How much is a prescription glasses worth?
A prescription glasses bill would cost consumers more than $6,000 per month and would require health insurers to cover them, according to a study published Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The average prescription eyewear is valued at $1,200 and is covered by Medicare and most private health plans, the study found.
The costs of prescription glasses are expected to reach $7,000 annually and $16,000 for prescription-only glasses.
The study’s authors, Dr. Andrew Kolodny and Dr. David Krasner, estimated the costs to consumers based on the cost of prescription eyeglasses and the price of glasses for other products, including prescription eyemask, sunglasses and other prescription items.
The report is the first to compare the costs of eyeglass prescription, prescription glasses and other products for prescription eyepatches, sunglasses, prescription eyecare products, prescription eye drops and other eyewash products.
It also examines the potential for increased spending by consumers on prescription eyevances if the Medicare fee for prescription glasses is increased.
The cost of eyewashes has skyrocketed over the past decade and the FDA has issued warnings about the potential risks of eyecaps, which have become increasingly popular with young people.
The FDA said in January that the number of prescription eye exams rose 13% in 2016 and that the cost per exam rose an additional 17%.
The FDA urged consumers to limit use of eyepads and prescription eyescopes and to report suspicious activity to health care providers.
A similar report from the Congressional Budget Office last year said that prescription eyeplenses would cost the federal government more than an extra $15 billion per year by 2025.