The FTC enforces the Eyeglass Rule, which gives you the right to get your eyeglass prescription — whether you ask for it or not — and at no extra charge once your eye exam has been completed. Having a copy of your prescription lets you shop around and get the best deal. But based on public comments and consumer reports we’ve gotten, it’s clear that some eye doctors aren’t following the Rule.
To correct that and help the FTC enforce the law, the agency, in its notice of proposed rulemaking, wants eye doctors to not only get a signed confirmation when they release prescriptions to patients, but also to keep a record of that confirmation for at least three years. Eye doctors should already be requesting you sign a confirmation of prescription release when you receive your contact lens prescription.
The proposed updates also would clarify that your proof of insurance coverage is considered payment for services when determining when a prescription must be shared. It would also let your eye doctor give you a digital copy of your prescription, instead of a paper one, if you agree.
The FTC wants to know what you think about the proposed updates. The notice includes questions for public comment which will help the agency with its decision-making on the proposal. These include questions about provisions in the proposed rule, as well as questions related to the costs and benefits of the proposed rule to consumers and eye doctors. The notice will be published in the Federal Register in early January 2023. Once it’s there, please submit comments electronically or in writing for 60 days for agency consideration.
In the meantime, learn more about your existing rights at Buying Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses: Your Rights. And if you think an eye care professional is violating the Eyeglass Rule, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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Whenever I ask for a copy of my prescription, it is begrudgingly provided after a lot of hemming and hawing by the staff. They do not want to provide it. The fine details for glasses? Forget about it. They expect me to obtain my glasses and contacts through them.
Then there's the not wanting to let me use my old frames, with the admonishment they won't be responsible for breakage. Buying it all together would be more economically sound, etc.
The prescription has never been offered to me before. I doubt it will change.
In reply to Whenever I ask for a copy of… by Cappy
Yes, Cappy! I have NEVER been offered my prescription and asking for it makes one very uncomfortable. I do it though. I get the ol' "it costs just as much to put new lenses into old frames as it would be to purchase new frames". Frame costs are outrageous for what they are. I have insurance that helps a little, but the costs for eyeglasses is ridiculous! Just broke my old pair as I'm waiting for my third set of new ones. Apparently, with progressives, it's just keep trying lenses which seems crazy to me, too.
Personally, I feel this is what we as consumers have needed. As many times after your exam, you are then taken to pick frames and prescription glass which can many times be more expensive. This will also let the consumer know how much their prescription is changing each year. Thank you for this eyeglass rule.
It is a must to regulate businesses that cater to the public for obvious reasons.
This is valuable information!
The VA won't even give a Complete written Prescription after the Exam...
I say a digital copy and if a paper version is available. The reason is there are people who do not know how to use digital media, then they have a paper copy
A patient should be able to have both a digital and paper copy. There are people who do not know how to use digital media and should be offered a paper copy instead.
I think the updates are Great. Especially if the eyeglass place is in the same area as the doctor who gave you the exam and prescription. However it does not always go the way of the patient. the Eyeglass place wants t charge you for your time also. Good Rule. I will see what my eyeglass place says on this.
This is a good rule because some eyeglass places have to be forced to give you your prescription. Just because you got an eye exam with them they often act as if you also have to buy glasses from them
There one issue I’m having even though we are able to get your eye exam prescription without paying any additional charges, then why is it that the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospitals have to get their eye glasses from a shop already set up there as a Veteran I understand you rate a basic set of glasses for free pay for by the VA, so why can’t go to an outside shop to get a better deal on a pair glasses and just paid the difference on an upgrade would that be feasible? This should also apply to other government agencies who pay for a basic set of glasses.
This info is great news.
Will be making an eye exam appt ASAP .
I haven't been to an Opthalmologist in years because I was told only that office could use my eye prescription and make glasses....all the frames were too much for my budget .
Love this rule.
Yes yes and yes!!!
This is an important issue that must be enforced. Eyeglasses have cost too much for you long.
I had a strange experience about 2 years ago (mid 2000); I obtained a written prescription from the eye glass provider in late 2019 and after about 6 months walked into a Walmart to have eyeglasses made according to that prescription; the insurance would not go through - apparently the eyeglass doctor's office had put a "lock" on the prescription being filled. The Walmart sales person had to call the provider's office to have the lock removed. I am not sure how such a lock can be placed and if it is even legal and considered filing a formal protest but decided that was too much hassle, especially since the lock was removed with a phone call; Needless to say I am not seeing that provider any more.
Yes. My eye doctor gives me a "copy" of the prescription. Took it to a outlet to get the prescription put into a pair of frames. The woman who worked with me said that she would not guarantee that I could see when the prescription was filled and put into the frames because she had a hard time reading it.
That is not the first time that happened. However, when I got it filled at the doctor's office they had the doctor's copy to go by. I questioned the fairness of that.
