If you don't have vision insurance, you may wonder if you can still get an eye exam. You might have health insurance for when you're sick or injured, but this type of insurance does not typically cover routine eye care.
An average eye exam is often expensive and this typically doesn’t include the cost of glasses or contact lenses. However, it’s still important to get eye exams even if you don’t have insurance.
Learn more by reading Nationwide Vision’s guide to getting an eye exam without insurance.
An optometrist routinely performs eye exams to evaluate your overall eye health and manage harmful eye diseases. Routine eye exams are especially important for those needing glasses or contacts, as your prescription may need to be changed as you age.
Eye exams evaluate potential changes in vision, making sure you can see your best, as well as evaluating your ocular health. A comprehensive eye exam can detect more than 270 systemic diseases¹, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s often found that the earliest signs of these diseases are in the eyes.
Health insurance typically does not cover any of the costs for eye exams and glasses. Investing in a vision insurance plan allows you to receive affordable eye care. This is especially true if you struggle with vision problems, such as vision loss or glaucoma. Each plan has different benefits, but all provide valuable assistance with the cost of eye care.
Vision insurance plans can offer coverage for:
Annual comprehensive eye exams
Contact lens fittings
If you are looking to get an eye exam without insurance, you have plenty of options. Don't let a lack of insurance deter you from seeing an eye doctor who can help monitor your eye health and overall wellness.
Nationwide Vision offers affordable comprehensive eye exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.
EyeCare America⁶ is a non-profit program that offers free and low-cost eye care for those over the age of 65. In addition to receiving affordable care, EyeCare America includes the care for any diagnosed conditions for up to a year.
EyeCare America offers glaucoma evaluations to patients who meet their qualifications⁷ but do not have insurance.
Offered by the American Optometric Association, InfantSEE⁸ offers free eye exams and vision assessments for infants ranging from 6 to 12 months old.
Over 860,000 children have received aid from the VSP Sight for Students gift certificates since the program’s founding in 1997. These are distributed through VSP Eyes of Hope community partners, which allow qualifying children to receive a free eye exam and free eyeglasses.
If you have a college of optometry in your area, ask if they offer low-cost eye exams. You’ll find that the student eye doctors are very skilled and are usually supervised by a licensed optometrist.
Lions Club International has members around the world who are focused on helping others including helping to cover the cost of eye exams, donate free eyeglasses to those who can't afford them, and host vision screening events.
You can search online for a Lions Club near you⁹ and ask about its local offerings.
Start taking control of your eye health – schedule a comprehensive eye exam today!
Nationwide Vision has many experienced eye doctors that can identify potentially harmful vision problems and conditions, allowing you to reduce the risk of vision loss.