Prescription Sunglasses - no prescription history

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I was speaking to a co-worker lately who mentioned that their partner regularly gets pairs of sunglasses through their private health insurance(unsure of fund) and has cover up to a few hundred dollars so does not pay for anything in store.

I went in store today to ask about this and was told that to be able to claim optical items on health insurance, there must be at least one prescription lense in the pair of glasses and that they would give me an eye test to essentially prescribe a single lense with a slight prescription so that I would be able to claim.

Obviously I did not automatically jump on the idea being a cautious oz-barganier since I recently started a new job where I was told that I had perfect 20-20 vision after doing the fitness test.

So my question to you would be: Should I be careful about this if I ever intended on say going for a career in the air force for example? This is purely hypothetical but I just don't know if it is truly worth getting a prescription just to get the most value out of my private health cover if it was ever detrimental to any further career or life choices where I might have to state my medical history.


  • +3

    I would worry more about wearing prescription glasses that you don't need (if you can convince an optometrist to prescribe them). It will at least give you headaches and possibly damage your eyes. Be glad you can buy a $50 pair of decent sunnies off-the-rack, and don't have to pay hundreds or wear dorky clip-ons.

    If you want more value out of your insurance, go to the dentist more often :P

    • Honestly - I didn't even consider this to be a factor. I guess it wouldn't hurt to have an eye scan by a professional but you have to ask yourself - would they be doing it in the customer's interest if there is money to be made from prescribing glasses? As for the dentist it has been some time so I might just make an appointment - not matter how much I hate going to the house of pain.

      • I've met good and bad optometrists, yes some will sell you glasses when you're "marginal", I guess like a dodgy GP might give you a prescription you don't need. But most I've seen were keen to see me not spend excessive money (i.e. wait until I really needed new glasses, free trials of contacts, avoiding visits to specialists), and didn't mind when I took my prescription elsewhere to get it filled.

  • I don't know of any job that requires 20/20 vision without the help of glasses or contacts. It's a misconception you need this to be a pilot. If your eyesight can be corrected within a certain tolerance you can still be accepted.

    • Nor do I which is why I posed the question. Fair call though. Maybe I'm just being paranoid?

  • Is everybody rorting the system? No wonder we're going down the gurgler.

  • Not that your optical prescription has anything to do with the health benefit of sunglasses.

  • +2

    Hi mate! I'm an optometrist and I can tell you that wearing a low prescription wouldn't necessarily damage your eyes and vision- not unless it was improperly done.

    However I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they needed it- so if your vision is good than do not do it. As long as it has an "Australian standards" tag on it than a $20 sunglasses will be just as good as a $500 pair.

    If you want it just for the brand or look than just pay the amount- getting it off a dodgy claim on your health fund is technically illegal.

  • OP, some funds will allow claims for sunnies, even without script lens.
    If you have private health insurance with optical extras, just check what you can claim. And buy the sunnies from a proper spectacle shop, not the local sunnies joint.

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