Q: What’s The Difference Between Vision Plans & Health Insurance?
A: Health insurance covers the cost of basic healthcare needs, such as physical exams, emergency care, medically necessary procedures, and some prescription drugs. Many health insurance plans include coverage for sudden eye injuries or disease, but not general vision care. A vision plan covers the cost of care for maintaining healthy vision. This can include annual eye exams, vision tests, some eye surgeries, and prescription eye medications. Some vision plans cover prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses either at reduced cost or offer discounts.
Q. Are you employed by Wal-Mart?
A. No. I am an independent doctor of optometry who chose to locate my practice at Wal-Mart, which is my landlord. I make no income from selling glasses or contacts, only from providing comprehensive exams and treating ocular disease.
Q. How can your fees be so much lower than other eye doctors? Will I receive a quality exam?
A. We provide a thorough exam with the most advanced diagnostic instruments to evaluate your vision needs and uncover any other ocular conditions that may go undetected, if not regularly monitored. I received my doctor’s degree after the same four years of training that all optometrists receive and was licensed to practice by the state after extensive testing. We can offer lower fees because our overhead is lower operating here, and we are able to keep busy seeing patients all day because of our convenient location.
Q. Will I receive a written prescription after the exam? Will the prescription be accepted anywhere?
A. We will supply a written prescription and a summary of your exam as you leave the office. The prescription is valid anywhere in the U.S.
Q. I had an eye exam a little over a year ago, and my vision seems fine. Why do I need another exam?
A. We think it is important that all of our patients receive an annual eye exam. Your vision can change over a 12-month period. A regular check-up enables us to uncover any sight-threatening ocular conditions that can develop, unnoticed by you.
Q. Will you accept my insurance plan?
A. For the convenience of our patients, we accept most vision plans for whatever portion of the examination cost the plan covers. We also accept many medical insurances, please see our Insurance section for a detailed explanation. Feel free to contact us so that we can confirm your coverage.
Q. Why does it cost more for a contact lens exam?
A. We do additional testing with contact lens patients to measure the curvature of the eye to ensure that we prescribe the lens that optimizes fit and comfort. We also do an evaluation after you have worn the lenses for a given period to make sure there are no complications.
Q. Aren’t all contact lenses the same? Shouldn’t I just buy the cheapest ones?
A. They are not all the same. The contact lens companies spend millions of dollars every year to improve their lenses and regularly introduce new and better technology. You wouldn’t want to buy a five-year-old computer. For the same reason, it’s best to keep current and wear the latest and best lenses. Right now the companies are introducing new lens materials that allow much more oxygen to pass through, making them healthier to wear and enabling people to wear them in comfort for 14 hours or more per day. We recommend these new materials to most patients, even though they cost a little more because we think they are better for their eyes in the long run.
Q. Will my contact lens prescription allow me to buy any brand of lens I want?
A. Your prescription is for a specific brand of contact lens that my examination and experience tell me is best for your vision and ocular health.
Q. Is it safe to wear a contact lens with a small tear in it?
A. A torn lens can damage the delicate outer tissue of your eye and lead to serious infection. If you tear a lens and do not have a replacement, come into the office right away and we will provide, at no charge, a lens that you can wear until your new supply arrives.
Q. Does Wal-Mart make high-quality glasses? Because they cost less, will they last as long and let me see well?
A. Wal-Mart will custom-make your glasses in one of its six ultra-modern optical labs, using a top-quality lens and frame materials, which the company constantly seeks to upgrade. Because of Wal-Mart’s buying power and operating efficiency, you receive top-quality glasses at an everyday low price.