The Surprising Reason Prescription Eyewear Is So Expensive


| 2 min read

Ever wonder why a new pair of glasses can end up costing so much money? While there are some variables that impact the price tag, like the kind of materials used or the complexity of the prescription, the biggest factor is that the majority of eyeglasses (up to 80 percent of major brands) are made by a single company. As a result, there isn’t much competition to drive costs down, meaning you might be getting charged up to 20 times what a pair costs to make. And it isn’t just the manufacturing process that’s controlled by the single company, it’s also many retail stores, meaning the one company has even more control over the price tag. So what should you do if you’re one of the 150 million Americans who need their vision corrected by contacts or glasses? There are a few ways to cut down on costs:
  • Shop at alternative retailers like discount chains or big box stores.
  • Use your Flexible Savings Account or Health Savings Account to pay for your prescription glasses with pre-tax money.
  • Add vision benefits to your health care plan. Talk to your benefits coordinator about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Blue Vision plans. You’ll have access to a network of eye doctors that includes Costco Optical and Rx Optical, and save on lenses and frames.
For more about the benefits that come with Blue Cross’ vision and dental care and how to keep your eyes and mouth healthy, visit these other blogs:
Photo credit: poolerpeach
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association