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Your Flex Spending Account Can Cover Vision Expenses

flexible spending dollars

If you have a Flex Spending Account (FSA), money from each paycheck is deposited automatically into a dedicated account. You can apply the money in this account towards health expenses that are not covered by your insurance plan. When you open the account, you determine the amount of money in advance.

One of the most exciting parts of this plan is that your FSA isn’t taxed, so the amount has more purchasing power. That means you have more dollars to put towards your vision and eye care expenses in St. Louis and St. Charles, MO.

However, there is one very important detail that you must remember about your FSA. It typically expires at the end of each year! If you don’t spend your FSA during the year, it disappears with the turn of the calendar page to a new year. (Some plans do offer a “grace period”, which allows you to utilize your FSA dollars until March 15th.) Don’t wait until the last second to take advantage of this flexible account.

See the Benefits of Your FSA Card

Every FSA plan is different, so you need to read through yours closely before you start buying glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses for your whole family. If you need help understanding your specific benefits, our St. Louis and St. Charles staff will be pleased to provide assistance.

Generally, an FSA will pay for the following eye care costs:

  • Routine eye exam: regular evaluations of your vision and eye health are critical for lasting, quality eyesight.
  • Prescription glasses and sunglasses: now is the time to make sure your vision prescription is current, as well as update your look with a new pair of designer frames. To protect your eyes from blue light and digital eyestrain, consider purchasing a pair of computer glasses with your FSA funds. Reading glasses are also covered.
  • Contact Lenses: why not buy a supply of contact lenses ahead of time for the upcoming year? Most sealed packages of daily and extended wear contacts have a shelf-life of up to four years.
  • Contact lens products: cleansers and disinfectants can become costly over the year; these products are a perfect way to make the most of a few extra dollars in your FSA
  • Co-payments and deductibles: use FSA dollars to offset deductibles and co-pays for many eye care services

Where to Begin Spending Your Flex Dollars?

Your starting point for spending FSA dollars is to visit our St. Louis and St. Charles eye doctors for an eye exam. That way, you’ll know if you require vision correction, treatment, glasses or contact lenses. Everyone’s schedule gets busy through the holiday season and near the end of the year, so we advise you to book your appointment earlier in the year.

Do you have FSA dollars left? Visit Overland Family Optical Eye Care in St. Louis and St. Charles, MO, to put these funds to good use for your eyes.

Do Online Eye Exams Have Value (or Risks)?

eye exam in overland mo

Did your eyeglasses crash and break? Did you accidentally tear your last pair of contact lenses?

Now, to make matters worse, you don’t have a valid eyeglass prescription or time to book a vision test with your eye doctor. Is a digital online eye exam the perfect solution?

The short answer is – yes, an online eye exam could be a good temporary solution for your immediate problem! However, you need to be aware of exactly what an online eye exam will give you, and what it cannot provide.

DIY digital vision tests are not a replacement for visiting your eye doctor. An eye exam by our St. Louis eye doctors offers valuable information that an online eye exam simply does not see.

We’ve prepared the following Q&A to keep you informed:

What does an online vision test check?

Online eye tests evaluate your visual acuity and refractive error. It is a quick and convenient way to get a current eyeglass and/or contact lens prescription.

What doesn’t an online vision test check?

The measurements you receive from your digital eye exam reveal almost nothing about the health of your eyes. These numbers will not detect the onset or development of diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, retinal problems, or glaucoma. Only a comprehensive eye exam can discover or rule out these dangerous threats to your vision.

Are online eye exams accurate?

More research is needed in order to answer this question responsibly. However, studies are encouraging. It appears that the accuracy of an eyeglass prescription generated by an online vision test is comparable to the prescription from an eye doctor. Yet the technology is too new to be certain.

Who Offers Online Eye Exams?

At present, a few companies offer online vision tests. The main players are Opternative, GlassesOn, and Essilor. Opternative, established in 2012, is the most well known, and they even share your vision test results with a local licensed ophthalmologist – who can review the test’s algorithms and issue a new contact lens or glasses prescription. Be aware that this service isn’t free, and you’ll need to pay a fee to send the results to an eye doctor. At present, Opternative is available for use in 39 states.

