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Vision Insurance

My Eyes Were Open By Overpriced Vision Care


Last week I had a vision exam and received a prescription for a new pair of reading glasses and replacement progressive lenses. I have medical and dental insurance that I pay for myself, but I don’t have separate vision coverage nor does my health plan cover any non-injury eye care. Fortunately, I have a health savings account with a few bucks in it because my total bill for eye exam, photos of my eye, reading glasses and replacement progressive lenses was $1,474. Yes, an eye-popping $1,474.

And the funny thing about the whole experience is that the very nice optician who assisted me after my exam and the rest of the office staff seemed embarrassed by my bill. I don’t think they ever saw a bill so large and neither had I. It’s been awhile since I had to pay the full price for my eye care. To be honest, I don’t remember ever paying full price for an exam or glasses—it was always covered by insurance. Sure, I paid a few hundred bucks towards the cost but not nearly $2k.

Confession: I do have poor eyesight and am a lifelong four eyes. I have astigmatism, am extremely farsighted and wear progressive lenses. All of this “eye care” cost money but what it cost is unbelievable. The price tag for high index lenses (to reduce their thickness and heaviness) is just over $300 for the set. And of course you want your lenses to be anti-glare, well that is going to cost you another $150 per set… Who doesn’t want anti-glare lenses and why aren’t they standard? Oh, let’s not forget the other coatings they put on lenses to increase clarity of night vision or something… Again, why aren’t these coatings a standard part of all lenses and why do they cost an additional $110 dollars per set?

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