Vision Insurance FAQ: Frame, Lens & Contact Lens Benefits

Vision Insurance FAQ

It goes without saying that vision insurance gives you real discounts compared to being uninsured — so much so that you can see the difference (no pun intended). If you’re new to VSP’s vision insurance plans or are looking into becoming insured, you may have specific questions regarding frame, lens and contact benefits. We’ve made a list of frequently asked questions that will help you discover the benefits of a VSP vision insurance plan:

How does a retail frame allowance work?

VSP individual and family standard vision care plans allow you to get new eyeglass frames and lenses every 12 months. This means you can redefine your look and style every year (now you can finally look into that career as an undercover spy). No matter what your style is, here’s how it breaks down in terms of price:

  • You only pay a $25 copay for lenses and/or frames 
  • Single vision, lined bifocal and lined trifocal lenses are all covered by your VSP coverage and your copay


For specific additional lens enhancements, here’s a look at your out-of-pocket copays:

  • Standard no-line bifocal lenses (standard progressives): $55
  • Premium no-line bifocal lenses (premium progressives): $95 – $105
  • Custom no-line bifocal lenses (custom progressives): $150 – $175
  • Anti-glare (anti-reflective coating): $41 – $85
  • Light-to-dark lens tinting (photochromic adaptive lenses): $70 – $82
  • Impact-resistant (polycarbonate) lenses: $31 – $35
  • Scratch-resistant coating: $17 – $33
  • Tinted (colored) lenses: $15 – $17
  • UV protection: $16


What kind of eyeglass frames can I select with my vision benefits?

You can buy any frames that catch your eye (but hopefully not literally). For frames, you get a $150 allowance, plus 20% savings on any amount over that allowance, though this may vary by location. This means you can select any frames within that price range, or you can buy more expensive frames and the $150 will go toward that cost.

You also get an extra $20 to spend, on top of your frame allowance, when you purchase from the featured frame brands. Before you purchase, be sure to ask your VSP doctor about qualifying frame brands. If you need more than one frame, with VSP vision insurance you save an additional 20% on additional glasses and sunglasses from any VSP doctor within 12 months of your eye exam.

What is a contact lens fitting exam?

This type of exam is different from a regular eye exam and is especially meant for contact lens wearers. During this eye exam, your VSP optometrist will ensure that the lenses are fitting both eyes properly and that the contact lenses are not harming your eyes in any way.

Learn more about contact lens exams and information about what this exam entails.

How can I use my elective contact lens allowance?

Similar to buying frames, you can purchase new contact lenses every 12 months in the VSP standard insurance plan. However, the difference is you don’t have a copay if you opt for contact lenses instead of glasses. You still get a $150 allowance, which you can use to purchase contacts and the contact lens exam (see question above). Once you have your contact lens fitting exam, your VSP doctor will let you know what types of contact options are available to you.

What are non-elective (medically necessary) contact lenses?

There are certain eye conditions that can only be corrected by contact lenses. Non-elective contact lenses, also called medically necessary contact lenses, are prescribed by your optometrist to correct these types of eye problems, whereas elective contacts are chosen by the patient to correct an eye issue that eyeglasses or sometimes laser surgery can also correct. Your eye doctor will let you know if you need non-elective contact lenses.

If you have any further questions that were not answered here, head over to or call 800.785.0699 to enroll in vision insurance today.