If you are a relatively healthy adult, you may find yourself skipping out on extra insurance coverages, such as vision insurance. While having insurance is always a way to make sure the inevitable is taken care of, you might not always want to pay monthly premiums for something you could just as easily take care of out of pocket as a one-time, yearly expense.
Prepare by finding out what kind of service you need
Lots of times, we need vision insurance because we have different maladies and need to take care of them with regular wellness checks. However, sometimes you can get away with a simple vision check if you think your eyes are healthy. There are different forms of eye exams. So when looking for vision services, check to see if you need an eye exam or a vision exam, since both services range in what they test and how much they cost. If you do just go to an optometrist for a vision exam, and there is an off chance that you do have something more serious with your eyes, for example you have diabetes and they find out you have diabetic retinopathy, the optometrist will refer you to take more tests and make a later appointment for an eye exam at a later date, since these exams take more time.
Coupons both in person or online
Look for local mailer coupons for new customers. They may offer a free eye exam for a new customer or additional services, such a glaucoma test, at a discount. If you don’t get coupon mailers, you can also look directly on the optician’s website for new customer offers. You can also find offers such as two eye glasses for the price of one, or free lenses with eye from manufacturer’s websites. Use a couponing app, such as Groupon or Retailmenot, to find local discounts on eyewear and eye exams.
Find a Bulk Discount All in One Shop
There are shops that offer low cost eye exams, and flat rate eyeglasses, and the tradeoff is having to pay different prices for lenses or contact lenses. If you are fortunate enough to not need corrective lenses or just need reading lenses, simply ask for your prescription and find some cheap reading glasses at a pharmacy, which usually run under $5. There are many optometry chains that work off this model and do offer some savings. If you go with the most generic lenses and stay away from costly contacts, you can keep the bill low and affordable. If you are lucky enough to have a Costco nearby, find out if they have an optometrist. Most people don’t realize you can get an eye exam for cheap at Costco, without being a member.
Get a professional exam, cut costs elsewhere
If you do end up having to pay full price for vision exam, or you get a cheap eye exam, and you want to save money on lenses by not paying the full prices of the optometrist’s eyewear selection, as long as you get a copy of your prescription you can find more affordable eyewear online. There are many websites that offer cheap frames but make sure the business you choose is credible. Check for any BBB badges or certifications. Also, make sure they ask for a prescription otherwise they may not include lenses. Remember a vision exam is different from an eye exam, so be sure you do get a proper eye exam at least once a year.
When it comes down to eyewear emergencies, sometimes you might need a quick financial solution to affording vision care. The National Eye Institute has a Financial Aid resource page for people in need of emergency eye care. They have different resources for various eye care needs, including a program that provides free cataract surgery for those who have no other means to pay. There are also grants available for different eye care needs. Finding funding for more serious eye care concerns might take a little work, but taking care of your vision is important. You can also take on a short-term loan, but you should do research in regard to finding the best loan options for you. Some opticians do have their own payment plans but they don’t have the same experience or tools a lender will have available to you. Just make sure to check and research all your options before getting an eye exam.
The most important thing to remember is that whatever path you take for paying less for your vision, don’t forget your vision is important. Just like any other aspect of your health, you should get your eyes checked at least once a year. Avoiding a yearly eye exam to save a few dollars is not a valid excuse. Preventative care is the best care. Always be weary when you are looking for a doctor and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your health is always in your hands, so why not handle it with care?