Paid $258 for a Pair of Eye Glasses Inspite of Having Insurance...

... And the lesson learnt: "Never let your guard down".

Here's what happened. I have been using my current pair of eye glasses for close to two years, and it was time for a change. So I went to my doctor, had an examination and as I always do, I told the lady I wanted to go over my insurance first to get an idea of the coverage before starting to look for the glasses. I did NOT want expensive glasses.

As we were going over the insurance, I indulged myself by inquiring about the frame-less "silhouette" glasses. I have always wanted to have those, but due to my weird astigmatism prescription, making the lenses of the quality that can be directly bored into was an expensive prospect. Every time I got new glasses, I would get an estimate for the frame-less lenses, find out that my insurance did not cover it sufficiently, and choose some old boring frames. And here she was telling me that my current insurance covered 100% of the expenses for whatever-the-process-is for making the frame-less lenses. I was exhilarated.

Now, generally, when I finish discussing the insurance details with the lady, my husband and I go off on our own to look through the frames and choose one that not only fits me, but fits our budget as well. But with frame-less lenses, how much could the thin temple bars cost after all, right? So, we let the lady show us some of the "frame-less frames" that they carry. And both my husband and I liked one, so we decided to go with it. Since all it is, is a pair of metal sticks that hinges on my ears to make sure that the lenses are held correctly over my nose and there is no "frame" as such, we did not even bother to ask her how much it costs. Or for that matter how much my insurance coverage was for frames.

Happy with our purchase, we went to the register to pay. Lo and behold, the bill was for $258! Surely there must be a mistake somewhere! As I carefully went over the bill, my heart sank to find out that the frame-less "frames" cost $330 while my insurance only covered $180. So my out-of-pocket expenses was $150 for two thin 4 inch metal sticks! Add to that the co-pay, my portion of the anti-reflective coating, blah, blah and more blah, there it was - a $258 bill :( I was too embarrassed to tell her I wanted to change my mind and go for the regular frames. Or to say that I just needed the prescription, so I could go online and order the same "frame-less" frames with the anti-reflection coating and the other bells and whistles for around $50. So I quietly signed on the dotted line.

Today, my glasses arrived. I love the way they look and feel. Nevertheless, every time I put them on or take them off, I can't help but feel a slight sense of shame for having been a sucker and so grossly overpaying for them...

Sigh!

*Image Credit: Photograph by Daniel Y. Go [via Flickr Creative Commons]



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9 Comments:

Chief Family Officer said...

Been there, done that myself - being too embarrassed to back out, I mean. On the other hand, I'd say that if you love your glasses, you should stop feeling guilty because there's no guarantee that you would have loved a less expensive pair!

Anonymous said...

I had the same thing happened to me. I had insurance, so I told my self I would just get something affordable and get a better deal online. insurance cover up to $120 on frames but most frames at this particular shop (Optician's Office) was $150-200. Where as in other stores, I can find frames for $70 bucks.
Anway, my total bill came to $231.
I think I could have gotten a better deal by just not getting the vision insurance.

canadian sadie said...

Your glasses are the one item that you own that you wear EVERY SINGLE DAY. And since you wore your last pair for 2 years, you can assume you'll do the same with these. That averages out to less than 36 cents a day. You will pay FAR more than that for chap-stick, cheap shirts, shoes, and SOCKS. Your glasses help to define you, and they play an important role in making you feel comfortable with your self.

Don't begrudge yourself 36 cents a day if they're the frames that will truly make you happy.

I don't think that you overpaid--you just need to change your perspective a little. The price tag stinks right now, but you'll be happier in the long run with the frames that you truly wanted.

Anonymous said...

Your story was mine. Only my original quote was $950. NO WAY! I went from the eye doctor's office over to the local WalMart store and got a $330 quote. I went to Sam's and again got a $330 quote. I went to Costco and it was the cheapest quote of all. I got designer frames for $89. Like you, I had a difficult Rx. Grand total of my new designer eyewear with the transition lenses, thinnest plastic possible, scratch guard and more was $250 WITH the Costco membership. I then got a refund from the insurance company for $105. It was the best deal I could come up with for a MUST have purchase.

Roman said...

The amount that insurance covers keeps on getting smaller and smaller.
Meaning that we keep on paying more and more.

experts on credit said...

Unfortunately, insurance isn't what it's cracked up to be. I had a similar experience at the dentist last week.

Cincinnati Retirement Planning said...

$258 for a pair of glasses? Isn't that too much?

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad. I bought a pair of $220.00 rimless glasses at Costco myself. I broke them about six months later when I tried to adjust a minor bend in the bridge and OOOOPs, wouldn't you know it. I broke the so called titanium frames. They can't even be soldered or glued or anything. Anyway, I found a way cheaper option. Eyebuydirect.com. These guys rule, and no I don't work for them or anything. I got inexpensive frames that look very nice including the lenses, color tint, anti-scratch coating all for 12.95 plus 4.95 priority shipping for up to two pairs of glasses. The glasses come in about 10 days. Since then I have purchased 3 more pairs of glasses. All four cost me less than 100 bucks. WOW! Now, I have one at home, work, mom's, etc etc. I have also bought from zennioptical.com. They are cool and inexpensive too with more colot tint options. I have quit getting ripped of by the eyeglass stores altogether, besides where do you think they get their glasses ground and mounted. The same types of mail in companies. Geez!

Nari said...

Just recently stumbled on to your blog (I am a phd student hehe). So you spent it, and you have written about it now. Hopefully, either some new income stream will come up through this post to cover the cost. or you can write more about it on epinions etc and earn it. Hey, it is ok to treat yourself sometimes. But nice post to warn others, thanks!