Buying contact lenses is one of the best purchases I make each year. I know that a large part of my eye problems comes from the fact that I stare at a computer all day and perhaps I can work on that, but now that my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I love “putting my eyes in” every morning and enjoying 20/20 vision. Purchasing contacts, though, is not always a great experience.
When I first bought contacts, I strolled into the optometrist’s office that my insurance plan recommended, let them blind me temporariliy, and then forked out a few hundred dollars to see straight for a year. If that’s what it costs to see, then I’ll pay it. But one day I decided to check online knowing that prices can be a little cheaper and even if they’re not you don’t I could save on sales tax. I was pleasantly surprised that you can save up to $100 on contacts just by knowing where to look. Here’s the low down.
Get A Prescription at the Eye Doctor
First things first, you still have to get a prescription when buying online. If you have EyeMed insurance like me, then you can go to many well known chains or just stop by a Target for really quick service. This isn’t an exam to find out everything there is to know about your eyes. You’re just getting the numbers regarding the size and strength of your eyes.
Research Contact Lenses Prices Online
Feel free to listen to the eye doctor quote you their “special” rates if you want to find out how much your saving. I wear Purevision lenses and doctors usually quote a year’s supply (four boxes for these monthly contacts) at $200-$250 plus tax ($14-$18). Next, go online and find a good deal.
To Buy Contacts Online
- Go to google.com
- Type in the name of your contacts or those recommended by your doctor – “Purevision” for me
- Look at all the ads on the top and right side of the search results
- Click three links that look cheap and try out ContactLensKing.com or VisionDirect.com for great prices
- After finding the best deal, enter all the necessary prescription information
- Buy a year’s supply of contacts for the best rates
I can usually find a year’s supply for $100 which puts the savings between $115 and $170, but we’re not done yet.
Use Your FSA Card for Orders
If you have a Federal Savings Account (FSA) health card then be sure to use that as the credit card when ordering. If you don’t, then talk to your employer about getting one. Contacts are covered by this tax free method and since you pay no income tax before the purchase this card saves you another 10-25% or $10-$50. Contact solution is also covered when needed down the road.
Contact Your Eye Insurance for a Rebate
Since you are not ordering it from the doctor your insurance has a deal with, you may not get as good of a kickback from insurance as you thought. If you don’t have eye insurance then this doesn’t matter, but in my case I receive $120 for In-Network or $80 for Out-of-Network. Ordering online cuts into my savings by $40, and I also have to fill out a purchase form that my insurance provides on their website. This is a little extra work but still worth the net $75-$130 in savings.
If you really like saving try searching online for your brand name and “rebates” or “free trial”. A free trial for monthly contacts saves you almost 10% or another $10. Also, look search online for promo codes for the website you’re using (e.g. “Contact Lens Kings Promo Codes”).
FYI, monthly contacts and bi-weekly contacts usually come out to the same annual price. A year’s supply of monthly (4 boxes) tends to cost half what bi-weekly (8 boxes) lenses cost.
What other ways have you found to save on health care? Comment below with your questions, thoughts, and ideas.