As we get older, our vision can start to deteriorate. Optometrists typically recommend adults between 55 and 60 should get a complete general eye exam at least every 2 years. Adults over the age of 60 should see an eye doctor every year for an exam. Eye diseases are more likely to develop once you turn 60 and genetic factors can increase your risk of vision problems, so be sure to consult your optometrist.
Unfortunately, though, not all insurance plans cover eye care, leaving seniors on the hook for exams and other expenses. The good news, however, is that seniors are eligible for discounts that won’t break the bank every time you need an eye exam. Here’s where to get them.
Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and Medigap plans don’t cover routine (but necessary) eye exams. They also don’t cover prescription glasses. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, cover vision and dental. Another option is to buy cheap vision insurance on its own. Just make sure the savings and low cost per month outweigh the cost of premiums and copays.
Discount stores like Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, and Walmart offer eyeglasses at reasonable prices. This is a great option, just remember that some of these stores charge an annual membership fee.
You can also check to see whether you are eligible for discounts through specialized membership groups. If you belong to AARP or AAA, you may be able to snag some extra savings. For example, AARP members receive big discounts—30%—on exams and prescription eyeglasses at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Target Optical, Sears Optical, and more.
It’s a fact that local optometrists often carry expensive eyewear. If you aren’t worried about getting designer frames, online stores offer a huge variety of shapes, frames, and lenses at significantly lower prices. Next time you need glasses, take a peek at 39DollarGlasses.com, ZenniOptical.com, or EyeBuyDirect.com instead of paying hundreds at the optometrist’s. Just be sure to have your prescription handy.
There are several organizations that help seniors get the eye care they need.
Other organizations, such as Prevent Blindness America, EyeCare America, and Vision USA can also help you get free or discounted eye exams.