MetLife to administer OPERS vision plan

Current enrollees can be automatically enrolled at beginning of 2023

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Oct. 24, 2022 – OPERS reminds retirees that effective Jan. 1, the OPERS Vision Plan will be administered by MetLife, the same provider that administers the OPERS Dental Plan. With just a single provider for both the OPERS Dental and Vision plans, OPERS retirees will have a single, dedicated phone number and access to their coverage information within a single website and online account.

MetLife will offer the Superior Vision network, which is one of the largest, most diverse networks of licensed eye care professionals, featuring a mix of independent and retail providers. To find out if your current vision provider is within MetLife’s Superior Vision network, please visit metlife.com/opers. Go to “Vision Insurance,” and then click on the “Find A Vision Provider” button.

To avoid higher out-of-pocket costs, we strongly encourage you to confirm whether your vision provider is in-network prior to any visit. It’s also a good rule of thumb to always check on your provider’s status during open enrollment.

We’ve provided answers to some common questions about the transition to MetLife vision coverage and the OPERS Dental Plan at opers.org/health-care/open-enrollment.

  • If you are currently enrolled in the OPERS Vision Plan, you will automatically be enrolled in the new MetLife plan. No action is required.
  • If you wish to make changes to your vision or dental coverage for 2023, fill out the form provided within your open enrollment packet and return the form to OPERS prior to Dec. 15. You can also call OPERS to change your plan level or cancel coverage.
  • The only time to add or cancel OPERS dental and vision coverage is during open enrollment.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

40 thoughts on “MetLife to administer OPERS vision plan

  • October 25, 2022 at 9:16 am
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    Michael – After speaking with agents from Superior Vision by Metlife, and my vision care provider (Eye Care Associates), I find that my provider does not participate in the MetLife plan. So, that is going to leave me with no vision insurance when OPERS switches to MetLife on January 1.
    What are my options, here?
    Does OPERS have any influence with MetLife to expand their provider lists?
    If I have to go outside of the OPERS-administered plan, will OPERS help with the additional premiums I’ll likely have to pay with a private insurer?
    I’d prefer not to have to switch providers after over 25 years with the same vision care group.
    Any help will be appreciated.
    Thank you,

    Reply
    • October 26, 2022 at 10:20 am
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      Tom, OPERS cannot control which providers work with MetLife. During open enrollment you may contact Via Benefits to explore other vision plans that may better meet your needs. If you elect an outside plan OPERS would not assists with the premiums but if you have an available balance in the HRA you may submit for reimbursement. Thank you, OPERS

      Reply
  • November 7, 2022 at 10:34 am
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    I have the same problem as Tom Brent. My vision care provider does not participate in the MetLife program. Instead of 25 years, mine is 65 years at the optometric practice as I started wearing glasses at a young age. I’m now seeing the third optometrist, but they have all been at the same practice. I’m not happy to have to switch to a new dr. The only one in the plan and closer than 30 miles is Walmart. I don’t think this change received enough research.

    Reply
    • November 14, 2022 at 8:54 pm
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      I am getting worried about the amount of medical reimbursement that is given to me now. I get 301 monthly but my insurance cost 363 monthly. The rest comes from my HRA which is depleting every month. Is Opers going to look into this for medicare recipients? Will my HRA ever increase?

      Reply
      • November 22, 2022 at 8:37 am
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        Elaine,

        The Medicare base allowance amount currently is $350. It is re-evaluated periodically based on market conditions and funding.

        Reply
  • November 15, 2022 at 4:41 pm
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    My provider is not with Metlife. I have multiple eye problems and want to stay with her and her excellent optician. I am very disappointed that OPERS did not give us the option of staying with the AETNA/Eyemed plan. My optometrist said that will not take Metlife because they had so many problems with getting paid. The Metlife plan sends elderly people to malls for their eye care. These places provide minimal selection of lens to fit the needs of people like me who need more complicated progressive lens to see properly.

    Reply
  • November 22, 2022 at 9:30 am
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    HELLO,

    I HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY INFORMATION OR A INSURANCE CARD FROM METLIFE. HAVE THEY SENT OUT THE INFORMATION AND CARDS?

