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Back in the day if you wanted to order contacts online with your EyeMed vision insurance, you’d have to pay for the entire amount upfront and submit your itemized receipt to EyeMed to get reimbursed. This process wasn’t the easiest process and at times could take up to 8 weeks before you got your money back.
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Order Contacts Online with EyeMed Insurance
Thankfully, today there are websites that could directly accept your EyeMed insurance and all you have to do is pay your out-of-pocket expenses, or nothing at all if you don’t exceed your benefit. If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), or health savings account (HSA) you can use that to pay the leftover balance as well. Let’s take a look at the websites where you can order contacts online with your EyeMed vision insurance.
Contacts Direct is a great place to purchase your prescription contact lenses utilizing your EyeMed vision insurance benefits. As one of the online providers that can accept EyeMed directly on their website, they make it super easy for you to be able to apply your benefits to your online order. As a place that I have utilized in the past when I had EyeMed insurance, I can tell you that it is a super easy process and you just pay your out-of-pocket expense and they take care of the rest.
Once you have exhausted your benefits, Contacts Direct is still a great place to purchase contact lenses as they constantly have deals and promotions you could take advantage of if you purchase a certain amount of contacts, or sign up for their newsletter. If you purchase an annual supply, you could combine those savings with your insurance benefits as well.
I am sure most of you have heard of Lenscrafters or at least seen their storefronts at your local malls. They are notoriously known for how expensive their glasses are, but their prescription contact lenses are pretty reasonably priced, and you could use your EyeMed vision insurance benefits directly on their website as well.
Just like Contacts Direct, you are able to apply your EyeMed vision insurance benefits directly to your order so you only have to pay the out-of-pocket expenses. In order to maximize your savings, you may want to see if there are annual supply promotions that you normally could utilize along with your vision insurance benefits giving you the best bang for your buck.
Last on this list is Target Optical, which you may or may not have seen in your local Target stores. There definitely isn’t a Target Optical in every Target store, with only 500 stores across the country they are a bit rare to find locally.
They do have an online presence, and you definitely can utilize your EyeMed insurance directly on their website the same way you can on Contacts Direct and Lenscrafters. They also have annual supply savings that you could take advantage of along with your EyeMed benefits to save you the most amount of money possible.
How to Read a Contact Lens Prescription
So you have your contact lens prescription in hand, but what do all the numbers and words on your prescription mean? You don’t really need to know any of this when you are ordering since you pretty much copy over all of the values to their corresponding areas. For those of you who want to know, here is a breakdown of all the technical jargon on your contact lens prescription.
- OD – This is the abbreviation for “Oculus Dexter”, which is Latin for “right eye”.
- OS – This is the abbreviation for “Oculus Sinister”, which is Latin for “left eye”
- SPH – This stands for “sphere”, and the number indicates the strength of the prescription that is needed to correct your vision. If you are nearsighted, this number will have a minus (-) sign in front of it. If you are farsighted, this number will have a plus (+) sign in front of it. This number is a unit measure known as diopters.
- CYL – This stands for “cylinder”, and is also measured in diopters. If you have values in this column that means you have astigmatism, which means the shape of your cornea isn’t quite spherical and is a bit more irregular shaped, like an American football.
- AXIS – If your prescription has a value in the CYL column, it must have something in the Axis column. This number is a unit measured in degrees and is the direction that the lens needs to be in order to correct your astigmatism. This number will always be a value between 1 and 180.
- BC & DIA – Whenever you have a contact lens prescription, you will always see a base curve (BC) and diameter (DIA) measurement. This measurement is in millimeters (mm) and they indicate the size of the specific contact lenses. Some contact lens brands have multiple sizes available for their contacts. Pay close attention when copying these values over when you are ordering your contacts online, selecting the wrong size could result in contacts that are too tight or loose on your eyes.
- Lens Name or Brand – Every contact lens prescription will have a brand attached to it. Because contact lenses come in a range of different sizes, you will be fitted with a specific brand that is a good fit for your eyes. This is usually determined during the exam and fitting.
- ADD – This isn’t always on every contact lens prescription. But if you are someone that also needs vision correction for near vision as well as distance vision you may be wearing a multi-focal contact lens which allows you to see both fields of vision. In that case, you will see an “Add” value on your contact lens prescription as well.
- Exam or Expiration Date – I don’t have this in the example prescription above, but every contact lens prescription will have the exam date or expiration date on it. Sometimes there might be both, but if there isn’t an exam date or expiration date, the prescription isn’t valid.
- Doctor’s Signature – This also isn’t in the example above, but you will always find a doctor’s signature on the prescription and most of the time the doctor’s license number and practice name and address.
Other Options to Order Contacts Online with EyeMed Insurance
If you don’t want to utilize any of the websites above to buy your contact lenses because you perhaps found the same contacts for a better deal at another retailer, depending on your specific EyeMed plan you might have other options.
Websites such as ACLens.com, and local retailers such as Costco and Sam’s Club often have contact lenses at amazing prices. The problem is, you more than likely wouldn’t be able to apply your EyeMed benefits to your order, which means you are going to have to pay for the entire amount out of pocket, and request an itemized receipt to submit to EyeMed to be reimbursed.
To be honest, the out-of-network reimbursement process at one point in time took 8 weeks to get your money back, but these days once you submit your receipt it only takes a few weeks before you get a check in the mail if that, some get it to you in 10 days. But, the other downside of going out-of-network is that your benefits are generally lower out-of-network compared to if you went in-network.
I personally don’t have EyeMed for my vision insurance so I can’t give you an exact example of how it might break down if you go out-of-network. I can, however, give you an example using my vision plan VSP going out-of-network vs going in-network:
- In-Network Example – With my VSP insurance if I went to an In-Network provider, my contact lenses would cost me $61.20 each which means 4 boxes would give me a grand total of $244.80. Going in-network, VSP gave me $200 for my contacts, leaving me with an out-of-pocket expense of $44.80.
- Out-of-Network Example – If I were to take my VSP insurance and went out-of-network I can find those same boxes of contacts for $48.99 each making the same 4 boxes cost only $195.96. While at first, that may seem like a great deal, for my VSP if I were to go out-of-network my contact lens benefit is only $105 vs $200. This makes my out-of-pocket expense for the same 4 boxes of contacts $90.96.
As you can see, the contacts may be more affordable when you go to an out-of-network provider but the benefits difference will leave you paying more out-of-pocket.
This is why I generally recommend if you are using your benefits for contacts to use up your benefits with an in-network provider. Then, once you are out of benefits, if you still need more contacts you can go price shopping around at different retailers.
Also if you do plan on going with an out-of-network provider, doublecheck that your specific plan provides benefits for going out-of-network. It is a bit rare, but there are plans out there that require you to go in-network.
How Much Does EyeMed Cover For Contacts?
The amount the Eyemed will cover for your contact lenses largely depends on your specific plan. The best way to find out how much your plan covers is to refer to your benefits information when you signed up, or you could always just reach out to EyeMed customer service at 1-866-939-3633 to find out exactly how much your plan covers.
EyeMed customer service could also tell you if your plan provides you with out-of-network benefits, and how much you would get back if you decided to go out-of-network.
If you are looking to utilize your EyeMed vision insurance benefits to purchase contact lenses online the three retailers above will be able to accept your benefits directly on their website. If you want to do an out-of-network purchase you have that option as well but don’t forget to check with EyeMed to ensure you have out-of-network benefits.
Don’t forget you have the option of going to your local EyeMed provider as well, but with the way gas prices are it may be better to just purchase your contacts online.