How does Opternative work?

To start, you’ll need to calibrate the test on your computer screen. This is done by measuring a credit card. You will then take a series of tests, all of which investigate your nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism.

Altogether, the Opternative online vision test takes a maximum of 25 minutes. Once your payment is received, the company emails your new eyeglass prescription within 24 hours.

Does everyone qualify to take an online vision test?

According to Opternative, their technology is most suitable for people between age 18 to 39, who are in good overall health condition – without a severe corrective eyeglass prescription or any symptoms of ocular disease.

What are the risks of online, self-administered vision tests?

  • If you have an eye disease, nobody will see it. There is no certified eye care professional to inspect the health of your eye tissues for signs of disease or abnormality. Bear in mind that an early diagnosis of ocular disease enables early treatment, which has the most successful outcome for your lasting vision! Once eye disease progresses, it is much harder to treat and vision loss is more common.
  • Your chances of receiving an incorrect contact lens or eyeglass prescription are much higher than when you have an eye exam done by our St. Louis eye doctors. Nobody is keeping watch to make sure you take the test properly. An inaccurate prescription can lead to headaches, blurry vision, and eyestrain.

eye exam overland moDo online vision exams save you money?

Not really. As far as value for your dollar, remember that you’re not receiving the same eye care services as you would from an eye exam. In fact, you are only receiving one small part of what we provide from an expert comprehensive eye exam.

Also, medical health insurance or vision insurance do not generally cover the cost of online testing. Therefore, patients with a vision benefits plan will often pay less for a comprehensive eye exam in our St. Louis office than they would for an online vision test. The Opternative online eye exam will cost you $40 for a contact lens or eyeglass prescription, or both for $60.

What do our St Louis eye doctors have to say about online vision tests?

These digital eye exams are convenient and helpful, and the technology is incredible! However, It’s best to use this service in between visiting our office in St. Louis for total evaluations of your eyes.

In sum, there are definite benefits to online vision tests, yet there are also limitations and risks. They do not assess the lasting health of your eyes and quality vision, and live, in-person eye exams with your eye doctor are still critical!

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5 Myths About Buying Glasses from Your Local Optometrist

eyeglasses in st louis moSee Why It’s Better to Buy Glasses from Our St. Louis Store!

Online shopping is a contemporary convenience, and there are numerous sites to purchase eyeglasses. Yet, is it the smartest way for you to buy glasses? While it may be easy to shop for eyewear in your pj’s, there are definite advantages to buying glasses from our St.Louis optician.

Many myths float around about buying frames and lenses from your local optometrist. Let’s take a look at what makes each of these statements a myth – and not a true statement.

  1. MYTH: There’s No Reason to Ask an Optician for Help When Choosing Frames

Your vision prescription is unique, and not all frames and lenses support all vision prescriptions. Depending upon your needs, such as bifocals, multifocals, astigmatism, and high myopia, certain styles and shapes of frames will help you achieve sharper vision. The thickness of your lenses and the most suitable lens coatings for your lifestyle must also be considered.

Additionally, you want your glasses to look amazing! When you buy online, who will stand by your side to tell you the best shapes, materials, and colors to flatter your look? When you buy glasses from our St. Louis optical center, we will make sure you buy glasses that enhance your appearance.

Do you really want to make these decisions on your own? Our St. Louis optician is experienced and knowledgeable about which frames and lenses will work best for your vision requirements, appearance, and daily activities. We stock a wide variety of frames and offer many lens coatings in our St. Louis collection – and our optician will guide you towards the ideal eyewear.

  1. MYTH: You Don’t Need to Try Glasses On

To put it simply- temples and nose pads need to meet your face at the right angle or they’ll hurt. Or if they are too wide, your glasses will constantly slip down your nose. The type of nose pads and temples varies, and you can’t know what feels comfortable unless you try them on. In addition, you need an accurate Pupillary Distance (PD) measurement to order lenses in the right size. Our optician will make sure that your glasses fit your face and eyes precisely – so when you walk out of our St. Louis store, you’ll enjoy wearing your comfy new eyewear!