    THANKS, CHAARLENE

    Reply
    • November 30, 2022 at 4:12 pm
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      Yes, the ID cards are being mailed by MetLife on 12/22/2022.

      Thanks,

      OPERS

      Reply
  • December 1, 2022 at 10:07 am
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    Like other members, I am very, very upset with this change to my vision insurance. Like with their dental networks, Metlife network of vision providers are very inferior & are “mall-type” providers. Seniors often have complicated prescriptions & medical conditions that require a knowledgeable providers. For instance, I have diabetes, which requires a special exam by an opthalmologist annually. My lenses are also complicated & expensive. I’m extremely upset with this change which will cost me alot more money & go through my HRA funds very quickly. In addition, I, also, have been with my opthalmologist a very long time as was my mother before me. OPERS is doing retirees a very large disservice.

    Reply
    • December 28, 2022 at 4:07 pm
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      TOTALLY AGREE!!

      Reply
  • December 1, 2022 at 11:02 am
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    This group is bigger and bigger! Disappointed people that have seen their vision care doctor for years and years. I’m now at the “watch for cataract” period and also watching my macular degeneration.
    Time for a change???? NO! I agree, why can’t OPERS let us stay with Aetna? This has been very disappointing! My doctor states that they just can’t agree with Metlife coverage when it comes to choosing glasses for their patients. I feel we have been let down! (after 34 years at OSU and staying with OPERS for vision and dental)

    Reply
      • May 24, 2023 at 8:48 am
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        I am very disappointed with the few doctors in network with Met Life
        I used to go to LensCrafters but they don’t take Met Life
        Called another place and they don’t take it either
        Why was this changed
        Can I get reimbursed for some of this cost

        Reply
        • June 1, 2023 at 10:19 am
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          Karen, After a competitive procurement process, OPERS selected MetLife, which features the Superior Vision
          network. By selecting MetLife, you now have one carrier for both vision and dental coverage, which means
          there is a single, dedicated phone number and a single website (MyBenefits) in which you can look for
          providers, review your claims information, access your ID card, etc. While we encourage our benefit recipients to use in-network providers due to the lower costs, we
          recognize that you may want to continue your relationship with your current provider. Should you continue
          to use your same provider, you may experience greater out-of-pocket costs. If you would prefer to maintain your current out-of-network vision provider, you have the following options: You could ask your provider to join the MetLife Superior Vision network. They can sign up for the network at https://superiorvision.com/eye-care-professionals/join/apply/ or continue to see your current provider, pay for your exam or materials up front, then submit a claim to MetLife to be reimbursed from your out-of-network allowance. Claim forms can be found by visiting metlife.com/opers

          Thank you,
          OPERS

          Reply
  • December 11, 2022 at 4:24 pm
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    I was very disappointed with my aetna vision doctors, Since knowing that my vision plan (Aetna) covers me now and i am in need of a new doctor and exam and established now before Jan. 1 will be covered by met life , I”m wondering if i can get established now at new dr? I also will need a new ID card to present.

    Reply
    • December 14, 2022 at 2:29 pm
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      Jane, a new ID card will be mailed on 12/22/2022. You can search for a new vision provider through MetLife at www. metlife.com/opers. Thank you, OPERS

      Reply
  • December 14, 2022 at 8:34 am
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    I, too, am going to be negatively impacted by the switch from Aetna EyeMed to Metlife Superior Vision. My provider of 30+ years is not in-network and will not go in-network with these folks. The $1 or so I save in monthly premiums with Superior is a pittance compared to what I will have to pay to continue with my out-of-network provider, who knows me and my eye history and will be there for me unlike the large retail eyecare businesses in malls Superior wants me to go to. Their providers come and go and I have zero chance of maintaining a close doctor/patient relationship with them. Please fix this, OPERS, by going back to Aetna EyeMed!

    Reply
  • December 19, 2022 at 3:43 pm
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    It’s December 19, and I just used the OPERS MetLife link to search for vision providers in Akron, OH. No providers came up, even when I added a search for a provider within a 20 mile radius. Is the MetLife website down? Surely there has to be at least 1 provider in Akron who will accept MetLife. I’d call MetLife but didn’t see a phone number on the webpage; only saw phone number to call OPERS to enroll.

