This is a sponsored post. VSP Individual Vision Plans compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be informative for our readers. —Geri Brin
The best gift we can give to those we love is something they really need, but might be hard pressed to buy themselves. It’s even better if we present it out of the blue, not just for a special occasion. Since we don’t always know what’s on someone’s wish list, however, we might take the easy way out and buy a gift card, which is pretty impersonal.
When I asked my 6.5-year-old grandson where his glasses were at the end of the school year in June, he said, “I lost them.” Surprise! Surprise! I thought. Many six-year-old boys would misplace their heads if they weren’t attached to their bodies. Primo’s mom, my daughter, works with me at FabOverFifty and her health plan doesn’t include eye exams or glasses. Buying new glasses is costly these days, especially if you want to get properly fitting frames and quality lenses, and my daughter’s budget is tight.
So when I recently heard from VSP Individual Vision Plans, which provides great savings on frames, lenses, eye exams, and more, I thought what a perfect gift it would make for Primo. Well, maybe not for him (he’d rather get baseball cards), but for Simone! The timing couldn’t have been better since the new school year was about a month away. If you don’t have a grandchild who needs glasses to play sports and see the blackboard, think about the people in your life like Simone, who don’t have vision insurance. They might be retired on fixed incomes, between jobs, college students or self-employed.
VSP CAN ALSO STAND FOR VERY SIMPLE PROCESS
It’s a breeze to gift a VSP Individual Vision Plan online. A day or two after I completed the enrollment form and paid the very reasonable annual premium, Simone received an email about my gift, which included Primo’s ID card and a detailed membership packet. She entered her zip code on the website to locate a provider where Primo could get his comprehensive eye exam and choose frames, and discovered one that had recently opened two blocks from her apartment. Over 34,000 private-practice doctors across the country accept VSP vision insurance, so chances are the beneficiary of your original gift also will find one that’s convenient. Simone was delighted that Primo could have his eyes examined and select frames in one spot!
Harlem Vistasite Eye Care is spacious, filled with light and beautifully decorated. Most importantly, it offers an impressive selection of children’s (and adult) frames. “I tried on at least three styles I could have bought,” Simone told me. “Primo’s eye exam was as thorough as any I’ve ever had,” she noted. The optometrist even dilated his eyes to be able to fully examine the health of the optic nerve and retina. Her calm and friendly demeanor during the process kept Primo focused!
PLAYING THE FRAME GAME
Now time to pick his frames, Primo was calm no more, having exhausted his calm quotient for the day. He tried on about a dozen styles–including four frames at the same time–and confidently selected navy frames with red accents. The tips of the temples are flexible, so Primo can adjust them himself to make sure they fit comfortably on his ears. Note: This innovative feature should come standard on all frames, so we don’t have to run back to the frame store when the temples have to be tightened.
Simone ordered a scratch-resistance feature for the lenses, as well as anti-glare coating, UV protection and an anti-reflective treatment that blocks high-energy blue light emitted by electronic devices, including computers, e-readers and smartphones. Even energy-efficient light bulbs discharge this light, which can damage the eyes over time. What’s more, the sun is the biggest source of blue light.
Simone’s out-of-pocket expenses for the comprehensive eye exam, frames and optional enhancements for the quality lenses was $174. This included affordable copays of $15 and $25 for Primo’s eye exam and lenses, and a $150 allowance towards the frames. Considering this transaction took place in New York City, where prices are higher for practically everything, that’s an excellent value. Without my individual vision insurance gift, the total would have been about $600, the optometrist told Simone.
I’m delighted that the VSP Individual Vision Plan worked out so well. Simone is pleased. And, happily, Primo has been wearing his new glasses so he’ll be comfortable with them when school starts tomorrow. Now, we have to hope he doesn’t lose them, at least not before Thanksgiving!