Despite the recent advances toward affordable healthcare, extras like eye care may remain beyond reach for many people. Instead of going to a traditional eye doctor and paying full price for glasses, try some of these methods for saving money.
Shopping for Doctors
Several retailers have their own in-house optometrists. Both Walmart and Costco are known for leasing space to optometry practices. You don’t need to go through the process of getting a referral from a general practitioner and going through your insurance provider’s network to get a deal on vision services.
These optometrists also tend to have shorter waiting periods, so you could call in as a new patient and make an appointment for a few days later. An appointment costs around $100, which isn’t much more than the copay on lower-tier insurance plans, if your plan covers vision at all. When you factor in the copay and waiting process involved in seeing a general practitioner to obtain a referral first, going to Costco or Walmart is a better deal all around.
Ordering Glasses Online
After your eye exam, ask the doctor for a physical copy of your prescription so you can order your glasses. Simply measure the distance between your pupils and place your order. The prices are low enough for you to order multiple pairs in different shapes and colors.
Purchasing Contacts Online
You can also buy your contacts on the Internet. Coastal and 1-800-Contacts are among the most popular sites for contacts. To order contacts online, your prescription must be recent; new glasses can be ordered at any time. It is a good idea to buy enough contacts at one time to qualify for free shipping and other bulk discounts.
Registering for Cash-Back Deals
Rebate sites like Ebates offer great deals for purchases made on glasses and contacts sites. It’s an extra boost to your savings to get $10 or more back on a bulk contacts order. These rewards are sometimes doubled around key shopping holidays like Cyber Monday, Memorial Day and Labor Day, so you could get even more money back by timing your purchase carefully.
There is no need to go through conventional optometry channels when these tricks will get you the same results for a fraction of the price. Take your eye care into your own hands and avoid doctor markups on glasses and contacts.