I think this is very helpful with some places that I have gone to do not even have an option for that information.
Thanks for the information
This is a GREAT idea ! We pay for it, we should get it at no extra cost. Thanks FTC.
My problem is not getting the perscription, it is getting the measurements so I can buy my glasses on line and yhe come out right.
I'm old enough to remember when eye doctors were not required to give you your prescription.
The notion that your prescription was their personal property, like a secret recipe.
Thank you for all the hard work you do, and for giving us freedom of choice...
It's a great idea and it's about time.
I’m in favor of the requirement
My optometrist obeys the rules; however, for those who don’t this rule may improve their compliance.
So glad that this is being reviewed. I will definitely check back January 2023.
I think it would be great to be able to get why prescription hassle free so that I can shop wherever I would like to go to get the best deal for myself.
recently had a eye exam and was not offered a prescription for glasses and felt like I had to buy my frames and glasses there. I even had the Optometrist tell me I need eyeglasses and seperate sunglasses. He wrote on a piece of paper what my cost would be after my insurance allotment, allthough he never said what that allowance was.
I am new to this as this was the first time I had to do this were I needed glasses. I just recently moved here and thought this was the normal procedure.
I did contact my Insurance company yesterday and they asked me to call them this coming week and they will contact this optometrist. My part for these glasses cost me $470.00 which he said included my co-pay. My insurance allowance is $300.00 not bad money from 1 senior citizen and insurance payment.
I did notice he does this to all his patients not just me.
Sincerly G. B. Thomas
It's about time that these doctors have to give the people their prescriptions I have been fighting for a long time now and I think it's great but are they going to follow the rules?
It's really horrible how some eye doctors are scamming people who need glasses every day. We already have to pay money to see, we don't need an additional charge.
Thank you FTC!
This is great! I've run into these optometry and optomologist who won't allow you get a copy for either eye Rx or contact lens Rx.
This is very good my eye doctor is very cool he released to my prescription ( my insurance paid for some ugly glasses and not upgrade )so I can buy my glasses online and made me save money because I can get the same or better glasses that they sell me for $300 for only $60 and better frame but I heard that some doctor don’t like to give the prescription to his patients because they loose money l so this way will be help save people money and choose where they want to get their glasses . Very good !!!
I think it’s great. I have not run into the problem yet. Last time they gave me the script and I took a digital photo. What is difficult is finding the money to pay for eye exams- $195 to $285 is too steep.
Very confusing article. Do consumers have the right to prescription NOW. Or is that IN THE FUTURE???
We pay a fee or copayment for the eye exam. We should automatically receive a paper and/or digital copy of the resulting eye vision prescription.
Thanks for proposing this as a rule.
In reply to We pay a fee or copayment… by Patricia L
The Eyeglass Rule currently gives you the right to get your eyeglass prescription — whether you ask for it or not — and at no extra charge once your eye exam has been completed.
Thank you, but we also need transparency, to be able to see prescription glasses lens options - along with pricing differences, performance difference, and aesthetic differences. They want to tell you what lens you need, and if you ask questions you’re only given minimal info that does not even include all the options. Furthermore, when you ask about aesthetic differences, they flat out lie to you. I’ve spent over $1000 on 3 different pairs of prescription glasses in the last 3 years for myself and son. Each time, trying very hard to get lenses that DO NOT have a reflective tint on the outside of the lenses. Yet, we have NONE that are clear. 2 are blue and 1 is yellow. I’ve also found out they offer way more options than were given to us, all of which would’ve been WAY cheaper. YET, the info was hidden, withheld, & misguided; forcing me to end up with less than satisfactory products at higher than necessary prices. What gives??! And what do we have to do to change that? Walmart Vision Centers would be a good place to start. They don’t even offer lens info and pricing online anymore. Probably because it offered more transparency for the consumers than they wanted.
They do not want you to be informed to make the best choice for yourself. They want to sell you what they want to sell you; and I feel deceived and ripped off.
"Eyeglass Rule" link is invalid!
This is only helpful for some people... ALL info related to YOUR PRESCRIPTION and eyeglass order needs to be provided in order for there to be competition. Need pupil distance, segment height(s), and even more complex info if you're purchasing progressive lenses. As a new progressive eyeglass wearer, it is impossible to compare products and price the way it is now.
You need to define what is included in a "prescription".
Since it is a medical issue, ALL information and notes relating to your eyes and glasses should be available digitally so one can shop. I'm finding as you get older and need correction of both distance and near vision, it can be more complex. The FTC really needs to look at progressive lenses and the complexity of getting the right, not necessarily most expensive, lenses and how they are fitted. I'm going through this now and there is no way I can just buy a pair of glasses.
What are the rules regarding the PD portion of the prescription? My optometrist gave me my prescription but left the PD values blank, and wants to charge me a fee to provide them.
I know it's unethical, but is it illegal to charge an additional fee to get the full prescription I already paid for?