13 January 2012

See clearly and save money

I've been wearing glasses (or contacts) almost all my life and they are the biggest health related expense I have.  These days I wear my glasses almost all the time so I like to have a couple of different styles for different situations. Before I buy new glasses I always do some research and shop around for the best deal. 

Here are a few tips that have worked for me:

Check Your Health Insurance Cover
Look over your health insurance coverage to see if vision care and spectacles are included and if it is, what specifically is covered. While not everyone’s insurance plan covers the purchase of glasses or contacts, it may offer a discount when you purchase these items.

Shop Online Sites
I’d heard friends mention shopping online for their glasses but I had no idea how much was available. To buy glasses online you will need the prescription from your optometrist as well as your frame size and the measure of your pupillary distance (PD).  Eye tests are bulk billed to Medicare so there are no out of pocket expenses for you (if you haven't had an eye test in the last two years), just ask for the prescription when the test is finished .

Check Your Memberships For Discounts
Some membership groups  offer discounts on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Check the organizations you belong to and see if there are any discounts available.  For instance I have an RACV membership and receive 20% off at OPSM.

Watch for Sales
Many optometrists these days will offer a buy one, get one free sale and these offers can save you a lot of money and give you two pair of glasses - one for everyday and one for going out, or to match different outfits - whatever you like. 

The bottom line is that as with everything, there are always going to be ways to save money. You just need to take some time to research what your saving options are.


  1. You need to be careful with both buying online and from the discount retailers, as their 2 - 4 - 1 deals are often only available on their cheapest and poorest quality range of frames, and the lenses are usually only the lowest index lens available, so if you have a tricky or particularly strong prescription, they will look like the proverbial coke bottle bottoms! A good tip is to go to an independent optometrist and talk to them about your situation, they are usually more than happy to sort out a payment plan for you to get the quality glasses you need while still being able to pay your bills!

  2. If you have a pensioner or health care card, you can get low-cost glasses and services at the Australian College of Optometry. Check website http://www.aco.org.au/


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