How Much Does an Eye Exam Cost?
Eye exams vary in cost depending on where you get yours done. Large retail vision providers often charge $100 or less. But independent eye doctors may charge you more.
If you have vision insurance, your vision care plan may cover some or all eye exam costs.
Lenscrafters Eye Exam Price
The cost of an eye exam without insurance at Lenscrafters starts at $73.
Lenscrafters accepts most major insurance providers.
Visionworks Eye Exam Price
The cost of an eye exam without insurance at Visionworks starts at $75. This may vary based on the location you choose.
Visionworks accepts most major insurance providers that can also help lower the fee.
Costco Eye Exam Price
An eye exam without insurance at Costo may vary depending on the location. No matter what, it is considered low-cost compared to private eye doctors. You can usually get an eye exam for around $70.
Costco also accepts most vision insurance coverage plans, which can help cut costs even further. However, this can vary because Costco optometry offices are all independent. Some Costco offices don’t take insurance at all.
Target Eye Exam Price
The cost of an eye exam without insurance at Target starts at around $70.
Target accepts many vision insurance plans that would make the price even cheaper.
Walmart Eye Exam Price
The cost of an eye exam without insurance at Walmart starts at $75.
Walmart accepts most major insurance providers for eye exams and in-store purchases. Vision insurance can bring down the cost of your eye exam.
America’s Best Eye Exam Price
At America’s Best, eye exams are free when you buy two pairs of glasses. If you don’t buy two pairs of glasses, the eye exam is only $50.
America’s Best also accepts most major insurance providers.
Does Insurance Cover Eye Exams?
Traditional health insurance usually does not cover eye exams unless they’re considered “medical” exams. Your health insurance might cover you if you have a medical eye problem.
For example, a routine vision exam may diagnose you with “nearsightedness.” A medical eye exam could give you a diagnosis like "conjunctivitis."
You can purchase additional vision insurance if your health insurance does not cover regular eye exams. Depending on the company and plan, your vision insurance may cover some or all of your eye exam costs. The cost of your co-pay will also vary.
Can You Get an Eye Exam Without Insurance?
Yes, you can get a vision test without insurance. Eye exam prices will vary, and you will have to pay out of pocket for it. You'll also have to pay for any glasses or contacts.
If you do not have vision insurance, you may visit a larger retailer like Costco or Walmart. They run optometric clinics with qualified eye doctors at lower costs. These retailers exist all across the United States.
Likewise, the National Eye Institute lists organizations that provide free eye exams, vision screenings, and free glasses. Optometry Cares: The AOA Foundation also maintains a list of state-specific resources.
Factors That Affect Eye Exam Costs
Like other medical services, eye care will vary depending on different factors. These factors include:
Where you live affects how much you pay for an eye exam. Prices will be higher in urban areas than in rural ones. Living in urban areas is more expensive, which affects the price of eye exams.
Your health insurance coverage determines whether you receive reimbursement for your eye exam. Some companies offer discounts for patients who have their own vision insurance.
Whether you're a new or old patient can also influence the price of your eye examination. New patients typically pay more than those who have seen the doctor before.
Type of Eye Care Provider
Eye exams at independent eye doctors are usually more expensive than at retail stores or optical chains. You're usually paying more for the doctor's expertise and tools. Retail stores and optical chains usually only offer basic eye tests.
Sometimes, your eye doctor may need to perform additional procedures or tests. This type of specialized care adds to the overall cost of your eye exam. They may also refer you to a specialist, increasing the cost.
What Do Eye Exams Check?
An eye exam evaluates your vision and checks your eyes for different diseases. Even if you have good vision, eye exams are important because they can help detect health problems.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Macular degeneration
A comprehensive eye exam can take anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. It involves a series of tests that each examine different aspects of your vision and eye health:
- Visual acuity. Measures your vision’s sharpness
- Visual field. Checks for blind spots in your peripheral vision
- Pupillary reactions. Observes your pupils to see how they react to light and close objects
- Cover test. Checks how your eyes work together
- Extraocular muscle function. Checks if you have normal eye movements
- Retinoscopy. Checks which lenses are appropriate if you need eyeglasses or contact lenses
Eye doctors recommend you get a complete eye exam every year or two. You may visit the eye doctor more often if you have poor vision or an eye disease.
Eye exams are important because they can detect problems early. Different places offer eye exams at various price points. Carefully assessing your options can save you money while still getting the best care possible.
In this article