CVS Optical Guide 2022 (Eye Exams, Glasses & Contact Lens)

When looking to get your eyes checked and either purchase prescription glasses or contact lenses, it’s important to find a trustworthy company that provides great prices on the exam and glasses or contact lenses.

CVS is a large chain in almost every city that provides a range of services and is a convenient location if you need an eye exam or to get your corrective eye prescription filled.

Does CVS Do Eye Exams?

CVS does provide eye exams through CVS Optical, which can be found at a range of CVS stores or through their online eye exam process. When using CVS Optical, you can get a full eye exam or renew a prescription and then purchase corrective lenses for a range of glasses as well as contact lenses.

CVS Optical’s physical locations can be found throughout California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. Online eye exams and contact lens prescription renewals are available in most states, but these are not considered comprehensive eye exams and don’t replace those.

Related: Top 12 Places Where You Can Get an Eye Exam

How Much Is A CVS Eye Exam?

A standard eye exam at CVS Optical will be $79 without insurance and comes with a pair of single-vision glasses; depending on the exact location you choose, the price may differ. An eye exam with contact lens fitting will cost $129 without insurance, or a contact lens renewal will be $20.

Eye Exam$79
Contact Lens Exam$129
Contact Lens Renewal$20
Average Cost Of Glasses$99
Average Cost Of Contact Lenses$66

If you require additional testing or corrective measures, there may be additional costs, but that will need to be determined and advised at the time of testing.

CVS Eye Exam With Insurance

A standard eye exam at CVS Optical is $79 without insurance; if you have insurance that includes vision care, you’ll only be responsible for the co-pay, which can be as little as $5 – $35 depending on your insurance.

Some insurance plans will cover the full yearly cost of a standard eye exam up to a certain price.

You will need to check with your insurance provider to see if there is a co-pay on eye exams or what the maximum price they will cover for eye exams in a year is.

Insurance for CVS Eye Exams

Each CVS Optical may be able to take different insurance providers, but typically the following are accepted at most locations for direct billing:

  • Aetna
  • Avesis
  • DavisVision
  • March Vision Care
  • Mesvision
  • MetLife
  • NVA
  • SuperiorVision
  • UnitedHealthCare
  • VBA

If CVS Optical cannot direct bill your insurance provider, you can take a comprehensive receipt and submit it through your insurance provider to be refunded manually. 

Ensure you check with your insurance provider before going, how much they will cover for eye exams, as well as glasses or contact lenses.

CVS Optical only accepts Aetna for contact lenses; however, you can pay out of pocket and submit the receipt to your own insurance provider to be refunded.

How to Check Your Insurance

Each CVS Optical may accept insurance from different insurance providers for direct billing; you should contact your local CVS Optical location to determine which insurance providers they can work with directly.

If you’re looking to purchase contact lenses online, you can use CVS Opticals to check your insurance app on their website to determine direct billing eligibility.

As always, if direct billing is not possible, you can submit your receipt to your insurance provider to be reimbursed. 

You should also be able to get pre-approved with your insurance provider before you go to CVS Optical, so you know how much you’re covered for with the eye exam as well as buying prescription glasses.

What’s Included in the Eye Exam

CVS Optical provides a standard eye exam with a vision test from a licensed eye doctor in your state. With the eye exam, you get a pair of standard-vision prescription glasses, as well as your actual prescription if you prefer to buy other glasses in a different location.

Your eye exam and vision test will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour and will include:

  1. Discuss any current issues or eye problems; this can help determine if a standard eye test is all that’s needed or if additional testing will be needed.
  2. Your eyes will be put through several tests as part of the overall eye exam.
    1. Glaucoma Testing
    2. Vision Testing (Refraction Testing)
    3. Eye Health Exam
    4. Retinal Imagining
  3. Based on your eye exam results, the doctor will make recommendations, which could include glasses or contact lenses may be an option. If you prefer not to buy your glasses at CVS Optical you can take your prescription somewhere else at no additional cost.
    1. Contact lens fittings have an additional cost to total $129.
  4. If you’ve decided to buy glasses from CVS Optical, you’ll be able to pick from a range of glasses, which will then need to be fitted with your new prescription.

Typically a new pair of prescription glasses from CVS Optical will take 3 – 7 days to be fitted with your personalized prescription. 

If you decide to take your prescription with you, glasses can be purchased from another store such as Walmart, Costco, or Lenscrafters. Otherwise, you can view the selection on CVS.com or any other online store with the prescription from CVS.

How to Make an Appointment for Eye Exam

Most CVS Optical locations allow for walk-in appointments; depending on their availability, you may get an eye exam appointment quickly, or you may need to come back after your shopping or another day.

You can schedule an appointment online so that you won’t need to wait or come back another time. 

If you prefer to call, you can contact your preferred CVS Optical to arrange an appointment over the phone. 

Average Cost of CVS Glasses

Once your eye exam is completed or if you have a valid prescription already, you can discuss CVS glasses brands frame options with CVS Optical to see which pair of glasses is right for you. The cheapest glasses you’ll find at CVS Optical will be $79 or will be included with your eye exam.

