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Visited Optometrist Today

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I hate going to doctors for regular checkup type things because no matter how much time you budget for it you always run over. Appointments at 10:30 means that even if you show up fifteen minutes early and the room were devoid of all human life you would still not get seen until 10:50 (this morning was my turn on the “lose 30 minutes of your life for nothing” train)… so it goes. With my 2-week contacts down to my second to last pair, I had no choice but to bite the bullet and go in for a routine checkup and prescription writing. The final cost? Sixty-one junior bacon cheeseburgers.

Usually when it’s not your first visit you only pay for a routine checkup, get your updated prescription, and you’re sent on your way without having to shell out the extra bucks. I thought I had my “first visit” with an optometrist closer to where I live but that dude went under and along with it my “first visit” initiation fee. That’s what you get when you don’t go with an optometrist that shares an office with three other optometrists, that’s rule #1 of doctors.

I went in a good ten minutes early hoping to be seen ten minutes earlier than my 10:30 appointment. After a brief chat with the receptionist, filling out an inane nearly worthless form, I was seen at 10:50. The exam took about twenty-five minutes and I was out the door around 11:15.

My vision insurance, VSP, covers the first $105 and you get a 15% “discount” on the service. The fitting is what took it over the $105 plus I had the ubiquitous $10 co-pay. Final price was the $61 and I didn’t even get any contacts! All I did get was a “free” set of contacts (worth about $5), some plastic case to replace my aging plastic case, and four boxes of 2 fl. oz. Opti-Free RepleniSH.

Time to visit Costco and 1-800-Contacts to see where I can find the best deal on 8 boxes of Acuvue 2’s…

{ 10 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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10 Responses to “Visited Optometrist Today”

  1. Jonathan says:

    If you think your current contacts are okay, why not just take your old prescription and fill it elsewhere? I never go to the eye doc unless I need to, and I hate that air-puff thing.

    What happened to the lasik idea?

  2. jim says:

    I never got a prescription when I went to my last optometrist because I bought the contacts through them… then they went under.

    I’m thinking about it but it’s an expensive procedure, maybe in a few years. 🙂

  3. lamoneyguy says:

    Do you contribute to an FSA (not Financially Savvy Atheist)? This seems like an opportunity to use some of those pre-tax dollars.

  4. jim says:

    Yes, I love my FSA for this kind of stuff but that $61 was unforseen and so that dips into the “emergency” portion of that… though honestly I don’t budget my FSA all that strictly anyway so no big deal.

  5. Mike D says:


    Glasses and contact lens prescriptions expire after a year. I’ve actually had 1-800 Contacts refuse an order due to an outdated prescription.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Jim – Just for future notice, by law they have to give you a prescription even if you don’t ask for it. They also can’t make you buy contacts from them. (Although maybe that’s why they went under?)

    Mike – This depends on your state, and may be from 1 year to 2 years or more. I honestly don’t remember them even checking last time I ordered online, but it’s been a while…

    Google “Contact Lens Rule FTC” for more info.

  7. Jonathan says:

    The second I see 90+% of opthamologists do LASIKs, I’m in. Until then, I’m out 😉

  8. Jonathan says:

    (Ack, I’m probably going to initiate some spam bomb alarm)

    I meant “The second I see 90+% of opthamologists have LASIKs done on themselves…”

  9. jim says:

    Jon – I think you misunderstood me, they never forced me to buy contacts and they never withheld my prescription… I never asked for a prescription because I bought my contacts there by choice. I never asked for it because I never anticipated an optometrist going bankrupt and leaving. Just bad luck…

  10. Opty says:

    You showed up 10 minutes early hoping you’d be seen ten minutes early.. seriously? Did you think the optometrist had cleared out his appointments before you in hopes that you’d come in early? No. Even if *one* patient before you gets there late, you won’t be seen on time.

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