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VSP Vision Insurance Plan - rip-off?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have VSP coverage by my company, I believe it is one of the largest vision insurers in America.

However, they seem to get a lot of hate. The stores which don't accept VSP seem to have the attitude of "well of course we don't accept that shit!", and as it happens, most of the higher-end frame shops do not accept it. Typically someone who accepts it will be one of those Luxxotica full line places. Chanel, Gucci, Nike, brands I don't want.

Is there something wrong with VSP? Someone mentioned to me that VSP stores typically upcharge by about $100.00 - is this true?

I have quite a bit of coverage from them, I believe there is a $200 frame allowance and $150 lens allowance. Would you go out of your way (and spend more $$) to avoid a VSP provider?
post #2 of 16
My VSP Provider had lanvin frames for sale, as well as many other high designers...
I am happy with them...
post #3 of 16
I had a similar experience. I bought my own frames and used the insurance for the lenses and a year's supply of contacts. In my plan, you had to pick between the frames or contacts, so it worked out to be the same. I wear contacts more often anyway.
post #4 of 16
^ i've got eyemed and have the same choice as you. the thing is a lot of stores that cover eyemed don't seem to have much quality frames.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
I have VSP coverage by my company, I believe it is one of the largest vision insurers in America.

However, they seem to get a lot of hate. The stores which don't accept VSP seem to have the attitude of "well of course we don't accept that shit!", and as it happens, most of the higher-end frame shops do not accept it. Typically someone who accepts it will be one of those Luxxotica full line places. Chanel, Gucci, Nike, brands I don't want.

Is there something wrong with VSP? Someone mentioned to me that VSP stores typically upcharge by about $100.00 - is this true?

I have quite a bit of coverage from them, I believe there is a $200 frame allowance and $150 lens allowance. Would you go out of your way (and spend more $$) to avoid a VSP provider?

if you go to an independent/small chain store they willl usually give you a large discount for having any insurance provider
post #6 of 16
dont know if you already know, but VSP only works at stores with an optometrist.
post #7 of 16

Yes, I want to tell you VSP is a big ripoff especially for glasses. You are only allowed to go to a private practice optometry shop. You can not go to lenscrafters, macy's, wal-mart, costco, etc. You will end up paying more because private practice makes money on the lenses. The frames are competitive in price but still a huge upcharge compared to retail shops.

 

VSP wants to protect private practice and only gives you that choice, but in the real world we need choice. That's what insurance is suppose to allow us to have. To save money anywhere for this service. The optometrist at Lenscrafters or Target can do just as good of a job as in private practice. Eyemed is accepted at Lenscrafters and private practice. Optum Health from United Healthcare is accepted everywhere. There are so many choices out there besides VSP. Why is VSP so popular? It's because the brokers that sell VSP make a substantially larger commission compared to the other plans. Plain and simple. It's a win for the insurance brokers, and it's a loss for consumers.

 

VSP will tell the consumer that they have a retail choice (ex. Costco), but they chose them because you must have a membership to get in. They also put Costco at the bottom of the web directory search and put all of the private practice doctors at the top. This gives you an illusion that there is a choice, but they tell the private practice doctors not to worry because Costco is "Out of Network." That means Costco is not allowed to tell customers or advertise that they accept VSP. It's an unfair disadvantage. Since Costco is out of network, your insurance benefits are worse compared to an "In Network" private practice doctor. They tell the customer one thing, but they tell the doctors something different. It's the only vision plan that does it.

 

Also look up VSP's shady tax scam past. They got their "non-profit" privileges revoked. They are definitely a for profit company, but got away with millions of dollars tax free. They finally paid a fine but not as much as they should.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by constant struggle View Post

My VSP Provider had lanvin frames for sale, as well as many other high designers...

I am happy with them...

Very happy with VSP too. Store I got my Oliver People's from takes them. ~650 for frames and lens and I paid 124 out of pocket...

Edit- Shieettt fell for necro shog[1].gif
post #9 of 16
A little tip, if you email a complaint to VSP about billing, they usually knock quite a bit off the bill no matter what. I have VSP from work, and never had a problem.

If you just want cheap glasses, why do you even want insurance? Like you said, you can get the for super cheap at walmart.
post #10 of 16
I'm also been very happy with VSP. I think my optometrist frame selection sucks though and they mark-up frames by a healthy margin
post #11 of 16

$200 frame allowance and $150 lens allowance? I only get 40 and 25 respectively. I am not a happy camper.

post #12 of 16

I've had this happen with 2 different Doctors in my area. I went to the Doctor listed on my insurance card, so I should have received all my benefits. What happens in the end is they give you an insurance discount that is not as good as the plan benefits, and they don't put the visit through the insurance. They are betting on the fact that you don't really know all your benefits and won't realize it. If you complaint they will attempt to work it out with you. In one case, it lead to an argument that made me uncomfortable and I asked VSP if I could switch Doctors. Then, a few years later the next Doctor did the same. It seems they want to be listed under VSP to get the referral, but they don't want to put the claim through the insurance. It makes me assume the deal is not so good for them. Has this happened to anyone else?

 

What makes me so angry about this is that I had to fight for rights. The insurance rate wasn't automatically given to me. My guess is that this happens to many people and they don't notice. One office assistant admitted to me that as long as people get something off they usually don't question it.

post #13 of 16

I believe you meant an Ophthalmologist as VSP only works with private practices, but you had the right idea..:)

 

To clear up some confusion,

 

Ophthalmologists normally have their own private practices and are physicians that went to medical school.  After that they had a one year internship and a residency of three or more years.  They not only do vision exams and prescribe corrective lenses but they also can treat medical conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, etc., and can do surgery, in addition to plastic surgery in some cases.

 

Optometrists are medical professionals also, but not physicians (Shopko, Walmart, Costco, etc.) They can do eye exams; prescribe corrective lenses, diagnose things such as glaucoma, cataracts, etc. but they cannot treat them and thus, if additional treatment is necessary, they will refer you to an Ophthalmologist who will continue diagnosing any eye additional eye care you may need.

 

As an FYI....if your Optometrist refers you to an Opthamologist...those charges SHOULD be covered underneath your medical insurance.

 

How completely confusing, huh??  Hope I helped some..:)

post #14 of 16

that right,They are betting on the fact that you don't really know all your benefits and won't realize it. If you complaint they will attempt to work it out with you. In one case, it lead to an argument that made me uncomfortable and I asked VSP if I could switch Doctors. Then, a few years later the next Doctor did the same. thanks

nUhUoK

post #15 of 16

Yes, it should be way more than $40/$25!  Someone in billing did something wrong.  My daughter & I both had eye exams & frames & lenses that totaled almost $500 and I paid $224 out of pocket!

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