How to Avoid Being Ripped-off by the Eye Doctor

Making an eye appointment? Here’s how to find a trustworthy eye doctor, prepare for your visit, and avoid being scammed during your exam.

Check Prices
It is important to shop around and check prices at various eye doctors before you schedule an exam. An eye exam at retail store or optical chain will cost around $65, whereas private practices and medical clinics could could charge you over $100 for a checkup. The best thing to do is find a trusted, local optician who is concerned about the welfare of his or her patients, rather than meeting quotas from a corporate office. Be sure to ask around with friends or family and see who they recommend, or make a visit to scope out the office before scheduling an exam.

Check Insurance Before Going
Be sure to check and know your insurance plan before going to the eye doctor. Make sure you pay the exact price quoted to you. Some doctors try to overcharge, so knowing your insurance policy before your appointment can save you money.

Get Copies of Anything You Sign
At the doctor, ask for a copy of anything you sign. If a doctor tries to overcharge you later, you will have hard copy proof of the terms you agreed on.

Avoid Paying Extra For Lens Coating
Extra coatings on lenses, such as anti-glare or scratch resistant coatings, are not always necessary. Often times, these suggestions are offered by the optometrist to make more money. Most of the time, a basic, plastic lens is adequate.

Be Aware of Tests
Most people should get their eyes checked about every two years, though contact wearers are encouraged to have annual eye exams. A few tests during your exam are normal. For example, the normal tests administered during a routine exam could include: the eye chart that gives a basic idea of what you can see; a refraction test that requires you to look through a machine to determine your exact prescription; and a cover test that reveals how your eye muscles work together.

For more information on common things an eye doctor might not tell you (including which tests are not always routine), visit this page.

Make a List
If you still have concerns, make a list to bring with you to your appointment. Whether you’re looking for advice on contacts vs. glasses or inquiring about laser eye surgery, write down a few cost concerns and specific questions to run by the eye doctor. It might be a good idea to go visit a few doctors in your area to get a second opinion or compare answers and costs.