Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance providers please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

The lowdown...

  • Vision coverage is not required for adults under the Affordable Care Act
  • It is considered an essential health benefit for children
  • Some plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace will include dental, but most do not
  • You can purchase stand-alone vision plans from private health insurance companies such as Aetna or United Healthcare
  • Stand-alone vision plans are not available for purchase on the Healthcare Exchange
  • You will not be able to apply tax credits to these stand-alone vision plans

Vision insurance provides coverage for medical needs related to your eye care, such as routine exams, frames, and lenses. Some vision insurance plans may also provide discounts on refractive surgeries such as LASIK and PRK.

The three most common types of vision coverage include Preferred  Provider Organization (PPO) plans, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, and indemnity health insurance. With an HMO plan, you will get discounted services at providers within your network. However, if you see a provider outside your network, the visit will not be covered at all.

A PPO plan works in a similar way to an HMO plan, but you have the option of seeing a provider outside of your network for a higher rate.

Enter your zip code above and explore free health insurance quotes with vision and dental coverage options now!

Can I purchase vision insurance on the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace?


You cannot purchase a stand-alone vision plan on the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace. However, some plans have vision coverage included in the plan for both children and adults. If you find a marketplace plan with vision coverage, you are able to apply any tax credits you are eligible for to the monthly premium.

You can also use other cost sharing savings that are available to you to help pay for the plan. You are not able to apply tax credits to any stand-alone vision plan that you buy.

Many of the benefits and protections outlined in the Affordable Care Act do not apply to vision and dental coverage. There are typically maximum dollar limits affiliated with vision coverage. This means that once you have spent a certain amount, your vision insurance will not cover any more services at all. In some cases, only routine care might be covered by your vision insurance.

In some cases, only routine care might be covered by your vision insurance.

When you are purchasing a plan that includes vision through the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace, you will only be responsible for paying one premium. However, you may have to meet a deductible before any vision care services will be covered.

It is important to be aware of all aspects of your vision coverage including deductible, premium, and copay amount before purchasing a new plan.

You should also be aware of the services and benefits that are covered by your plan. Do not purchase a plan solely because it includes vision coverage without knowing all of the facts.

If you wish to cancel your stand-alone vision plan, you can typically do so by not paying your monthly premium. However, if you have a Marketplace plan that includes vision coverage, you typically will have to wait until open enrollment to enroll in a new plan because you cannot drop your vision coverage without canceling the entire plan.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is vision coverage required for my children? What are the essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act?


Under the Affordable Care Act regulations, vision coverage is required for children who are younger than 19. Pediatric vision care is considered one of the 10 essential health benefits.

Vision coverage for children must include an annual eye exam, contacts, and lenses and frames for glasses. You may have to meet a deductible on your plan before it will begin to cover vision services even for children.

Marketplace plans must offer pediatric vision coverage for everyone, even if you do not have children. If you do have children and a stand-alone vision plan, your Marketplace health insurance must still offer pediatric vision care for your children.

Can I purchase a medical vision plan from a private insurance company?


You cannot purchase a standalone vision plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace, but you can buy vision plans from private insurance companies such as Aetna and United Healthcare. Some insurance companies, such as Aetna, will not allow you to purchase a stand alone vision plan, but they will let you enroll in a vision discount program.

You can also purchase an Aetna medical plan that includes vision coverage or enroll in one through your employer. United Healthcare and other insurance companies do offer stand-alone vision insurance.

Medical Insurance for Vision


You can purchase a medical plan that includes vision coverage through the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace or through a private insurance company.

Some private insurance companies also offer stand alone vision coverage, but the Healthcare Marketplace does not. Pediatric vision care is required by all Marketplace plans under the Affordable Care Act regulations because it is considered an essential health benefit.

Pediatric vision care is required by all Marketplace plans under the Affordable Care Act regulations because it is considered an essential health benefit.

Enter your zip code below to compare free health insurance quotes today!