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If you’re one of the 177 million people in America that need some form of vision correction, whether it be contact lenses or just plain ol’ readers, you’re probably looking for ways to save when your annual visit to the eye doctor comes around. There are a few hacks that are easy to see (like how a vision insurance plan can greatly reduce your eyecare expenses year after year), but some might be harder to spot, even with a fresh prescription.
Keep reading to learn (and save) more!
Keep your old frames.
Frames can be costly — especially if you purchase a brand-name style. If you still like your current frames but need a new prescription, you can always just get your lenses replaced and pocket the money you’d save.
Buy generic brand frames.
If you’d rather get a new look, save your cash and opt for a generic frame. Most vision insurance plans offer annual allowances for frames and lenses up to a certain dollar amount. Generic frames are a less expensive (but still great quality) alternative to brand-name styles you’d probably have to pay the difference for.
Order your contact lenses online.
Eye doctors typically recommend that you replace your contact lenses just about every two weeks. When you do the math, this means you’ll buy around ten boxes per year — but don’t forget the contact lens solution! Add it all up and you’re spending around $370 to $460 to wear contact lenses annually. But you can buy good contacts online from sites like 1800contacts.com and pay much less than you would in a store. And if you have vision insurance, you’ll see even greater savings!
Buy your contact lenses in bulk.
When you’re ordering online, here’s another tip: buy your contact lenses in bulk! Your contact lens prescription is typically good for one year, but if it doesn’t change, you can save by purchasing in bulk — once right after your eye exam, and once again right before your prescription expires. It’ll save you a trip to the eye doctor to refill your prescription, and the cash in your wallet.
Visit your eye doctor annually.
Your annual visit to the eye doctor isn’t just to check for changes in your prescription — it’s actually one of the best ways to stay proactive when it comes to your health care. Your eyes are sometimes referred to as the “window to the world,” and often, they are a window into the overall state of your health, too. Your annual visit can be helpful in the early detection of signs of other health conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes. Early detection is crucial and saves you money in the long run.
Use your FSA or HSA dollars.
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA) through your major medical health insurance plan, you can use these dollars to pay your annual eye exam copay, prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, contacts, and more — without having to pay using a debit card, credit card, or cash. (Just be sure to check the fine print on your plan to be sure.)
Enroll in a vision insurance plan.
Vision insurance is a great way to save on your eyecare expenses and protect your eye health if you wear eyeglasses or contacts, and especially if you have a family. Most employers offer vision insurance as a benefit, but if you’re self-employed, unemployed, or choose not to opt into their coverage plan, looking through your vision insurance options is worth it. (And through Kasasa Care™, it’s never been easier to search for VSP plans and enroll!) You’ll be able to reduce your expenses for:
Eye exams, vision tests, and other basic preventative eyecare.
Lens protection and enhancements for glasses (such as scratch-resistant coating and anti-glare).
Corrective eye surgery, such as LASIK.
Many vision insurance plans offer premiums at less than $20 a month, and can save you over up to $400 a year*! Plus, you don’t have to wait for an Open Enrollment period or a major life event — you can start your coverage any time of the year. (Yep. Even today.)
Visit an eye doctor in-network.
If you have vision insurance or are looking into your options, make sure your preferred eye doctor is in your plan’s network. This way, no matter what service you’re going in for, it’ll be at the lowest possible cost every time.
You shouldn’t have to break open your piggy bank whenever you need new glasses or contacts. And with the added convenience of buying contact lenses and eyeglasses online, it’s easy to research the best prices while still getting the quality eyecare you need. With these helpful hacks, you’ll be able to clearly see significant savings on all your important eye-related expenses and eye doctor visits. No squinting necessary.
*Based on estimated costs for non-insured consumers: Annual routine eye exam, $181; Prescription glasses, frames, and lenses, $298; Lens enhancements, $171.