    Reply
      • January 27, 2023 at 6:45 pm
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        This move to MetLife Vision not a good or positive one. My extremely highly regarded independent optical care is not included in your network, which is heavy on discount stores like Walmart, but devoid of smaller businesses with highly trained staff.
        How do you justify your switch from Aetna/Eye Med to this clearly cut rate MetLife Plan??? Same phone # as MetLife Dental???? Woefully insufficient reasoning on OPERS part……

        Reply
  • December 28, 2022 at 4:05 pm
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    Once AGAIN, my sister and I have to change eye doctors.
    My sister and I both worked for the state: me, over 25 years; her, over 31. She has histoplasmosis, an eye disease that can potentially blind her. I have it, too, but it is dormant; it could become active at any time. We Finally found an eye doctor we are both happy with, and MetLife doesn’t have him on their list of providers.
    Most of what is available in our area are the eye centers in Walmart. I don’t have ANY faith that the doctors or assistants in those pop-up shops have the expertise needed to deal with severe eye diseases.
    Will you stop changing stuff already? Dang.

    Reply
  • December 30, 2022 at 12:43 pm
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    I have the same problem as others. I have severe double vision and my optometrist is not covered by met life. The only provider in this area is walmart and they cannot provide the glasses and lenses i need. AND i would not trust them to do so. Reviews Of walmart are very poor.
    I live in rural Iowa and because i was more than 50 miles from their approved providers , they covered the whole cost of my lenses and frames.

    Does Met life have such a program.? At almost 80, i do not want to have a long drive for care. I agree that we should have had a choice of eye insurance. And i think not enough thought was put into the selection of this vision insurance.

    Reply
  • January 13, 2023 at 11:16 am
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    Can I go out of network for my eye care with a provider not on the Met Life list?

    We hate going to search for another eye doctor at this point.

    Reply
    • January 25, 2023 at 1:27 pm
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      Sue,

      Yes, you can go out of network.

      Reply
      • April 20, 2023 at 1:36 pm
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        I have tried and tried to get a form for reimbursement for my out of network eye doctor. MetLife says they emailed it, they mailed it, funny NEVER arrived either time. MetLife if terrible. My doctor was right in saying he cancelled them last year because they are too ridiculous to deal with.

        Reply
  • January 18, 2023 at 9:26 am
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    I also have found my optometrist does not take Met Life Superior Vision care. I was told they used to but, the vision care company never paid their bills, shady company. I was also told that he knows of no one who accepts Met Life vision and has had numerous complaints about the insurance company.

    Why would OPERS seek out and contract with such a company?

    My optometrist also told me that he has sent several letters to have his name removed from accepting the insurance. Why would they not remove his name? I guess to make it look like they are a good company with many optometrist that except the insurance!!

    OPERS rethink your contract with Met Life and go back to the old provider who actually takes care of their subscribers.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2023 at 9:03 am
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    Iam really don’t like changing eye doctor. This is not right I hope you all reconsider goback to where it benefits the majority .

    Reply
  • February 15, 2023 at 11:30 am
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    The MetLife vision site is NOT up to date. It has Union Eye Care in North Olmsted on it which has been closed for at least 3 years! The Pearl Vision we made an appointment with originally said we were covered and when they called to confirm the appointment and told us that that they didn’t take the MetLife insurance!
    Not a good start to use the insurance change!

    Reply
    • March 14, 2023 at 10:35 am
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      I also noticed this as that particular Union Eye Care is in my area. It has been closed for years. I sent an email to MetLife Superior Vision Care regarding this office being closed and never received a response, and I believe this office is still listed as a provider?????

      Reply
  • March 14, 2023 at 10:32 am
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    I have always bragged to everyone about how great OPERS is with Dental and Vision Coverage. This change from Aetna to Metlife Superior Vision Care is nothing but superior. Unfortunately, I was in need of contact lenses and went to my eye doctor’s office to order. I am fine with not getting the paltry discount offered by Metlife, as opposed to going to the office I have been going to for years. Now I had to print out a reimbursement form, fill it out, and mail it to Metlife Superior Vision Care. A week and a half later my reimbursement request is not even showing in their claims section. I sent an email and got a canned response that they would get back to me with information on my claim. So far, nothing. I hope this is not a prediction of how OPERS is going to be handling retirees’ insurance coverages in the future!

