How Much Is an Eye Exam Without Insurance?

overview: eye exams & costs

The average cost of an eye exam is about $95. however, they can range from $50 to $250.

Unfortunately, about 30 million people in the United States do not have health insurance. Also, many insurance plans do not include vision benefits.

Reading: How expensive is an eye exam without insurance

An annual eye exam will help you stay on track with your eye care. Routine eye exams will help detect vision problems such as eyestrain, astigmatism, nearsightedness (nearsightedness), farsightedness (farsightedness), and other age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration. They can also help monitor your overall health and check for symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

However, there are still several options for people who don’t have insurance but need an eye exam. You can go to your local eye optometrist or visit an ophthalmologist at a large chain store like Walmart, Target, or Costco. many retail eye care providers charge less than $100, while independent ophthalmologists can charge more. The average cost of an eye exam without insurance is around $200 for a new patient and $100 to $150 for an established patient.

how much does an eye exam cost without insurance?

Does insurance cover eye exams?

This varies from provider to provider. most policies do not cover routine eye exams. however, many insurance providers offer separate vision plans.

Usually, these will cover at least a portion of the cost of your eye exam. If you have vision insurance, the average copay for an eye exam is around $10 to $40.

what does an eye exam include?

During a comprehensive eye exam, an optometrist or ophthalmologist will use a variety of instruments to assess your vision and the health of your eyeballs. It will take between 30 minutes and an hour and will examine:

  • visual acuity (the sharpness of your vision)
  • refraction to detect refractive errors (determines your eyeglass prescription)
  • visual field (peripheral vision)
  • pupillary reactions (to light and nearby objects)
  • eye alignment (how well the eyes work together)
  • muscle function
  • eye health

At the end of your eye exam, your doctor will tell you if you need any vision corrections or if you have any eye problems. If you need glasses to correct your vision, you will need to see an optician to have your glasses fitted. You may also be referred to a specialist to discuss surgical options, such as lasik and lasik costs.

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A regular eye exam will only measure your vision and eye health. Does not include adjustment of glasses or contact lenses. you will need to schedule a contact lens exam if you need contact lenses.

tele-optometry and eye exams

Teleoptometry offers patients new options for digital eye exams. These eye exams are similar to office appointments. they are not as complete, but they are much more convenient since they can be done from the comfort of your home through a cell phone, tablet or computer.

During a teleoptometry eye exam, your ophthalmologist will follow three steps:

1. collect patient information

Your optometrist will ask you a series of questions to gather your information. These may include questions about your insurance, family history, medical history, allergies, and medications.

2. perform an eye exam

You will then undergo a series of tests. These may include:

  • autorefraction. this test calculates your eyeglass prescription.
  • lentemetry. this will confirm your current eyeglass prescription.
  • retinal imaging. a picture of the back of your eye (retina) will be taken.
  • non-contact tonometry. this is a glaucoma screening test that measures the pressure in your eye.
  • refraction test. your optometrist will perform a refraction test to determine your new prescription using an optical system digital high definition.

3. review the results

Then your optometrist will review your results and (if necessary) provide you with a new prescription. They will also let you know if anything unusual has been detected and can provide referrals to specialists for further treatment.

“teleophthalmology produces the same desired clinical result as the traditional system. allowing specialists to provide care across a large region through a remote portal improves health outcomes. A high level of satisfaction and acceptance is reported in most studies due to increased accessibility and reduced cost and travel time.”

vision discount plans

Discount vision plans, or vision savings plans, are an affordable alternative to vision insurance plans. Purchasing a careington membership will help you save on eye exams, frames and more.

typical example of savings*

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*these costs and savings are based on regional rate averages

free eye exams (ways to save)

There are several public and private organizations that provide free or low-cost eye exams and glasses. Here are some of the best ways to get free eye exams for you and your family.


infantsee offers free eye exams for babies from six to twelve months of age. This program is administered by the American Optometric Association (AOA). It is funded by his charity, Optometry Cares, The AOA Foundation.

The aoa recommends scheduling your child’s first eye exam around 6 months.

eyes america

eyecare america is also funded by optometry cares, the aoa foundation. is a public service program administered by the foundation of the american academy of ophthalmology. qualifying seniors can get free eye exams. also offers discounted eye exams for adults.


Medicaid is a federal and state-funded health program that provides health care coverage to low-income people. The requirements to qualify for Medicaid vary from state to state, so it’s essential to check with the programs in your state, even if you think you don’t qualify.

Medicaid covers many preventive services, screenings, and treatments for health conditions, including vision problems. The program pays for many services for eligible children, including vision care, dental care, and routine eye exams.

student view

student vision is a program administered by vision services plan (vsp). includes free eye exams and free glasses for low-income children without health or vision insurance. is a national program that has been operating since 1997.

new eyes

ojos nuevos buys glasses for low-income children. The nonprofit program also recycles glasses donated by the public and distributes them to people around the world. the program was founded in 1932 and has provided free eyeglasses to low-income people around the world.

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