Eye Exam without Insurance – Overview
The total cost of an eye exam can be anywhere between US$ 50 to US$ 250, with the average cost at around US$ 95.
The exact cost of an eye exam depends on several factors, such as the location, if you are a new or returning patient and whether you choose to undergo the eye exam at a local private optometrist or at a major retailer.
Eye exams are usually more affordable at major retailers, especially when you don’t have insurance coverage and you need to pay out of pocket.
Without insurance coverage, paying for an eye exam out of pocket can be expensive. This is especially true when you also have to pay for preventive care out of pocket.
Cost of an Eye Exam
As compared to a local optometrist, an eye exam at a major retailer is less expensive.
You can expect to pay around US$ 50 to US$ 100 when visiting a retailer, as compared to the US$ 200 you need to pay when you visit your optometrist.
Check out the specific costs of an eye exam at different major retailers in the United States:
- Costco – US$ 70
- Target – US$ 70
- Lenscrafters – US$ 73+
- Walmart Vision Center – US$ 75+
- Sam’s America’s Club – US$ 45+
- America’s Best – US$ 50 / free when buying two pairs of eyeglasses
Apart from this basic cost, you may also end up paying some additional costs. According to reports by the CDC, around 93 million adults in the US are at a high risk of severe vision loss.
However, reports show that only about half of these adults visit an eye doctor at least once a year. For adults over 40 years, the total eye care impact on the economy comes to an astonishing US$ 145 billion.
Here are some commonly seen additional costs associated with eye exams:
- Contact Lens exam – US$ 120 to US$ 250
- Prescription Glasses – US$ 240
- Contact Lenses (nearsighted) – US$ 200 to US$ 300 per year
- LASIK Surgery – US$ 2,246 per eye
- Cataract Surgery – US$ 3,500 to US$ 7,000
Factors that Influence Cost of Eye Exam Without Insurance
There are several factors that combine together to determine the exact cost of an eye exam for an individual. For instance, the fact that you are a new or returning patient matters, apart from the region or area you live in and the type of eye clinic you visit.
For new patients, an eye exam can cost around US$ 200 without insurance. However, if you are a regular patient at the optometrist, then you will only need to pay around US$ 100 to US$ 150 per visit, without insurance.
As per various reports, the cost of an eye exam in the southern and middle regions of the United States was lower than in the other parts of the country.
In the Midwest, Southwest and Southeast regions, the average cost of an eye exam is around US$ 90 or less. However, the average cost of an eye exam in the Northeast is around US$ 112.
If you live in cities with higher costs of living, then you should expect to pay even more than this, at a private optometrist clinic.
Besides this, the type of clinic you visit also influences the total cost of an eye exam. For instance, the majority of eye exams cost around US$ 50 to US$ 250, depending on the type of clinic you choose.
At a retailer or vision center, you can expect to pay less than US$ 100 for an eye exam. However, the cost of an eye exam at a private optometrist clinic can be more than US$ 250, depending on your location.
Services Included in an Eye Exam
Generally, an eye exam takes around 30 minutes to an hour. According to the results, the doctor may recommend vision correction with eyeglasses or contact lens prescription, or may even advise you to undergo surgery such as LASIK surgery.
Usually, a normal visit to the optometrist does not involve selecting eyeglasses or contact lenses and surgery requires visiting a specialist at a different time. In a basic eye exam, you can expect to have the following evaluations:
- Peripheral vision
- Sharpness of vision
- Refractive errors (for eyeglass prescription)
- Eye alignment
- Pupillary reaction to light and close objects
- Ocular health
- Muscular function
According to professionals, the main reason that patients visit an eye specialist is when they develop severe eye problems, usually because they need eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Apart from this, experiencing pain or irritation in the eye is the most common problem.
However, it is recommended to go for a normal eye checkup at least twice a year, or once every six months.
This is a better way to detect eye problems in the beginning stages and remedy them with affordable solutions.