Average Cost Of Glasses$99
Glasses Cost Range$79 – $129

You can browse the store and try glasses on to see which fit the best, and the CVS Optical staff will be able to help you pick the right frames for your face. Once you select them, they will be taken and the glass replaced with your prescription lenses, which may take 3 – 7 days to be returned.

If you want more expensive glasses, $79 will be discounted from them at the time of your eye exam; you won’t be able to come back another day for a free pair of glasses, so be prepared to make a selection.

You can use Paypal Pay In 4 to split the cost of your glasses over 4 interest-free payments, similar to other Buy Now, Pay Later services. This is a good way to get glasses that you need right now without having to cover the full cost of them.

The Paypal Pay In 4 service is only available online for the purchase of glasses or contact lenses.

CVS Glasses Brands

CVS Optical offers a range of lower-cost glasses with custom prescription lenses at extremely affordable prices; their top brands are Emery, Hank, Newport, Cascade, Sage, and Alta.

BrandPrice Range
Emery$79
Hank$99
Newport$129
Cascade$79
Sage$79
Alta$79

Most of the glass brands available at CVS come in a range of different colors and shapes, and the majority can be included as a free pair with your eye exam.

Average Cost of CVS Contact Lenses

CVS Optical can perform an eye exam and instead of getting prescription glasses, you can be fitted for a pair of CVS contact lenses for $129 plus the cost of any specialty or higher amount of contact lenses that you want to buy.

Average Cost
Eye Exam + Contact Lens Fitting$129
Prescription Renewal$20
Contact Lenses (6)$43.99
Contact Lenses (12)$66.39
Contact Lenses (30)$36.79
Contact Lenses (90)$67.99

Typically the contact lens products with 6-12 per box are for longer-term use, and the contact lens products with 30-90 per box are for daily use; you can discuss what would work better for your eyes and prescription with the doctor.

CVS Optical has many major brands in contact lenses, including Acuvue, Biofinity, Clariti, DAILIES, PureVision, Air Optix, Biotrue, Proclear, and many more.

How to Get Fitted For Contact Lenses

Instead of a standard eye exam, you should let the doctor know you want to be fitted for contact lenses if that is an option for your prescription.

  1. Your doctor will perform a standard eye exam to get your prescription
  2. Your eyes will be measured in a specialty machine, which will allow the contact lenses to fit perfectly
  3. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled once your contact lenses are ready.
  4. You’ll be shown how to put the contact lenses in
  5. A vision test will be performed to ensure the contact lenses work well
  6. You will be asked about the comfort of the lenses to ensure they’ve been properly measured.

If everything goes well, you will now have an accurate and reusable prescription for contact lenses. You’ll be able to purchase them from CVS Optical, another store, or even online from a variety of resellers.

How to Renew A Prescription

You can renew your contact lens prescription online for $20, or you will need to have a full contact lens eye exam in-store, which will cost you $129.

If you have a valid prescription already, you can buy contact lenses from CVS in-store or online. Once you get your prescription renewed, you can buy your contact lenses from CVS or any other store.

When you renew your prescription online, it’s a fairly simple process that starts by you logging into the website or app and going to the prescription renewal page.

  1. Confirm your eligibility to renew your prescription
    1. QuickRenew must be available in your state (currently 32 states)
    2. You must be between 18-55 years old
    3. You need to have been fitted for contact lenses before
    4. You need a full eye exam within the past four years
  2. Take photos of your eyes
    1. This is to allow the doctor to visually inspect and look for redness or other issues.
  3. Perform a basic vision test
    1. You’ll put your contacts in, place your phone or other devices 10 feet away from you and say some of the letters that come up on the screen.
    2. This allows the doctor to confirm your prescription is still valid
  4. Enter your current prescription so the doctor can confirm and validate it for your account.
    1. This can be found in your records or your existing contact lens boxes.

Requirement for Online Prescription Renewal

Detailed below is everything you’ll need to renew your prescription online and start purchasing contact lenses from CVS or any other store.

  • You need a smartphone or computer with a camera and microphone.
  • You’ll need 10 feet of space to stand from your device.
  • A driver’s license or credit card, only to help calibrate the eye exam process.
  • Your current prescription so you can give it to the doctor to renew.

A real doctor will review the results and confirm your prescription. If you fail the basic eye exam, you will need to come in-store for a complete eye exam to get a new prescription based on your current needs.

How to Find a CVS Optical Location

Not all CVS locations offer eye exams; they are only possible through CVS Optical locations, which are only currently in California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.

To renew your contact lens prescription, you can do this online for $20 in most states and have a quick eye exam performed online, and a doctor will review your results, and then you can purchase contact lenses online.

CVS Eye Exam Price Comparison

Store NameEye Exam Cost
Costco Optical$70
America’s Best Contact and Glasses$50
Pearle Vision$89
Walmart Vision Center$79
Vision Source$75
Lenscrafters$73
Warby Parker$75
Sam’s Club Eye Clinic$61
Bj’s Optical$65
CVS$79
Target Optical$70