Enhance Health

Where To Get Glasses In New York City Without Insurance

When you live in a city that never sleeps like New York, you want to be able to see all the sights. That means, getting the glasses you need at the right price. 

But do you know where to get glasses in New York City when you don’t have a health plan? We’re here to help. Keep reading for vital information like the cost of glasses, what drives that cost, and most importantly, where to get glasses in New York City without insurance.

Where Can You Get Glasses In New York City Without Insurance?

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the more popular options you have in New York City for getting the glasses you need. 

Target Optical

Target Optical has a very wide range of glasses for people with or without insurance. 

Single-vision lenses will cost approximately +$75, whereas transition lenses can come to more than $200.  Expect to pay anywhere from $85 – $222 for the frames.

Zenni Optical

You can get various types of eyeglasses, progressives, Transitions® lenses, and even sunglasses at Zenni Optical. They also sell blue light glasses for people using computers for work all day, and traditional readers. 

Frames cost from $7 to $50, with no additional cost for single vision lenses, and progressive lenses from $28 and up. This makes them an affordable option for eyewear without insurance in New York City. 

Warby Parker

Warby Parker is a New York-based online retailer of prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. Consumers have commented on their top-notch scratch-resistant lenses. 

Like Zenni, Warby Parker may not charge for single-vision lenses. But their frames will cost more – anywhere from $95 – $195.

Grand Central Optical Company Inc.

This family-owned optical business has been in operation since 1923 and accepts most insurance plans. Some glasses can be made within half an hour, although it depends on the type of glasses needed. 

Conveniently located in the Grand Central Terminal, you can order your glasses on your commute to work and fetch them on your return! Grand Central Optical offers a wide range of ophthalmic services, including prescription and non-prescription glasses, and eye exams. 

Single vision lenses will cost about +$89 and progressives will be about +$299. The frames can cost anywhere from $349 to $699. They’re not the cheapest place to get glasses in New York City without insurance but you may find their location and quick turnaround time convenient.

How Much Do Glasses Cost In New York City?

There is no doubt that price is a major factor when it comes to selecting your glasses. So, how much do glasses cost in New York City? 

Even without an eye exam, the average cost of glasses in New York City comes to over $360. With an eye exam, that cost rises even further, with the average around $570!

That’s a lot of money out of pocket, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But that’s just the average price. As you can see in our selection of popular New York City eyewear stores, it could be cheaper, and it could be a whole lot more.

It all depends on what level of vision correction you need, and what you’re after. While drugstore reading glasses are easily accessible and inexpensive, designer-branded prescription eyewear can amount to more than $1500.

Factors That Influence the Cost Of Glasses In NYC 

Just like medical procedures, the cost of glasses can be influenced by numerous factors. These are the main factors driving the cost of your glasses in New York: 

Frames Brands

Brand name frames will always cost more than no-name brands. Designer frames can cost thousands of dollars, despite offering no benefits for your vision. It’s the lenses that count. You can expect to pay about $120 for attractive but unbranded frames.

Lenses Type

The type of lenses you need is a huge factor influencing the price. For example, some retailers don’t charge for single-vision lenses, merely for the exam, frames, and any extras. 

Although you can buy ordinary readers and blue-light glasses without a prescription, you’ll need a prescription for other lens types. This is where the price can go up. 

Single-vision lenses are the most popular, and also the cheapest. However, they only address vision issues, such as far-sightedness or near-sightedness. In this respect, they are similar to readers. 

Bifocal, trifocal, and multifocal lenses offer more vision versatility but come at a much higher price. They can cost anywhere from $70 to as much as $600, depending on the type you need and where you buy them.

Progressive lenses offer the benefit of these multifocal lenses without the noticeable dividing lines. They are generally more aesthetically pleasing. However, they can cost in the region of $175 to a staggering $800. 

Materials And Additions

The materials that your lenses are made of can further increase the price you’ll pay without insurance. Glasses are not always made with glass these days. 

Several plastics may be used, for example, polycarbonate or Trivex. While both are strong and suitable for eyewear, polycarbonate lenses are far more affordable than Trivex. It’ll cost you about $65 on average for the former, while the latter is generally about $100. 

Anti-reflective, anti-fog, ultraviolet, and scratch-resistant coatings are useful but incur extra charges that make the prices of your lenses soar. Just like the eye exam, they are an extra cost that you’ll have to take into account.


It’s all about location a lot of the time. Where you choose to buy your glasses can influence the price. Larger stores, franchises, and online eyewear stores are usually cheaper than independent eyewear boutiques in malls.

How To Reduce The Costs Of Glasses Without Insurance

Is there a way to reduce these costs? You’re in luck! Here are several tips to help you save money on the cost of glasses in New York City if you don’t have insurance: 

Shop Around 

The difference in prices between different eyewear stores is almost unbelievable. Shop around at different locations for the best deal. You could save hundreds of dollars with a quick comparison.

Buy Online

Buying glasses online without insurance is usually a cheaper option than in-store purchases. If you don’t need an eye exam, and just need a new pair of glasses at a good price, this may be the best option for you.

Use Drugstore Readers

If you just need simple readers, and you know the strength you need, pop into your local drugstore. You won’t have to go far to find one, and you’ll pay under $10 at most drugstores. That’s a huge saving!

Ask About Discounts

Some eyewear stores offer discounts for seniors or people without health insurance. Don’t be shy to ask if a particular store does this. A payment plan is another option to enquire about. 

Ditch The Designer Brands

Do you need a designer’s name on the side of your specs? Aviator frames and Ray Ban sunglasses are cool, but not when you’re on a tight budget. Focus on the lenses you need, rather than the frames you want

Take Advantage Of Sales And Promotions

Eyewear stores have sales and promotional discounts too, just like any other type of retailer. Some of these special offers include eye exams. Ask your local eyewear retailer about upcoming deals, as this may be the solution for you.

Check Your Health Plan Status

Your vision needs may be covered by a spouse or parent’s health plan, or a health plan from your employer. You may have coverage and not even realize it. Check with your family and employer to see if this is the case.

Does Insurance Cover Glasses?

You’re probably wondering now if you should be looking into getting yourself some health insurance. Are eyeglasses covered by insurance? Does health insurance cover costs like eye exams and preventive eye health? 

General health insurance plans often don’t cover preventive eye health and eye exams. However, most plans cover basic prescription glasses.

There are many different types of health insurance, and if eye care is something that you’ll have an ongoing need for, this is a factor to consider.

Insurers also often have a co-pay clause where you’ll need to pay around $20-30 for lenses. You’ll also have an allowance of around $130-150 for the frames. Seeing as many frames cost far more than that, be prepared for out-of-pocket expenses even with insurance.

It’s important to note that, with most insurance plans, vision coverage is offered for children but only certain plans offer this benefit for adults (and usually only partially). So, you may need additional coverage for vision care.  


Needing corrective eyewear and not being able to afford them is a struggle that many face. But we have a solution. Our team of qualified consultants is standing by to help you find the health insurance plan to meet your needs. 

No matter your employment status or household income, there’s a health plan that’s right for you. Contact Enhance Health today to enhance your health at a price you can afford. 


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