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Medical Insurance vs. Vision Insurance: What’s the Difference & Which One Do You Need?

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Medical insurance and vision insurance are 2 different types of insurance that cover different eye care needs. Medical insurance covers eye care services that are medically necessary, such as treating eye diseases and injuries. Vision insurance covers routine eye exams and prescription eyewear.

The type of insurance you use at your appointment will depend on the types of services you receive. 

What Is Medical Insurance?

Medical insurance, also known as health insurance, is a type of insurance that helps pay for medical expenses, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs. Medical insurance plans typically cover a wide range of services, including:

  • Preventive care, such as annual checkups and immunizations
  • Acute care, such as doctor visits and hospital stays for illnesses and injuries
  • Chronic disease management, such as care for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer

Examples of medical insurance:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Employer-sponsored health insurance plans
  • Individual health insurance plans

There are several eye care services and procedures that are covered by medical insurance, including:

What Is Vision Insurance?

Vision insurance is a type of insurance that helps pay for the cost of routine eye exams and prescription eyewear. Vision insurance plans typically cover:

Vision insurance typically does not cover the cost of treatment and ongoing management for eye infections, glaucoma, dry eyes, and other medical conditions.

Examples of vision insurance:

  • VSP Vision Insurance
  • EyeMed
  • Davis Vision
  • Spectera Vision
  • March Vision

A Quick Comparison of Medical & Vision Insurance


Medical insurance: Covers medically necessary eye care.

Vision Insurance: Covers a portion of routine eye exams and prescription eyewear.


Medical insurance: Typically more expensive than vision insurance.

Vision insurance: Typically a small amount monthly in addition to health insurance premium.

Who Needs It?

Medical insurance: People of all ages.

Vision insurance: People who need routine eye exams or prescription eyewear.

Park Slope Eye Is Here for Your Eye Wellness

At Park Slope Eye Optical Boutique, we accept both medical and vision insurance. While it is not always clear which one applies to your visit, our staff will evaluate your plans to maximize your benefits and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Schedule your next appointment with our qualified team today.

Written by Dr. Kirk Kaupke, OD.

More Articles By Dr. Kirk Kaupke, OD.

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Special evening hours until 10:00pm., by appointment only.

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  • 326 7th St. Floor 2
  • Brooklyn, NY 11215

Contact Information

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 10:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: By Appointment Only
  • Sunday: By Appointment Only
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