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Cost of Eyeglass Prescription
Old 02-04-2015, 04:56 PM   #1
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Cost of Eyeglass Prescription

My wife went to an eye clinic nearby, she has been having trouble close up vision, and headaches often.

She needs glasses now, and was sent to a waiting room to pay our co-pay after the visit. She sat there, with 5-6 other people, for about 30 minutes before she was called.

Our co-pay was $25, but they also added a "prescription fee" of $30. The fee was for the eyeglass prescription. It seems insurance is unwilling to pay that charge, so it is passed on to the patient. If you want your prescription.

Is this common? This is the first pair of glasses for either of us.

If it matters, this was in Texas.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by winger View Post
My wife went to an eye clinic nearby, she has been having trouble close up vision, and headaches often.

She needs glasses now, and was sent to a waiting room to pay our co-pay after the visit. She sat there, with 5-6 other people, for about 30 minutes before she was called.

Our co-pay was $25, but they also added a "prescription fee" of $30. The fee was for the eyeglass prescription. It seems insurance is unwilling to pay that charge, so it is passed on to the patient. If you want your prescription.

Is this common? This is the first pair of glasses for either of us.

If it matters, this was in Texas.
Yes, this is standard. The refraction test is the one done to determine the prescription you need, and is usually not covered by insurance.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
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I've never seen it and DW and I have worn glasses for near on to 90 years between the two of us.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:23 PM   #4
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Is this "prescription fee" for the eye test to determine what the amount of correction is needed in the lenses? If so that certainly sounds reasonable. If they also charged for the eye exam and added that "prescription fee" on top then I'd want to know what, exactly, that fee is for.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:31 PM   #5
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I get an annual eye exam. Medicare pays it all, but not the separate charge for refraction. In my case the refraction costs an additional $80. Until this year, the assistant does it, but then the ophthalmologist repeats it, likely only to check the findings of the assistant. This year, she did not do another refraction, just what the asst did. I don't yet have my bill, so I don't know if I will have a separate charge or not.

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Old 02-04-2015, 05:31 PM   #6
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I've never paid a separate prescription fee not covered by insurance. Been wearing glasses since age 7. However insurance never covered for refraction until recently and doesn't pay for glasses.


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Old 02-04-2015, 05:47 PM   #7
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I noticed haha mentioned opthomologist.

I've always gotten my eyeglass prescription from an optometrist. I'm not sure I ever saw an an opthomologist. Since they're looking at other things than just correcting your vision (medical stuff) I can see charging extra for doing what the optometrist does.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:19 PM   #8
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Local franchise $69 for 2 pair of glasses including exam. Just reading glasses, but the exam is comforting, just in case.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:53 PM   #9
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You might want to compare your current insurance to other potential policies. I have not run into that particular charge.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:56 PM   #10
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I get an annual eye exam. Medicare pays it all.

Ha
What's this?? Medicare pays for eye exams? I thought we are on our own for that one.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:08 PM   #11
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What's this?? Medicare pays for eye exams?
I'm not seeing it.

Maybe if you are on a Medicare Advantage plan...
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:09 PM   #12
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Hmmm,

If you are getting a refraction from an Optometrist, paying an additional fee for the refraction would not be normal. In fact, in my state, they are required to give you the prescription so you aren't tied to them for dispensing your glasses. I routinely buy my glasses over the internet for 1/3 the price ( those progressive lenses are pricey). If it is an ophthalmologist ( a physician) than your medical insurance is likely paying for the medical evaluation; but, won't pay for the refraction. In that case it seems to be reasonable charge for the added, un-covered service.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:54 PM   #13
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What's this?? Medicare pays for eye exams? I thought we are on our own for that one.
My mother had glaucoma, and I got referred by an optometrist at Costco for ophthalmologic exam re: glaucoma. She had seen unusual things about my optic nerves that she thought might signal glaucoma. I was all for it, as my mother lost much of the vision in one eye because she was not adequately treated. They still follow me. This has nothing to do with glasses; I haven't worn glasses in years, but I have paid for refraction.


