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Eye wear
Old 07-04-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
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Eye wear

Went to Lenscrafters recently. Cost of frames and lenses $500-600 after AAA / AARP discounts. Want to know from the group that don't have traditional insurance how do you deal with the eye care issue. We have HSA so we pay upfront. Do you buy frames from private optometrist/opthalmologist which will probably cost more or do you go the Walmart / Sam's club route and get the lens from Lenscrafters / Pearle.

Also, regarding eye exams, assuming you don't have some sort of eye disease like glaucoma or diabetes, are you safe with the local optometrist and if he/she finds something go to the opthalmologist for more expert treatment.
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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Do you buy frames from private optometrist/opthalmologist which will probably cost more or do you go the Walmart / Sam's club route and get the lens from Lenscrafters / Pearle.
None of the above.

I got fed up with the outrageous costs of prescription glasses and gave these folks a try: Zenni Optical

I'm happy with the two pair of glasses I got for a little over $100 total but hear these guys are even better and may try them next time: 39 Dollar Glasses.com

Unless you have an exceptionally difficult prescription, I think the online guys do a great job.
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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I go to a private ophthalmologist (outside of my HMO group) once a year. This year his fee was $220, I use his optician because I've found that the outfit you (OP) mention and my HMO can't grind it right. I reused an expensive pair of frames and progressive lenses cost $550. $770.00 total for my IRS itemization.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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Frank and I just got glasses again at Lenscrafters in June. Up to now, my insurance has covered it. But I found out after my eye exam, while ordering the glasses, that my BCBS no longer pays for glasses from Lenscrafters. As you can well imagine, I vehemently expressed my shock and displeasure. Since I was sitting there with prescription in hand, about ready to take a hike, the salesman gave me half off. So, I ended up paying $298 for the glasses (trifocals with nearsightedness and lots of astigmatism). I also paid $65 for the eye exam. Frank's insurance paid for almost all of his. For his glasses plus eye exam he paid a total of $60, whereas my costs totaled $363.

Lenscrafters will never be cheap, but they have a lot of sales. I am going to go back to my insurance information and check because I think they still cover Eyemasters. If they stop covering glasses entirely, then in retirement I will just watch for the sales at Lenscrafters or Eyemasters. Nothing wrong with the other places, but I am vain and want a lot of choices in frame styles.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:05 PM   #5
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None of the above.
I got fed up with the outrageous costs of prescription glasses and gave these folks a try: Zenni Optical
Geesh, a complete pair of glasses for $8. Cardboard cut into the shape of glasses with two pinholes so you see by diffraction would cost almost that much. Maybe I'll splurge for the $9.95 ones.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:10 PM   #6
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Gonna give these guys a shot since I just lost my prescription sun glasses!
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:16 PM   #7
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Geesh, a complete pair of glasses for $8. Cardboard cut into the shape of glasses with two pinholes so you see by diffraction would cost almost that much. Maybe I'll splurge for the $9.95 ones.
I didn't sample the $8 variety but did get a pair $50 bifocals that are surprisingly good quality. Just for the heck of it I then ordered a $25 pair of back-up glasses. They are no different than what you might buy at WallyWorld optical for $200 - attractive metal frames with spring hinges. And best of all, I can see when I wear them!
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:24 PM   #8
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Lasik - enough said
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:41 PM   #9
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I have used lenscrafters and found them extremely expensive . I then tried a few of the optical bargain places and was very pleased for more than half the price . I always used an optometrist until I developed cataracts and then I switched to an Opthamologist . I wore glasses from the age of ten until four years ago when I had Cataract surgery ( developed early from steroid use for asthma )with implants and lost my need for glasses . It has been so freeing .
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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Years ago I got tired of the "bait and switch" tactics of the large chains like Lenscrafters. I went to them for the eye exam and the prescription, along with face measurements. I found the frame I wanted and then went to framesdirect.com. I found the prices up-front, there were no games, and I got a very high-quality frame and lens. It's 10 years later and I still wear the frames, just get the lenses replaced as needed.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:50 PM   #11
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Lasik - enough said
*snort* Easily said, not so easily achieved.

By any chance are your eyeball lenses presbyopic?
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #12
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None of the above.

I got fed up with the outrageous costs of prescription glasses and gave these folks a try: Zenni Optical
I'll have to go dig out my prescription and costs. Mine are "high index" progressive, but I'd have to see if that means "high" (1.57), or "higher" (1.61-1.67). They don't seem to offer progressive in the "higher" indexes.

