Did you know that people pay, on average, about $125 just for one pair of glasses?
The gift of clear eyesight is priceless, and companies have taken that idea to heart. Buying glasses is a nightmare because glasses manufacturers might as well be holding your clear vision hostage. So without your insurance plan, you might never even think of buying out of network.
But believe it or not, buying glasses out of network might be your salvation.
In this guide, we’ll discuss why buying your glasses out of network won’t just give you more options–it will save you money.
Buying Glasses: Why Is It So Expensive, Anyway?
One would think that glasses are not difficult to manufacture. A machine sculpts the lens, so it matches a prescription, and then you fit that lens into a frame. Should be relatively affordable, right?
The answer lies in good old-fashioned monopoly. EssilorLuxottica dominates the market and is perhaps the number one culprit for high lens prices. They have an impressive $27 billion chokehold on the glasses market, and it’s likely they won’t be releasing their hold soon.
Monopolies are anathema because they make it impossible for competition to arise. This means glasses prices skyrocket since they can control the supply. It also results in less variety and poorer quality for everyone.
Fortunately, things are changing. Smaller companies have seeped up through the cracks, providing needed competition and variety.
However, it’s a big ask for people on a shoestring budget to leave the comfort of their insurance. So we’ll discuss why that might not be such a bad idea.
1. Buying Glasses Out of Network Might Actually Be Cheaper
Picture your last visit to the optometrist. You look through hundreds of pairs of glasses until you find the ones you like. Then you flip over the tag to discover that they’re way over budget!
While shopping out of network might mean losing insurance coverage, it does give you one huge benefit: good deals. Glasses can be like any other product. The optician might put them on sale to clear out inventory for something else.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to shop around. Ask your optician for the cheapest pair of glasses available. You might find a pair that really speaks to you, while also meeting your budgetary needs.
Working with a new optician might give you new customer benefits, too. You can use coupons or bargain for special deals. The end result is that you might even drop the price further.
2. Buying Glasses Out of Network Gives You More Options
Some people don’t care for glasses from Gucci or Ray-Ban. They just want to see, and comfort is a much more important objective than fashion. Unfortunately, most offices put these big-name brand front and center.
In a smaller, local office, you’ll have even fewer options. The optician shop that’s in your network might be, ironically, more expensive than elsewhere.
Follow your nose to where the prices are best. Find a bigger optician that sells a wider variety of frames. The more options you have, the more likely you are to find a pair that you like that meets the price target.
This might even include getting improved options with coatings for anti-fog and scratch resistance.
Even if the price is not the objective, you might appreciate that variety. There’s no limitation on which brand you can choose from. If your local optician shop does not supply it, you simply go elsewhere.
3. Buying Glasses Out of Network Gets You a Second Opinion
A second opinion is just as important in optometry as in any other field. One optician might have a very different idea than the next. And in some rare cases, you might have an optician you dislike but only go to for insurance reasons.
You might find an optician who recommends a more comfy pair of glasses. They might suggest nose pads that don’t hurt as much or a frame that’s lighter and more durable. They might even have some insider knowledge of a certain brand–and recommend it or against it.
The more opticians you speak to, the better lay of the land you get. You don’t have to trust just the one that’s closest to home.
Eyeglasses are going to be on your face from sun up until sundown. You want a pair of glasses that are truly comfortable and that go well with your style.
It’s a common mistake to purchase a pair of glasses for the first time and feel great about them. But as the days go by, you begin to regret it. Something went wrong in the process of ordering them, and now you’re stuck with them for another two years.
Having the best optician you can get will solve all of these issues. Staying in network may force you to work with one that’s incompetent–even if you’re aware of that incompetence. Finding someone who is knowledgeable about their craft–and confident–will be a huge boon to you.
Find the Right Glasses for You
Buying glasses shouldn’t be a headache for something as necessary as vision, but it is. A large part of this problem is the monopoly manufacturers have, leading to high prices and limited options. Shopping out of network may be the solution to finding better options at better rates.
While you’re in the market for a decent optician shop, you’re looking for one that makes things easy and painless. That’s where EZ Optical can help. Request an appointment today and get the best pair of lenses in town.