HOURS OF OPERATION

MONDAY           

TUESDAY          WEDNESDAY    THURSDAY    FRIDAY              SATURDAY        SUNDAY            

10 - 6 PM         

10 - 6 PM

10 - 6 PM

10 - 6 PM

10 - 6 PM

CLOSED

CLOSED

*CLOSED DAILY FROM 1-2 PM FOR LUNCH 

BUY CONTACT LENSES ONLINE

contact lenses available to purchase at Northwest Vision Development Center

Our Eye Clinic is proud to serve patients living throughout Whatcom and Skagit Counties as well as the students enrolled at Western Washington University (WWU), Bellingham Technical College (BTC), and Whatcom Community College

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