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Old 07-10-2019, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Miami, The Magic City
2,901 posts, read 2,010,941 times
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Greetings:

My paid leave ends in a couple of months and I will migrate to the retiree health care coverage program offered by my employer. Unfortunately, vision is no longer covered under the retiree program--just medical and dental.

VSP participates in the active employee program....are there any reputable companies that offer a reasonable insurance program (paid annual eye exam, discount on lenses and frames??) for "independents"??

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,668 posts, read 3,243,341 times
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Yes, there are companies that offer it. Several of them. Check what's being offered.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:45 AM
 
78,977 posts, read 33,560,179 times
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I've found you can get glasses for what you pay for insurance. We would go every year and they would quote us "Those would be $775 without your insurance, you are left with $120. My dad got exam, glasses for under $300. Most people can go more than one year at that. I plan on simply reusing frames. My wife isn't keen on that idea but whatever.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Idaho
1,454 posts, read 1,154,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
I've found you can get glasses for what you pay for insurance.
Agree. When I was working, I chose the free VSP over vision insurance plans. I only used the VSP benefit to get a reduction in eye examination fee and not the glasses. It is way cheaper to get prescription glasses online through zennioptical or eyebuydirect.

When I retired, I found that the regular eye examination fees at places like walmart or costco are pretty much the same as with my previous company VSP.

We have been ordering glasses online for many years without any problems.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:09 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,065 posts, read 9,527,749 times
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We go to the optometrist at WalMart (the optometrist at our Costco totally messed up DH's first measurement, and refused to do anything to make it right).

Then we get our glasses at the Costco optician, because the optician at our WalMart is nearly as expensive as the 'boutique' optician I used to go to when I had VSP through work (and when the WalMart optician quoted me, I gasped in amazement and told them straight out that it was *very* expensive!)
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,654 posts, read 4,699,473 times
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I'm gonna miss getting refractions from my ophthalmologist. It was completely covered by our employer-provided insurance but now we're R-word.

Suppose I'll get it done at Costco instead.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:58 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,202 posts, read 1,345,129 times
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I saw an ad recently that VSP is now offering plans to individuals. I don't know the cost.

I pay my own way at the eye doctor these days. Same for dentist.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:19 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,226 posts, read 6,326,744 times
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I have it but I cancelled it. Not worth my effort. I hate to fill out paperwork every year for this little benefit. I might gain less than $100 per person. Big deal. My eyesight don’t change that much, they even got better than previous years, so I don’t need to buy new glasses every year.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:28 PM
 
2,096 posts, read 712,911 times
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I had VSP before I retired but wasn't impressed- typically it was "discounts" off eyeglasses that were way over priced. Progressive lenses, special UV protection, special protective coatings.. it all had a surcharge. I bought one pair with very narrow lenses when those were in style and they added a surcharge for the extra difficulty of doing NARROW progressive lenses!

Now I go to Costco. I don't need glasses more often than every couple of years, anyway.
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Old Yesterday, 04:46 AM
 
6,253 posts, read 4,728,813 times
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A vision plan avoids a large lump sum payment when it is time to get eyeglasses. Otherwise there seems to be little or no savings. In fact you could end up paying more to support the insurance company along with buying glasses.

The problem with glasses is the prices are just absurd. There is no way glasses should cost hundreds of dollars. By just looking at frames it should be very clear that the costs should be no more than the $20 range if that. What has happened has largely been hidden and we just accept those prices as the norm. The reason for the high, high prices is the monopoly by the Italian company, Luxottica. They manufacture and control pricing for almost all of the major brands. On top of that they own most of the optical retail companies, including Lenscrafters, Pearle, Sunglass Hut. It is a worldwide monopoly with about 100 million frames per year and over $10 billion in sales. The brands they do not make are squeezed into a corner and controlled due to the size of the Luxottica distribution and retail network.

Coatings are part of the issue. Most of them are just snake oil and result in high additional add on prices. I recently tried the Crizal brand. I had decided that glasses cost so much I might was well go for the best in coatings. They turned out to be total garbage. The coatings deteriorated in less than a year even though I only touched them with a Zeiss lens cloth and eyeglass cleaning solution. My retailer charged me $25 to handle the warranty repair. I was warned that only that one replacement was covered by the warranty. Sure enough in less than a year the replacement lenses also deteriorated. My wife had the same thing happen with her lenses.

This winter I switched to Zenni glasses. Mine were under $100 and so far (7 months) they have been great. The only downside is trying to pick frames by online pictures. Sizing is pretty easy. You just need the rough sizes for your previous glasses. Maybe the online options will eventually crack the Luxottica monopoly.
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