Cheap Eye Exams And Glasses With No Insurance

Yes, you’re able to get an affordable eye exam and glasses without vision insurance. The costs vary in each state and optician clinic.

Eye checkups are important, especially for those who wear glasses or contacts on a regular basis. Having good vision is very precious, plus it’s a basic necessity in life.

It’s more than possible to get your hands on an affordable eye exam and glasses with absolutely no insurance coverage. Several public and private organizations offer either free or cheap eye exams and glasses.

In this article, we’ll be sharing the basic costs of an eye exam and glasses and what your options are to obtain them without having any insurance.

Average Costs of Eye Exam Without Insurance

Eye Exam
Eye Exam

In all honesty, the average cost for an eye exam varies significantly with or without vision insurance.

For individual’s without any form of vision insurance, the cost of an eye exam truly relies on the location, eye test and the doctor you’ve opted to visit in your region. Taking care of your eyes is your number one priority, and if you’ve no insurance coverage, it’s inevitable to feel desperate.

We’ve simplified your research by sharing eye exam costs estimated by FAIR health and VPN, for individuals without insurance.

FAIR Health Consumer eye exam cost

FAIR Health estimated average, as a matter of fact suggests that eye exams are perhaps the least expensive part of looking after your eye health But, they cost on eye exams can still be a heavy amount, if there’s no vision insurance in sight.

These are the average cost for an eye exam without insurance:

  • Initial patient eye exams are usually around $200
  • Established patient eye exams are usually around $128
  • Refractive vision test are around $46

The above average eye exam costs without insurance are generally for the least expensive towns and more expensive cities across the United States. Despite that, these costs are a way of understanding what you should be expecting from an optometrist.

Of course if you have a pre-existing underlying vision concern or revolve around the probability of developing a much serious vision impairment, you’ll need to have more frequent visits to the vision clinic, which might be a little more expensive since you have no insurance coverage.

According to VPN, 80 percent of initial eye exams are often priced below or at $200. But, do know that contact lens exams will be more as compared to a regular eye exam.

Factors Affecting Price Of Eye Exam

Eye Exam
Eye Exam

The frequency of eye exams will have an impact on your overall costs. Here’s the recommended frequency of eye exams per age:

  • 0 – 24 month: Every six months or as per recommendation
  • 2 – 5 years: Starting from 3 years of age on an average
  • 5 – 19 years: Once every year
  • 19 – 60 years: Every one to two years, however this depends on individuals eye health and their refractive error
  • 61 years and older: Annually, or as per the optometrist recommendation

Some of the others that also contribute to the cost of an eye exam without vision

insurance include:

  • Who examines your eyes: An eye exam done by an optometrist is likely to be lower than an eye exam done by an ophthalmologist.
  • Types of eye tests that will be in your eye exam.
  • Whether you’re doing an eye exam for eyeglasses or contact lens fitting.
  • The place you’re getting your eye exam from.

You’ll be expected to pay a little more during the initial eye as when compared to your future visits. Of course, if you’re residing in a big metropolitan area, you should be ready to pay more for any form of medical services than those inland – especially if you’re by the coast.
The average cost of an eye exam without insurance can be higher or lower per person, depending on all the factors mentioned above.

Average Costs of Glasses Without Insurance

Eye Exam
Eye Exam

Buying glasses is a fun and exciting task, but it can be stressful when you’re trying to shop within a budget, and let’s be real, glasses can actually turn out to be costly if you don’t have vision insurance.

According to Vision Service Plan, the average cost of buying glasses without any form of insurance is $238. However, this amount is ONLY for your spectacle frame. If you’re opting for basic, single lenses, then it’s $113. So, you’ll have to pay a total of $351 on average for a complete pair of glasses if you have no insurance coverage.

Ultimately, the cost of glasses depends on a wide range of factors like your eye prescription, the frame you choose, lenses, the state you live in, and the brand from which you purchase your eyewear through.

The average cost of your glasses will eventually go up if you were to choose a specific material, higher-quality lenses, designer brand, fancy coating, and etc. Furthermore, if you have an eye condition, you may be subjected to a special kind of lense, which once again, increases your glasses cost.

Retailer Eye Exam Cost
Costco around $70
Target around $70
Walmart Vision Center $75+
Lenscrafters $73+
America’s Best $50 or free when you buy two pairs of eyeglasses
Sam’s Club $45+

Where to Get Cheap Exams And Glasses Without Insurance

Eye Exam
Eye Exam

If you have vision insurance, the best place to get a cheap eye exam and further purchase glasses is by visiting the nearest optometrist office nearby. However in your case, we want you to know where it is possible for you to get cheap but good eye exam and glasses without insurance.

We’ve shared some options below.

America’s Best

America’s Best is famously known to be one of the most affordable places to purchase any two pairs of glasses, which in return, qualifies you for a FREE eye exam.

