How Much Are Contacts Without Insurance – Overview
Contact lenses are quite expensive but their exact cost is influenced by several factors. The brand, type and prescription, along with insurance coverage, will determine the final cost of getting contact lenses.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of these factors and help you to determine the cost of contact lenses without insurance.
What Affects the Cost of Contact Lenses?
You may have come across similar-looking contact lenses from different brands that have a significant difference in their final price. The brand prescribed by your doctor, the strength of the prescription, the presence of astigmatism, and special features together combine to determine the total cost of getting contact lenses.
Apart from this, the manufacturer’s rebates, your insurance coverage, retailer coupons, yearly contacts options, and bulk-buying influence the cost of contact lenses too.
Here’s a short breakdown of the average cost of contact lenses, without insurance coverage in the United States in 2023:
Daily disposables = US$ 35 to US$ 70 per box (90 units)
1-2 week disposables = US$ 35 to US$ 80 per box (6 units)
2-week astigmatism disposables = US$ 50 to US$ 85 per 6-unit pack
Monthly disposables = US$ 40 to US$ 100 per 6-unit pack
Traditional yearly soft lenses = US$ 50 to US$ 80 per 2-unit pack
Rigid gas/permeable lenses = Cost varies because these are custom-made
Cost of Contact Lenses Without Insurance Coverage
The kind of optical or health insurance you have will determine the out-of-pocket amount you may need to spend to get contact lenses. If you have any health insurance policy, you should contact your insurance provider and enquire about contact lens coverage.
If you do not have an insurance policy, or your current insurance policy does not cover the cost of contact lenses, then read on to know more.
Contact Lens Cost With Health Insurance
Regular health insurance providers often offer optical benefits, including eye exams and credit for buying a pair of prescription glasses. You may even receive a voucher to cover part of the cost of contact lenses. Though it is rare, your health insurance provider may cover the complete annual cost of certain types of contact lenses.
Contact Lens Cost With Vision Insurance
Apart from health insurance, you can also buy supplementary vision insurance through a different insurance provider. Vision insurance covers the cost of an eye exam, and gives credits towards buying a pair of prescription glasses or partial payment for contact lenses.
Remember, vision care services may not count towards your yearly health insurance deductible. Besides this, vision care services will not cover all out-of-pocket expenses for getting contact lenses.
FSA or HSA
The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) can also be convenient to buy contact lenses, without insurance cover. You may also be able to cover the entire annual cost of contact lenses if your employer offers your FSA or HSA every year.
Cost of Contact Lenses by Type
Daily Disposable Contact Lenses
Daily disposable lenses are ideal for those who do not want to bother with daily maintenance and proper storage of contact lenses. These contact lenses are designed to be worn only for a day and need to be discarded once used. Today, you can even buy daily disposable contact lenses that are useful for astigmatism too.
These types of contact lenses usually come in a box of 90 pairs. If you have different prescriptions for each eye, then you will have to buy two separate 90-unit boxes. These contact lens packs can last up to 3 months.
The average annual cost of using daily disposable contact lenses is around US$ 400 to US$ 500, and up to US$ 800 for toric.
1-2 Week Disposable Contact Lenses
These are also disposable lenses but last for as long as 10 to 14 days at a time. If you tend to break or lose contact lenses often, these lenses will be more suitable for you. You will need to only remove the lenses before sleeping and soak them overnight in a saline solution.
These contact lenses usually come in a pack of 6, and the entire pack lasts for up to 3 months. The average annual cost of 1-2 week disposable contact lenses is around US$ 300 to US$ 500, and slightly more for toric.
Monthly Disposable Contact Lenses
Monthly contact lenses from reliable brands are extremely durable and can last from 1 to 3 months. You only need to take good care and store the lenses properly, as instructed. Make sure to check with the retailer if they offer a replacement in case a contact lens breaks.
While using this type of contact lens, you will need to keep track of how many days you have worn the pair of lenses. At times, these lenses may cause your eyes to dry up, so you might have to wear eyeglasses if you feel dryness or irritation.
The average annual cost of using monthly disposable contact lenses is around US$ 200 to US$ 400.
Traditional Soft Contact Lenses
Conventional yearly soft contact lenses require significant commitment and care. These are only advised if you are used to regularly maintaining your contact lenses. There are not many brands that offer this type of lens, so your options may be limited.
The annual average cost of using a yearly conventional soft contact lens is around US$ 50 to US$ 80. Though the per-box cost of these lenses may seem higher, they are more affordable in the long run as you don’t need to buy them as frequently as other types of contact lenses.
Rigid Gas/Permeable Contact Lenses
These types of contact lenses are specially customized for each user. Though they are classified as ‘hard contacts’ they allow oxygen to reach your eyes better than conventional soft contact lenses. They are also more durable and don’t tear easily. These contact lenses can often last up to a year.
As these lenses are custom-made, it is not possible to buy them in bulk. You also need to remember that the replacement cost of these lenses is also significantly higher.
The average annual cost of using rigid gas/permeable contact lenses is around US$ 80 to US$ 325 for a pair.
The overall cost of contact lenses is influenced mainly by the brand, type, and whether your insurance covers this service. The extent of insurance coverage also determines the out-of-pocket expenses you may have to bear when buying contact lenses.
Make sure to discuss your options with your eye doctor and take their advice about the best-suited and most affordable type of contact lens that you should buy.
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