  1. MYTH: Shopping Online Always Saves You Money

Optometrists and opticians develop a relationship with eyeglass manufacturers that enable special promotions and savings. When you buy glasses from our local store, we will offer rebates and discounts on name-brands, which are unavailable from online sites. Therefore, even if the initial price appears higher on some of the frames in our St. Louis glasses collection, your final cost will often be significantly less. Also, not all online glasses sites accept insurance. We accept virtually all medical and vision insurance plans.

  1. MYTH: There’s No Difference in Quality

Many online retailers make their profit by stocking the cheapest Made-in-China frames, and they only offer basic lens types. In contrast, we only stock premium, designer frames that are constructed with durable materials and precise engineering. Our optician will also help you choose the most suitable lenses and lens coatings for your lifestyle, including transition lenses, polarized, ultra-thin, and scratch-resistant. People can be very rough on their eyewear, and we want your St. Louis glasses and lenses to last as long as possible!

  1. MYTH: Your Vision Prescription Doesn’t Matter

Some vision conditions are more challenging to correct than other vision conditions. If you have a very high prescription, astigmatism, or a complex condition, you need an expert to craft your lenses from high quality materials. Otherwise, you risk wearing glasses that distort the way you see the world!eyeglasses in st louis mo

Many studies report that over 50% of glasses bought online were fit with incorrectly crafted lenses that didn’t match the vision prescription. This leads directly to headaches and/or blurry vision.

In contrast to online glasses stores, our Overland Optical Family Eye Care opticians, in St. Louis, take a personal, caring interest in how you look and how you see! Online retailers aim to sell you glasses, and we aim to satisfy your needs and make sure you are 100% pleased with your purchase. We will accompany you through every stage of the purchase process – and we are much friendlier than your computer!

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Same Day Service in St Louis


Sharp Vision – With No Delay!

Living your daily life depends upon being able to see. At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, our family of eye care providers understands that you need clear vision as soon as possible! As the leading 2017 optometry practice in St Louis, we’re proud to offer you expert Same Day Service for new eyewear and repairs.
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Your quality eyesight is our No. 1 concern. While other optical stores may make you wait a few days to receive your eyeglasses, we strive to put your glasses back on your face within hours. Vision is what we do, and we do it best.

Our on-site workshop is furnished with ultraprecise technology to craft new lenses and fix eyeglasses. You benefit from this convenient set-up, as there’s no time wasted by sending prescriptions and eyewear to a lab across town. Most prescriptions – including for specialized visual requirements – can be finished within the same day. Yes, you read that correctly – our Same Day Service includes specialty lenses too, such as Transitions lenses, progressives (no-line bifocals), and glare-free single vision lenses.

Don’t panic when your eyeglasses break! The hardships of daily wear often lead to cracked frames or missing screws. Kids’ eyeglasses are always getting crushed at the bottom of a school bag. While super glue or duct tape may work for a day or two, it’s not a long-term solution (and not very attractive either!). Instead, simply head to one of our efficient and convenient St Louis stores. We perform repairs quickly in our professional workshop, so you don’t wander around squinting until your eyeglasses are fixed. Once we’re sure that your eyewear is repaired to perfection, you will be on your way! With customer satisfaction as our motto, we love seeing our patients wear a wide smile as the settle their glasses comfortably on their face.boy-wearing-glasses-st-louis-mo

Our qualified Lab Team, with ABO-Certified Opticians, brings you over 45 years of collective experience in optics. We’re capable pros in much more than just the basics of eyewear. We will work carefully and patiently to preserve the exquisite handwork on your customized eyewear. In addition to Same Day Service, we ensure superior quality control. With reasons as clear as 20/20 vision, St Louis patients always return to Overland Optical Family Eye Care for all their eyewear needs!
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