If you, like me, have been dealing with poor vision for most of your life, you know just how expensive taking care of your eyes can be. Annual eye doctor exams, contact lenses, updated glasses... The costs add up, and unfortunately, it's not something you can avoid.
Insurance may help out substantially, but even if you have good coverage, you'll end up paying some expenses out of pocket. To soften the blow of pricey eyewear and appointments, here are a few tricks you can employ.
- Don't skip your annual exam, but make sure you aren't overpaying. Avoiding your eye doctor appointments is never a good idea. The less you know about your eye health, the more you risk running into expensive, irreparable damage later on. However, when you do schedule your annual appointments, double-check to make sure you're getting a good price. The average patient in America pays about $200-$250 for an initial appointment and $128-$155 for the appointments that follow. If you're paying more than that, you may need to look into a cheaper eye doctor.
- Do the math to see if vision insurance will help. Many people don't invest in vision insurance, even if they wear contacts or glasses. It all depends on how much you spend on eyewear each year. Run some numbers to see if signing up for a vision insurance plan will reduce your overall costs. Most plans only cost about $10 to $25 per month.
- Ask your contact provider if your car insurance can save you money. I know it sounds like I misspoke there, but it's true: your car insurance company might actually offer a discount on contact lenses. For instance, certain plans with State Farm will give you an extra 15 percent off your overall contact lens purchase. It won't hurt to ask if your insurance provider does the something similar.
- Look for coupons on lenses. Clipping coupons may sound a little archaic, but sometimes you can find substantial savings in coupons for LensCrafters and other competitors. You can also see if your favorite contact or glasses provider will honor coupons from other places.
- Save for your vision expenses throughout the year. Some people like to schedule their annual eye exam, buy new contact lenses, and order new glasses at all once. That means they pay a pretty big fee all at one time. To cushion that hefty expense, consider setting aside a certain amount each month leading up to the exam. You'll find it hurts a lot less if you've got $700 put away to deal with the charge once it rolls around.
- Order your glasses and contacts online. If you've never worn corrective lenses before, it's not a bad idea to start with your doctor's options, but after that initial fitting, begin searching on your own. Definitely don't assume that your eye doctor's deals are the best ones on the market. Shop around on various websites, including Sam's Club and Costco.
How do you deal with the burden of eyecare expenses? Leave other money-saving suggestions in the comment section!