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Unexpected Expenses

July 13th, 2013 at 01:55 pm

I had a good reminder today about why an EF is necessary. I went and broke my glasses, and had to get new ones. Thankfully, I have vision insurance through my employer, and my portion came to be $154.85. I have the money in my account, thankfully. However, that is $154.85 less that is going towards my Discover credit card next month. If only I needed low prescription glasses and did not have astigmatism! I would have gone and bought them at the Dollar Store!

My insurance covers frames up to $150, and 20% over that. I got the cheapest frame possible - it was originally $155, and I ended up having to pay $4. Not bad. All the other frames were 200+. However, it got me thinking. Why in the world does an eyeglass frame cost that much? It was not a high-end or designer frame. The materials that go into making that frame would not cost more than a fraction of that amount. Who gets the rest of that amount?

This is the first time that I have got glasses in the US. I usually get them when I go home to India. I could get the exam, frame, lenses and follow up in India for the same price as my portion of the cost of the whole thing here. It makes me really sad to think about the cost of medical needs in this country. I have insurance, so I had a reduced bill. If not, I would have to pay $550+ for the service I received at the optician. What about the people who can't afford that? I hope things change for the better soon.

7 Responses to “Unexpected Expenses”

  1. nhgirl1970 Says:

    I ordered my glasses online through ZenniOptical (there are others as well). Just under $50 including shipping.

  2. IndianGal Says:

    Thanks, nhgirl. I will check them out. They sound really reasonable.

  3. North Texas Mommy Says:

    I too have ordered from Zenni Optical. I was pleased too!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    A lot of the time it is because you are not just buying frames. You are buying the designer of the frames and their name. It is annoying because the less expensive frames are just not being offered in a lot of stores because of customer demand to have a brand, supposedly.

    When I get new glasses this time, I am not buying frames. I am having new lenses put into the frames I had previous to my current pair and having my current pair made into sunglasses. Since they are very similar frames and a style I like, I see no reason to shell out for new frames. Of course my insurance only covers $99 on frames and $99 on lenses and most frames are $200 around here.

  5. scfr Says:

    Clark Howard, in his book "Living Large in Lean Times," recommends ZenniOptical.com. He also mentions EyeBuyDirect.com, GlassesUnlimited.com, and GlassesShop.com

    Costco Optical Dept has lots of reasonably priced frames. I ordered a pair last week at Costco (first pair in 3 years). The frames were $60, and 100% covered by my insurance. $60 was at the low-medium end of the Costco frames as far as price. They had some as low as $40.

  6. baselle Says:

    60 Minutes had a piece about eyeglass frames. Apparently Luxotica and subsidiaries comprise almost 90% of the market. Its a case of near monopoly pricing. I have frames that I generally use, so I tend not to buy frames but they do wear out eventually. I'll have to check out ZenniOptical.

  7. soogar Says:

    I too spend a load of money on eyeglasses for both specialized prescriptions and designer frames. I have noticed a difference when I buy cheaper frames. They don't sit well on the face. It is cheaper to buy frames from the internet. The opticians still get you when they insert the lenses.

    The good thing is that you have insurance.Smile

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