Use It Or Lose It: Vision Plans Are Often “Pre-Paid” Glasses

By Dr. Larry Malashock

It is always easier, safer and less expensive to prevent a problem rather than to treat one. Most employees and their dependants have health insurance or a vision program that includes a routine eye examination.

However, many of these programs offer more than that.

Most of my patients with eye care benefits from their employers look at the program as insurance that gets them a yearly eye exam. They use it or not as they see fit.

However, most of the “eye care” programs are not insurance programs per se but more of a material benefits program that should be used every year, too.

Typical vision plan

The typical plan is usually paid for by a pre-tax deduction from the employee’s paycheck and an added amount from the employer.

For example, many plans have a pre-tax premium payment of around $5 per pay period – which doesn’t seem like much – and usually there’s a 50 percent employer match of about $2.50 to total $7.50 per pay period. Still doesn’t seem like much.

But on an annualized basis, this example amounts to around $200 paid straight to the “insurance” company for benefits that, more often than not, aren’t used.

“Pre-paid glasses”

Many such programs are really “pre-paid glasses with pre-tax dollars at wholesale cost” programs with yearly benefits that are “use ’em or lose ’em.”

If you have one of these programs and cannot function normally without your glasses and if you have no back-up pair, you’re needlessly waiting for an emergency. You may have benefits that either provide a complete spare pair or will replace scratched lenses in your old pair for very little expense.

Exam usually included

Plus – while you’re at it – the exam is usually included. If you are not sure what benefits are included in your program, give us a call. We can help you figure it out.


3 Things To Protect Your Vision in the New Year

Can you see 2016 yet?

As that time for planning and making new resolutions is upon us, here’s some helpful thoughts on commitments for protecting that most precious of senses – your vision.

The most important thing you can do is to make sure you see get your eyes examined regularly, so if you’re behind schedule, contact Malbar today.

Here’s three more tips for good eye health in 2016:

Follow the 20/20/20 rule

Whether fine detail, intense viewing hobbies – like needlework or cooking – are wearing your eyes out or like just about everyone else out there you’re spending plenty of extra time staring at a small screen that doubles as your phone, give your eyes a break with the 20/20/20 Rule. Every 20 minutes or so look up at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to give your eyes a rest.

Take Proper Care of Contact Lenses

A wonderful convenience, don’t let contacts become an eye hazard with improper care. Always follow the doctor’s orders on wear and care, including only cleaning in the proper solution and storing correctly in their case.

Eat Well To See Well

You are what you eat and eating the right foods can help protect your vision. Try foods like leafy greens, nuts and shellfish to get omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins A, E and C.

It starts with an Eye Exam…

Eye exams are the key to healthy vision and proper eye care. At Malbar Vision Center we consider your entire eye health.

Family-owned Malbar Vision Centers have been providing quality vision care, optical goods, and contact lenses to the Omaha area for over 60 years! We’re Omaha’s largest and most experienced, locally-owned eye health care team and affordable eyeglass boutique — the Malbar Vision Center.

Customer satisfaction continues to be our #1 priority. We always want to hear from you. Stop by any of our five convenient Omaha-area locations during our office hours.

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From eye exams through the treatment of eye diseases, Malbar’s comprehensive optometric services include:

  • Adult & Children’s Vision Analysis
  • Complete Eye Health Examinations
  • Treatment and management of eye diseases
  • Treatment of acute eye conditions and trauma
  • Hard-to Fit Contact Lenses
  • Refractive Surgery Consultations

We also specialize in other areas of eye health, including headaches, eyestrain, double vision, and reading difficulties.

Prevention is key, so with your careful vigilance and our expertise, together we can maintain your optimal eye health.