Getting your eyes examined regularly is an important part of maintaining good vision and overall health. But for the millions of Americans without vision insurance, the cost can be a barrier to receiving proper eye care.
Walmart Vision Centers provides a more affordable option for eye exams and eyewear for those paying out-of-pocket. But how much exactly can you expect to pay for an eye exam at Walmart if you don’t have insurance?
Eye Exam Cost at Walmart
Optometrists who lease space inside Walmart stores independently own and operate Walmart Vision Centers. This allows them to keep overhead costs lower than traditional private practices.
The optometrists set their own pricing, so costs can vary between locations. However, eye exams at Walmart typically range from $50-$90 without insurance, which is 25-50% less than the national average cost of an exam of $100-$200.
Some factors that affect the price include:
- Basic vs. contact lens exam – A standard eye health exam costs less than a contact lens fitting, which requires additional measurements and evaluation.
- First-time vs. repeat patient – A new patient exam involves more extensive testing and will cost more than a routine follow-up for an existing patient.
- Additional tests – Add-ons like retinal imaging or pupil dilation may increase the price by $15-$30 or more.
- Frames and lenses – Bundling the exam with eyeglasses or contacts can sometimes lower the exam fee but result in higher overall cost.
To get the most accurate price quote, call your local Walmart Vision Center ahead of time. Ask whether they offer any new patient discounts or bundled pricing on eye exams and eyewear.
What’s Covered in a Walmart Eye Exam?
A Walmart eye doctor will perform all the same tests and evaluations as any other optometrist during a comprehensive eye health exam. This includes:
- Visual acuity – Measures the sharpness of vision at near and far distances to determine prescription needs.
- Refraction – Tests different lens strengths to find the ideal correction for focusing issues like nearsightedness and astigmatism.
- Eye alignment – Checks how well eyes work together for depth perception and tracking.
- Eye movement – Assesses how eyes follow objects across the visual field.
- Eye health – Examines the front and back of the eyes to screen for eye diseases and conditions.
- Peripheral vision – Maps how well you see towards the outer edges of your vision field.
- Color vision – Tests the ability to distinguish between colors.
- Prescription – Your eye doctor will provide an updated eyeglass or contact lens prescription after the exam.
An optometrist at Walmart is fully qualified to diagnose and treat common vision disorders. They can refer you to an ophthalmologist for advanced care if any serious issues are detected.
Are Walmart Glasses Good Quality?
In addition to eye exams, Walmart Vision Centers provide a wide selection of eyeglass frames and lens options at competitive prices.
All lenses are custom made on-site using digital measurements to ensure an accurate fit. Polycarbonate and high-index materials provide optimal impact resistance and thickness.
Name brand and designer frames from Ray-Ban, Oakley, and other leading brands are available. Walmart also offers its own line of affordable frames.
Anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, UV protection, and transitional photochromatic coatings can be added for enhanced durability and visual clarity.
Progressive no-line multifocal lenses for seamless near and far vision are also available. Walmart guarantees their progressive lenses for 30 days after purchase.
The quality of eyeglasses from Walmart Vision Centers is comparable to that of other major retailers like LensCrafters or Pearle Vision. The lower cost makes them a budget-friendly option for those paying out-of-pocket.
Are There Other Low-Cost Options for Eye Exams?
If the prices at your local Walmart are still outside your budget, there are some other ways to get discounted or free eye care:
- America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses – This national chain offers eye exams starting at $50 and often runs specials like free exams with the purchase of two pairs of glasses.
- Costco Optical – An eye exam is around $70-100 for members. Costco has one of the largest selections of budget frames.
- Independent eye doctors – Search online listings for optometrists advertising exams under $100 in your area.
- Vision insurance – Individual and family plans start around $10/month. They provide discounts on exams, glasses, and contacts.
- Medical clinics – Some large medical centers and retail clinics offer low-cost eye services.
- Public health programs – Medicaid, community health clinics, and health department programs provide free or sliding-scale eye care based on income.
- Non-profit organizations – Groups like New Eyes for the Needy, OneSight, and Sight for Students offer free exams and glasses for qualifying children and adults.
Regular comprehensive eye exams are essential for maintaining clear vision and detecting signs of eye disease early. With prices averaging $50-$90, Walmart Vision Centers offer a budget-friendly option for eye care when you don’t have insurance.
While costs are typically lower compared to private practices, Walmart optometrists are fully qualified to perform thorough eye health assessments. They can address most vision disorders and refer you to specialists for advanced treatment if needed.
Along with exams, Walmart provides quality prescription eyewear at affordable prices. Bundling an eye exam with a new pair of glasses or contacts can maximize savings.
Make sure your eyes remain healthy by scheduling routine eye exams annually or as recommended by your eye doctor. Don’t let cost stand in the way. Walmart Vision Centers provide greater accessibility to professional vision care for those on a tight budget.
Frequently Asked Questions About Walmart Eye Exams
How do I schedule an eye exam at Walmart?
You can schedule an eye exam at Walmart by calling or visiting your local Walmart Vision Center. Most are open 7 days a week. You can also book an appointment online at WalmartVisionCare.com.
What’s the difference between an OD and MD eye doctor?
Optometrists (OD) are licensed doctors specializing in eye health and vision care, including exams, vision correction, and disease treatment. Ophthalmologists (MDs) are medical doctors who perform eye surgery in addition to providing vision care. Both are qualified to perform eye exams.
Is pupil dilation necessary?
Pupil dilation drops temporarily enlarge your pupils so the doctor can get a better view inside your eyes to check for diseases. It’s not required but recommended annually for those with risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, or over age 60.
How often should you get an eye exam?
The American Optometric Association recommends an annual eye exam starting at age 40. More frequent exams every 1-2 years are advised for children and younger adults who use screens extensively or have vision issues.
Do I need a separate contact lens exam?
Yes, a standard eye exam only tests for glasses. A more specialized contact lens exam is required to get fitted for contacts and obtain a contact lens prescription. The contact lens exam is more expensive.
Can I use my HSA or FSA for eye exams and glasses?
Yes, HSAs and FSAs can be used tax-free for qualified vision care expenses like eye exams, prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, contact lenses, lenses, and lens solutions. Save your itemized receipts.
In another relate article, No Insurance? How to Get Affordable Adderall Through Prescription Discounts