One way I might go with this - get a "spare" set of glasses from the on-line place. The titanium frames I've been getting are so durable, I need new lenses before I need new frames. But... they always say they need to fit the lenses to the frames, so unless I can give the frames up for two weeks, I end up with the cost of new frames. With a spare set, I could say, sure, take 'em, I have a spare. I'd have to do the math to see if that would work for me, and there would be value to having spares anyhow.

I do know that, when I kind of "pushed" my local optometrist for a low price on a cheap pair of second glasses (simple single vision, just to use at the computer), the prices were far, far lower than my main pair with all the ups/extras.

This ties back to all the health care reform threads - a perfect example of how insurance drives up the costs. Most of these things I accept, heck the insurance is paying for most of it, my eyes are important, etc.... but what would I really get, if every penny was out-of-pocket? I'd probably choose a bit more carefully, and weigh the real value of the ups/extras.

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Old 07-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #13
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None of the above.

I got fed up with the outrageous costs of prescription glasses and gave these folks a try: Zenni Optical

I'm happy with the two pair of glasses I got for a little over $100 total but hear these guys are even better and may try them next time: 39 Dollar Glasses.com

Unless you have an exceptionally difficult prescription, I think the online guys do a great job.
The spouse uses Zenni. I use it for reading glasses--prescription readers only about 10 bucks. I use 39 Dollar Glasses for my other glasses as I have what Wahoo calls a "difficult" prescription. Strong lens high index lenses that I want thin as possible, plus progressive lenses. Still, I think I spent only a bit more than $100 on my glasses.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:44 PM   #14
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I wish I could use less expensive glasses. I've been wearing glasses since I was 2 years old. I wear trifocals now...I used to wear contacts, but my doctor says that's a no no now.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:58 PM   #15
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Lasik - enough said
Why is that enough said? Know anyone with a bad astigmatism?
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dex: Lasik - enough said

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Why is that enough said? Know anyone with a bad astigmatism?
Or an infection after the operation? Or the starbursts or halos?

I know those risks are low, but they shouldn't go unmentioned.

Titanium frames and lightweight, high index plastic lenses have diminished my desire to have a high powered laser directed at my eyes. Maybe someday.

-ERD50
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:19 AM   #17
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I had cataract surgery 4 years ago, using ReStor implants. For most things, I don't need to wear glasses, but I do need them in dark retaurants (ReStor makes reading in the dark difficult), or when using the GPS in the car (ReStor makes reading distance and far distance easy, but midrange, 2'-8', difficult). I got a pair of Silhouettes with high index progressives so I could read the teleprompter when giving speeches and not have the glasses become a prominent part of my face. That was three years ago. I think the frames were a couple hundred, the lenses about four hundred, and about a hundred for the opthomology/optometry doc. Ins paid a couple hundred, and I paid the rest. I rarely wear them...I give maybe 10 or 12 speeches a year and occasionally wear them at the office if I need to for the last little bit of astigmatism the combined cataract/AK surgery did not correct.

Last year, frustrated because I did not want to wear the expensive glasses while making repairs in the attic, under the sink, and in difficult places, I bought a pair of el cheapos (as cheap as the local optometrist gets). They are progressives that automatically get darker in the sun (can't recall the name), for 200 inclusing the exam, after insurance paid their part. I also had a spare pair of decent frames from before the surgery and had them put in the most basic progressives they had, for about another hundred or hundred fifty...no insurance coverage. These are both for driving with gps, grocery shopping, and dark/dirty work. In my case, any glasses I buy would be meaningless if they weren't progressives or trifocals. I wish that they weren't so expensive, but vision is one thing it is hard to do without, and so far I have found it difficult to trust an internet purveyor of glasses.

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Old 07-05-2009, 07:25 AM   #18
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Recently spent almost $700 at LensCrafters for DH for 2 pairs of no-line bifocals, regular and sunglasses. He usually uses clip-ons but we sprung for sunglasses for his birthday. He is preparing for extensive fishing time when we move back to FL. LensCrafters has been running a 50% lenses special for about the last month. Paid using Sec 125 funds. Haven't had to buy him glasses since we bought a spare pair to take to Katrina as a Red Cross volunteer.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:02 AM   #19
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Titanium frames and lightweight, high index plastic lenses have diminished my desire to have a high powered laser directed at my eyes.
I admit it - - I'm chicken!! Cluck, cluck, cluck. No way is anyone directing a laser, a scalpel, or anything else nasty like that towards my eyes.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:06 AM   #20
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Yep. When it comes to voluntarily allowing anyone to alter my eyeballs, count me out.
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