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Friday, June 03, 2011

How to Save Money on Contact Lenses

Savanna wrote in recently to ask about saving money on contact lenses, and it so happened that I was pricing Acuvue Oasys lenses at the time. So here are some tips on saving on contacts:
  • See if your doctor can get it for less. It turns out that my prescription is so strong that my insurance provider actually considers my contacts "medically necessary." That means they cover a significantly larger portion of the cost than they would otherwise, so it's cheapest for me to get my lenses through my eye doctor.

  • Shop around. When I was growing up, there was no question that we'd get our glasses and contact lenses through our doctor. But your doctor should give you a written prescription and you can take it anywhere to be filled. The type of lens you need should be written on the prescription, which makes it easy to order online. You'll have to enter your doctor's information as the prescription will be verified with them.

  • Look for coupon codes. The last two times I ordered contact lenses online, I ordered from using coupon codes that had been sent to me via email that reduced the cost by 20%. There are also frequent offers for free shipping at the different sites that sell contacts.

  • Go through shopping portals. As with all online shopping, I recommend going through a shopping portal like Ebates or Mr. Rebates to get cash back. These sites also list coupon codes for discounts and free or reduced shipping.

  • Take advantage of your employer's Flexible Spending Plan. Contact lenses and contact solution are expenses that qualify for reimbursement from tax-advantaged medical reimbursement accounts, so you can pay for them with pre-tax money if your employer offers these accounts. When calculating the amount to be deducted from your paycheck throughout the year, be sure to include these expenses.

  • Take proper care of your lenses to maximize their use. Ask your doctor about the best way to care for your contact lenses, as different types of lenses require different types of care.

  • Get free contact solution through The Drugstore Game. Contact lens solution is something I no longer pay for because it can frequently be obtained for free through The Drugstore Game. Even if you prefer a brand that is usually not free, you should be able to at least get it discounted after coupons and store rewards.



  • At 6/3/11, 1:31 PM, Blogger zena said…

    I'm kicking myself for not realizing that contacts and solutions can be paid thru our HSA. Our insurance gives me $220 to 'spend' towards either contacts or glasses, but they've up the eligibilty from one year to two. I've been wearing my two week disposables for 4 months now.

  • At 6/3/11, 8:47 PM, Blogger Chief Family Officer said…

    @Zena - Stop kicking yourself and go order some new contacts! FYI, in my experience insurance plans never cover the full cost of contacts or glasses so it's best to budget for them.


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