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Can I buy eyeglasses or contacts online with vision insurance?

illustration of what vision insurance covers

Can you use vision insurance online to get glasses or contact lenses? Several online eyewear retailers accept vision insurance, and if they don't, they should provide the documentation you need to request reimbursement from your insurance after paying out of pocket.

Buying eyeglasses or contacts online with insurance

While many designer brands and general eyewear sites accept vision insurance, they may not take your particular vision insurance. Here are some popular online eyeglasses and contact lens retailers and the vision plans they accept:

Online eyewear retailers who aren’t affiliated with any vision insurance providers often will walk you through the process of getting reimbursed by your vision insurance company. These include:

Note that because these retailers aren’t affiliated, they will likely be considered out-of-network by your insurance company. So, if you are reimbursed, it will not be for as much as if you had made your purchase from a preferred online provider.

SEE RELATED: How to buy glasses online in 6 easy steps

How often can I buy contacts or glasses online with vision insurance?

Most vision insurance plans cover new eyeglass lenses or new contact lenses every 12 months. Frames are typically covered every 24 months.

If you already used your vision insurance to get glasses this year, you may not be able to use your vision insurance to get contacts, online or otherwise. Review your vision benefits before trying to make a purchase.

Some online retailers let you enter your vision insurance information to see what, if anything, is covered by your plan.

SEE RELATED: Vision insurance: How it can save you money

Can I use my vision insurance to buy sunglasses online?

It depends on your vision insurance plan. Some vision insurance providers let you buy prescription sunglass lenses using your annual lens benefit (and frame benefit if the timing is right). Check your plan to see if prescription sunglasses are covered.

How can I check where I can use vision insurance online?

There are two main ways to find out where you can use your vision insurance online:

  • Check with your vision insurance provider's website for a list of online eyewear retailers accepting your plan.

  • Use our locator tool to find an eyewear retailer who accepts your vision insurance (select your vision insurance plan from the dropdowns at the top right).

Can I use my FSA or HSA for vision expenses online?

If an online retailer doesn’t accept your vision insurance, you can use your FSA funds or HSA funds to pay for eligible medical expenses, including prescription eyeglasses, prescription contact lenses and prescription sunglasses.

READY TO USE YOUR VISION INSURANCE FOR GLASSES OR CONTACTS? Find an online eyewear retailer who accepts your vision insurance and start shopping for new specs or contacts.

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