Hacking My Eye Insurance (and Contact Lens Purchase!)

Okay, check this:

A couple days ago, I went to the eye doctor. I haven’t been for two years, because I have a system – go every two years, and get contacts and make them last for two years, when I get my eyes checked out again. Sometimes I have insurance, sometimes I don’t.

Well, with my new job, I decided to sign up for the vision insurance so that I could take advantage of it through the rest of the year (December). I did some research and question-asking, and I found out that I could cancel my vision insurance for the following year, because I don’t plan to use it for any check-ups, etc.

So, my premium is under $11 (but we’ll just call it $11, shall we?).

I paid my first premium in August, so the total I will pay for vision insurance is: $11 x 5 = $55

My co-pay on the eye check-up was $15 and my co-pay on the contact lens fitting was $15 = $30

I ordered contacts from 1-800 CONTACTS, which cost me $200 (four boxes total, of 6 lenses each – definitely enough to last me two years, the way I use them – I supplement a lot with my glasses).

Total cost so far out of pocket: $285

However, my insurance covers up to $150 of my contact lens purchase. (I just sent in my reimbursement form online yesterday!)

So let’s bring that down to: $135.

But wait! 1-800 CONTACTS was having a “special” and I will get a mail-in rebate for $50 when my contacts are shipped to me!

So let’s bring that down to: $85.


Before I purchased my lenses, I went to Ebates.com (<— referral link) where I recently created an account. I then did a search for 1-800 CONTACTS and found out I could get 5% back on my purchase. They’ve ALREADY deposited $10 in my account! Woohoo!

So, let’s bring it down to: $75.


I used my Chase Sapphire Card, which is earning us points so that we can travel this summer. I put the $200 on the card, and although it’s only 1% back, that’s $2 to which I will NOT say no!

Total cost for me to get my eyes checked and get 2 years worth of contact lenses: $73!

That’s a value of: $200 + ~$100-$150 estimated for a check-up + ~$100 estimated for a contact lens fitting = $400 on the low side, and $500 on the high side!

Feeling pretty proud of myself that I looked for just about any way I could hack that expense. The only thing I DIDN’T do was use an online coupon, mostly because I couldn’t find one that seemed to fit my order. Most of the online coupon sites just had the deal I was already getting on the 1-800 CONTACTS website itself.

Not a bad way to spend (part of) an afternoon.

Anyone else felt really proud of a non-travel hack that worked out well?


6 thoughts on “Hacking My Eye Insurance (and Contact Lens Purchase!)

    • Oooh! Interesting! I’ve heard a few things here and there about Lasik, but I always wonder if they would be able to fix mine enough so that I wouldn’t have to eventually get glasses, since my eyesight is so poor.

      Was it scary?!


      • There was a moment of terror for me, but, it doesn’t hurt at all. You can’t feel a thing. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! If you’re interested, I totally recommend getting a Lasik consultation (mine was free) to see if your eyes are a candidate!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Awesome….. that would be a new savings line in our budget, eh? 🙂

          I have a totally unrelated question, but Erin M. from Journey to Savings recommended I ask you something a while ago….

          My husband and I are planning a trip to France in July – we know the dates of the conference, so conceivably could buy our plane tickets anytime (though we are trying our best to generate as many points as possible on our Chase Sapphire travel card so we don’t have to pay so much). Do you have a recommendation for a good time to buy plane tickets to Europe? I’ve heard 6-8 weeks before the flight, but I was wondering what your experiences were? Thanks!!!!


  1. That is awesome! I loved all the little cliffhangers. I didn’t have insurance when I last went for my checkup, but thankfully my glasses are fine, so I just paid for the lenses and the fitting. I think it came out to something like $230, and I got a $50 rebate. I wish I had coverage!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, I really hate having dental and vision coverage if I feel like I don’t need it – but I know how important it is if something actually goes wrong. That’s why I do carry dental insurance at an extra cost. I was excited, though, to figure out that I could carry the vision insurance for only a few months and then be able to legitimately give it up once January hits! (Since I started my new full-time job in August and they let me sign up for it then, but the cycle renews in January. Woohoo!) I’m not extremely comfortable being without vision insurance, but I’m more likely to have something go wrong with my teeth (in my experience)…. It’s all a crapshoot….


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