    Reply
  • April 7, 2023 at 1:26 pm
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    I just got a phone call that my carrier doesn’t take Superior Vision! Now I have to start from ground zero!!

    Reply
  • April 20, 2023 at 11:45 am
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    Very upset at the change in our insurance . My optometrist for years is not taking it . I’m 75 and facing cataract surgery . Now there are 3 only in my city who take this insurance . Bad deal again from OPERS .I can’t go to those cheap eyeglass places because of my vision !!

    Reply
  • April 25, 2023 at 3:22 pm
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    As our Health Benefits administrator, I would think that OPERS has a duty to ensure that the contract that was signed for these benefits is valid and comparable to what we had before switching. This company is not accepted by numerous providers on their current provider listings. After several attempts of contacting names on the list, I contacted Superior Vision by Metlife customer service and they acknowledged this as a problem. It is incumbent upon OPERS to take action on getting an updated provider list to their members in order to be able to utilize their benefits. If you cannot tell us who we are able to use as a vision provider, we need a refund of our premiums given we cannot find a valid provider to access our benefits. I was on the phone for over 5 hours trying to find a provider that accepts this insurance and everyone says they don’t. So, as a plea for myself and other members of this retirement system, What is OPERS doing to rectify this problem? OPERS Customer Service could not help as they transferred me to Superior Vision by Metlife. Thank You

    Reply
  • June 6, 2023 at 10:09 am
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    I am having the same issue as many on this tread. Over the past few years I have developed a floater in my right eye. I am also developing cataracts in both eyes and due to my poor vision ( a life long condition), I am at heightened risk of a detached retina. I have been with the same eye doctor for 30 years and she is very, very good. She knows my history and risks. She in not in the network. I am reluctant to change providers so I will keep my current eye doctor and pay the additional costs. If I were still in my 30s or 40s having my eye care provided by the local Target or Wal Mart would be ok, its not ok as we age and our vision deteriorates. I too am disappointed in the change.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2023 at 9:39 pm
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    Why would OPERS contract with an insurance company that’ neither the doctors nor the patients want to do business with? My eyecare provider of many trustworthy years does not accept MetLife Superior Vision and will not consider it. As a result I was in a situation to find a new doctor. Easier said than done. After countless phone calls and hours on the phone with doctors offices I really didn’t want to go to, I finally settled on what seemed to be the better of the lesser. I made the appointment and after the exam, I went through the usual process of finding frames and ordering glasses. When I picked them up, the lenses were so far off I thought the lab got the orders mixed up. Long story short, I sent them back four times and they still are not right. I wear my old glasses most of the time.. My experience was less than acceptable, and now I get to repeat it because I’m not going back there. OPERS, you really failed in your purpose and your obligation to represent your constituency’s best interests. I truly hope and pray this is not a sign of things to come.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2023 at 9:28 am
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    I do not know who to contact in reference to getting vision cards. We misplaced our and over a month ago we requested cards plus wrote a letter and still nothing. I do not who change companies but MetLife
    is terrible. Can not locate people to help you
    Can we go back to the previous company
    Thank You

    Reply
    • November 22, 2023 at 10:12 am
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      ID cards are not required for the OPERS vision and dental coverage. Providers can look up your MetLife vision and/or dental benefits with your information. Duplicate ID cards can be printed at http://www.metlife.com/mybenefits.

      Reply
  • January 9, 2024 at 12:00 pm
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    I agree whole heartedly with above comments. I cannot find a website that lists providers in my city and I am in Columbus. My eye doctor does not want to deal with Met Life, this alone raises red flags. What were you thinking or do you only care about money and not the medical well being of your retirees?
    Remember one day this will be you. It is not easy or comfortable aging especially now when businesses are interested in their own greed, food costs are out of sight, drug costs are skyrocketing. Look at what OTC vitamins have been raised to. Spices, my goodness when have you ever heard of a spice costing 10 or 11 dollars. This movement toward higher costs and limited services I did not expect from OPERS.
    Everyone wants to blame COVID as a catch all for this but you well know that is not the case.

    Reply

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