Health & Wellness

Eye Exams: Costco v.s. Optometrist Office

[OP]
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Jan 6, 2011
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GTA

Eye Exams: Costco v.s. Optometrist Office

I saw a small optometrist office packed with people @Warden Costco. There hours are long and the cost is $80.

I paid $138 in 2012 to the office closest to me 2yrs ago. The optometrist was OK, she used some dye and snapped photo of the retina. She wasn't very patient but seemed competent.

Are eye exams all the same? in terms of cost and quality of care? Is there a reason to stick with a optometrist long term?

Costco's afterhour is great, might be able to book back to back with family members and get some shopping done at the same time.
43 replies
Sr. Member
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Apr 26, 2010
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Alberta
I've been going to Costco for the last four years (or so) and I always see the same optometrist there. The eye exam is now $90 and I have absolutely no complaints. It's ~30 minutes long but if they dilate your eyes it'll be a bit longer.
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Oct 26, 2002
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BC
I've always gone to the optometrist, but decided to go with Costco last year when I needed an upgrade. I did not have a good experience at all. I was having problems with what I was seeing and after 2 months someone at Costco finally suggested I get my eyes re tested.. sure enough I needed a completely different prescription. I've had many eye exams in the past years and I've never had a problem until this last time.

I'm not saying that this will happen to everyone, but it will not happen to me again, at Costco anyways.
That's my 2cents worth
Deal Addict
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Feb 10, 2006
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i like the costco optometrist near me in Oshawa. With newer equipment the exams don't take long at all. There were some tests that i have never done before and it just seemed faster with the electronic control of the usual "one or two" and etc.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
8718 posts
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Toronto
Reviving an old thread here but has anybody used a Costco optometrist lately? Apparently, my "local" Costco on the Queensway is the only Costco in the GTA that does NOT have an optometrist. I was thinking of trying the Vaughan, Downsview or Mississauga (Dundas) locations.
Jr. Member
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Jul 30, 2012
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Toronto, ON
I haven't tried a Costco optometrist but I usually go to see the optometrist at a Walmart Supercenter, was charged $65.
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
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Costco "optometrist" = professional Optometrist who happens to have a clinic located within a Costco. The professional standards shouldn't be any different, only the location is perhaps a bit cheesy.
Deal Addict
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Jun 26, 2011
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is there a standard for the tests to be done? i've been to some where they do some eye drops and check my eye pressure, some need a scan, others only gave me my prescription.

$90 isn't that exceptionally cheap, but it's definitely convenient to get your eyes checked while your family member walks around Costco.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
8718 posts
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Toronto
kmarcie wrote: is there a standard for the tests to be done? i've been to some where they do some eye drops and check my eye pressure, some need a scan, others only gave me my prescription.

$90 isn't that exceptionally cheap, but it's definitely convenient to get your eyes checked while your family member walks around Costco.
I got a test done recently at a local opticians place on Bloor near Dundas (PM if you want details) where the optometrist comes in a couple of times a week. I asked about their service beforehand and was told a regular exam was $65 and then extra for drop/dilation and pressure. Only "gotcha" was cash or debit for eye exam
Banned
Oct 21, 2017
2 posts
1 upvote
Here is my eye exam review and some info about the eyeglasses. I'll post a full review of the eyeglasses once I receive them.

I called Costco to set up an eye exam. There is one optometrist who has an office within the Costco, but she is considered as independent from Costco. There were no appointments available the same day, so I made the appointment for later in the week. This was in contrast to Lenscrafters where I've always been able to get an eye exam the same day I've called.

I showed up to Costco a few minutes before my appointment and I noticed there is a sign saying they accept walk-ins if the time is available. I don't know if they are able to "squeeze" people in if they show up and want an appointment. My appointment did go fairly fast, so I can see it as possible.

I had checked in advance about my insurance (through EyeMed) and Costco. Costco does NOT accept insurance. What they do is give you a receipt that you can then submit to your own insurance. As Costco is "Out of Network", the coverage is up to $30 for an eye exam, up to $70 for frames, and up to $50 for single vision lenses. While the amount covered in network when I went to Lenscrafters was much more ($10 copay for eye exam, $10 copay for frames up to $175 and $10 copay for standard single vision lenses (not including extra treatments), because Costco's prices were so much lower, I still am able to get good glasses for much less money. More on that later.