If you browse through their website, they have five options available to mix and match their glasses pricing:

  • Two pairs for $69.95
  • Two pairs for $111.95
  • Two pairs for $143.95
  • Two pairs for $159.95
  • Two pairs for $207.95

The glasses you choose from are more expensive when bought individually – you’ll technically be saving 50 percent or less if you purchase two of them. Of course, the higher the prices, the better the quality of the glasses.

However, if you don’t want to purchase glasses from America’s Best, you’re still able to get a cheap eye exam – $50 for a thorough eye exam without having any form of insurance.

Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club is known to be one of the cheapest places to make your eye exam appointment if you don’t have any vision insurance. They offer a traditional comprehensive eye exam which will cost you around $67 – much cheaper than its competitors.

Where it’s mandatory for an individual with a Sam’s Club membership to only be able to purchase contacts or glasses from their store, you don’t require their membership to see an in-store optometrist.

To make an appointment, all you have to do is call their nearest location and set an appointment for your eye exam.

Sight for Students

Sigh for Students, is a VSP program that provides free eye exams and glasses to lower-income children who are uninsured. This particular program operates nationally via a network of community partners who specially offer this program to children in need.

VSP initially bugum in late 90’s and who had a collective aim of bringing organizations who are dedicated to help America’s rising youth population together. You can visit the Sight for Students website for more information.


Contrary to popular belief that you can get a free eye exam at Walmart, this isn’t exactly the case. Most Walmart outlets have a vision center at which you’ll be able to do a comprehensive eye exam, for about $73.

In order to schedule an appointment for your eye exam at the nearest Walmart, you can use the store’s locator available online to get the contact information of that particular store. However, do ask how much you will be expected for the traditional comprehensive eye exam without insurance coverage before you book your appointment.

Moreover, Walmart also sells contacts and glasses, but you can always use your eye exam prescription to purchase them elsewhere.


If your nearest Target store has an optical centre, you are able to make an appointment for an eye exam. It’ll cost you around $70 without insurance coverage.

You can easily book your eye exam online by simply entering your postal code. However, we recommend that you call your nearest Target Optical Centre to ask for an exact estimate for the eye exam before you book an appointment.

Once you’ve done your eye exam, you’ll get a physical printout of your current eye prescription. From there, you can either purchase your glasses from Target or elsewhere – though Target glasses are priced at a reasonable rate.

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.

These will usually cover at least a portion of your eye exam costs. If you have vision insurance, the average co-pay for an eye exam is around $10 to $40.

Discount Vision Rate

Eye Exam
Eye Exam

Here is below the table showing average discount rate to choose according to your preferance

Typical Sample Savings*

Benefit Average Cost Without Plan Average Cost With Plan Member Typical Savings
Eye Exam $134 $80 $54
Frame $200 $150 $50
Single Vision Lenses $83 $45 $38
Transition® Lenses $96 $77 $19
Anti-Reflective Coating $76 $45 $31

*These costs and savings are based on regional fee schedule averages


How can I get my eye prescription without insurance?

There are a few ways to get an eye prescription without insurance. One way is to go to a walk-in clinic or urgent care center. Many of these centers have ophthalmologists on staff who can provide you with a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Another way to get an eye prescription without insurance is to visit a community health

Can I do an eye exam online?

There are a few online companies that offer eye exams, but it is important to note that these exams are not as comprehensive as an exam performed by a licensed optometrist. These online companies typically use a short questionnaire and some basic vision tests to generate a prescription. If you have any concerns about your vision, it is best to visit an optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam.

What is the cheapest place to get an eye exam?

There are a few ways to get a cheap eye exam. One way is to visit a community health center. Many of these centers offer free or low-cost eye exams. Another way to get a cheap eye exam is to see if your local library offers vision screenings. You can also check with your insurance company to see if they cover eye exams.

Why regular eye exams are important?

Comprehensive eye exams are an important part of preventive care for your eyes. Many common eye problems are easy to manage if caught early. But if left undetected and untreated, some eye disorders could lead to macular degeneration or blindness.

How much is an eye exam without insurance at Visionworks?

The cost of an eye exam without insurance at Visionworks is $79.99. This price includes a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens fitting, if needed.

How much is an eye exam without insurance at Walmart?

The cost of an eye exam without insurance at Walmart is $60. This price includes a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens fitting, if needed.

How much is an eye exam at America’s Best?

The cost of an eye exam at America’s Best is $50. This price includes a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens fitting, if needed.


When it comes to wanting an eye exam and glasses at a more affordable rate, you have several options to choose from. However, that doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality, because your eyes are one the most important parts of your health.

Moreover, if you have a more sensitive or complicated concern when it comes to your eyes, we recommend that you choose a private optometrist with more expertise, so that you don’t risk your eyes. But, discounted retailers mentioned above like Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club and many more are indeed qualified, expert optometrist.

Ultimately, we hope this article presented you with a clear understanding of how eye exams costs are calculated and where you can opt for cheaper eye exams and glasses.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.

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