I don't mind paying for refractions; I just don't want to go blind.


Ha
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:26 AM   #14
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whatever your cost for eyecare is worth it. I agree with ha I would not want to go blind.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:55 AM   #15
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Hmmm,

If you are getting a refraction from an Optometrist, paying an additional fee for the refraction would not be normal. In fact, in my state, they are required to give you the prescription so you aren't tied to them for dispensing your glasses. I routinely buy my glasses over the internet for 1/3 the price ( those progressive lenses are pricey). If it is an ophthalmologist ( a physician) than your medical insurance is likely paying for the medical evaluation; but, won't pay for the refraction. In that case it seems to be reasonable charge for the added, un-covered service.
Good explanation. Thanks. Our retiree medical insurance doesn't cover the refraction or eyeglasses, but it does cover the eye exam and diseases of the eye. I looked at our policy last night.

Likely that is why some pay and some don't.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:04 AM   #16
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OK, what is "refraction"? I've never heard this mentioned in any eye exam I've had. And have never been charged a fee for it.

We pay ONE exam fee, which includes all tests, including a dilated exam (ugh). At the end, they hand me the prescription, NO extra fee.

We purchase our glasses online, lately through Zenni Optical. They're about 1/4 the price of the brick & mortar boutiques out here, YMMV. At that price we can afford to keep a spare pair in every car.

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Old 02-05-2015, 09:46 AM   #17
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OK, what is "refraction"? I've never heard this mentioned in any eye exam I've had. And have never been charged a fee for it.

We pay ONE exam fee, which includes all tests, including a dilated exam (ugh). At the end, they hand me the prescription, NO extra fee.

We purchase our glasses online, lately through Zenni Optical. They're about 1/4 the price of the brick & mortar boutiques out here, YMMV. At that price we can afford to keep a spare pair in every car.

_B
oops! Sorry. Refraction is sometimes called the vision test and refers to the process of measuring your visual performance and assessing the corrective lenses that will optimize your vision.

When you go the the optometrist and he says you have 20/40 distant vision and need these particular lenses to correct you to 20/20 you have been refracted. The dilated exam is opthalmoscopy and actually isn't a part of the refraction. That exam is looking at the back of your eye, see the blood vessels, the optic nerve head, and the other elements. You probably also got a glaucoma screening. These other tests are just screens the optometrist does. If they find anything concerning, they will refer you to an ophthalmologist ( a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of the eye).

Optometrists do refraction and screen for other problems. They are not physicians. If you have any significant medical problems like diabetes, you may want to consider a medical examination of your eyes from a qualified ophthalmologist.

I use Zenni as well. I buy a couple of pairs of glasses and a pair of sunglasses every couple of years or when a change in correction occurs for less than 1 pair of glasses at my optometrist (even with my vision insurance!)
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:13 AM   #18
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oops! Sorry. Refraction is sometimes called the vision test and refers to the process of measuring your visual performance and assessing the corrective lenses that will optimize your vision.
Thanks! I never heard that term before & had to ask.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:58 PM   #19
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OK, what is "refraction"? I've never heard this mentioned in any eye exam I've had. And have never been charged a fee for it.

We pay ONE exam fee, which includes all tests, including a dilated exam (ugh). At the end, they hand me the prescription, NO extra fee.

We purchase our glasses online, lately through Zenni Optical. They're about 1/4 the price of the brick & mortar boutiques out here, YMMV. At that price we can afford to keep a spare pair in every car.

_B
I think refraction = prescription for the most part.

My ophthalmologists would charge extra for them but they won't provide refractions anyway--they say an experienced optometrist who does hundreds of them is much better than they are.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:07 PM   #20
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My ophthalmologist charges $40 for prescription, I have always wondered why as the information is usually obtained from the annual eye exam (he goes through it whether I needed a prescription or not). I feel it is unfair but not much I can do about it.


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