I knew the eye exam would cost $49 (it's a little more for a contact lens exam) and it would be an additional $20 if she recommended pupil dilation.
Deal Addict
Dec 1, 2012
1634 posts
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Lake Simcoe
Just had my eyes checked at the new Costco in Orillia. (Dr Choi)
Filled the prescription immediately following the exam at the same location. Exam $85 total
Glasses $190 total
Had to return for the dilation drops, as on this appointment date I had my elderly neighbor in tow and I didn't want to do the eye drops with him in my care, so I scheduled a follow-up appointment for drops the following week. No issue/No extra charge. ☺️

Happily.....my new glasses were ready for pick-up on my follow-up appointment date. Thumbs Up Sign
Very pleased with the entire experience. I've been to fancy eye doctor offices etc and would choose Costco again without any hesitation.

Exam and glasses charge/costs were both accepted/compensated by my benefits/insurance company.
Deal Fanatic
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Jul 22, 2015
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Saint-Hubert, QC
Do people have any recommendations? I live in QC.

I usually go to New Look, maybe I should try Costco.

New Look Eye exam is around 100$, is Costco the same price?
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Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
8718 posts
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Toronto
MoneyHypeMike wrote: Do people have any recommendations? I live in QC.

I usually go to New Look, maybe I should try Costco.

New Look Eye exam is around 100$, is Costco the same price?
Looks like it's a bit less expensive based on the reports above.
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2005
171 posts
18 upvotes
Montreal
I know it is off topic but can I bring my own frame and buy the lenses at Costco? I have some eyeglasses that I never used but the prescription is not right anymore.
Deal Addict
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May 19, 2015
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GTA
Anyone have reviews of Costco optometrists in Toronto? Eg downsview for example. Looking to do a full eye exam. It’s covered so cost not really an issue more the quality/completeness of the exam.

Also does a normal eye exam cover both glasses and contacts?
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Mar 28, 2006
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Good for you to believe in the profession but even non-Costco optometrists aren't the same. Should be fine if you don't have any complicated issues.
burnt69 wrote: Costco "optometrist" = professional Optometrist who happens to have a clinic located within a Costco. The professional standards shouldn't be any different, only the location is perhaps a bit cheesy.
People around you may have weaken immune system (or live with one). If you have cold symptoms, please wear a mask.
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May 19, 2015
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82 wrote: Good for you to believe in the profession but even non-Costco optometrists aren't the same. Should be fine if you don't have any complicated issues.
On the topic of believing/not believing the profession, optometrists are pulling some shady bs, directed by their lobby... if OMA did this there would be hell in the news. *sigh* this just makes it harder to pick someone to do an eye exam. Edit: tried to get more details for a Costco optometrist but it's been a week and haven't even had a call back. I'd pay more bc of insurance coverage, but it's so hard to tell who's actually a competent optometrist.

For context: being told to send patients to the emergency instead of seeing them... during a F-ing pandemic, and you're more likely to have sight issues as you age. Unbelievable.
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May 2, 2021
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Costco Blair Optometrist stole 100$ from my 12 year old on February 9th 2021. I asked over and over if I would be permitted to wear a face shield at my daughter's eye doctor's appointment and was told yes, only to be treated like a 5 year old who's been naughty by the eye doctor herself. I have a medical condition that makes it impossible to breath with a mask on, my daughter also has a medical condition but she was wearing a mask, we were trying to be really fast. I had to leave the eye doctor and find an eye doctor that accepts exemptions. When we went to pay the new eye doctor we found that the office had charged my daughter's ohip for the appointment and had to pay out of pocket.
Member
Apr 1, 2013
483 posts
103 upvotes
Ontario
I had been going to Elgin Mills/Hwy404 Costco Optometrist in Markham for the last few years.
The Optometrist there did not detect that I had cataract. Only in 2020 I switched on another Optometrist (more experienced) he detected cataract. I had cataract surgery after that. I also notice instructment at Costco is not as advance as my current Optometrist.

If you have healthy eye and you want a new prescription for eye glasses, any Optometrist would do .
Penalty Box
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Aug 29, 2012
8172 posts
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I think it is all fearmongering. Optometrists do not like Costco, because they threaten their business model which is based off ripping off customers with glasses that cost almost nothing to make but are sold for a hundredfold more.

So they spread FUD that somehow when an optometrist steps into a Costco he suddenly becomes execrable, and their lenses are all rubbish.

Give me a break. Anything that harms this cartel is good.

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