• Della Optique

A Comprehensive Guide To Eye Exam Costs In Vancouver

When it comes to the cost of an eye exam in Vancouver, the public is generally confused. There is no standard fee. As a local community-focused optometrist, we want to pull the curtain back on eye exam costs so that you can be well-informed. Patients can get an eye exam through a few different avenues including optical retailers that have in-house optometrists, group eye care practices with ophthalmologists and optometrists, independent eye doctors, and the eye department at multidisciplinary clinics.

Ultimately, each avenue decides on how much they charge based on the level of expertise your eyes need, the market rate and what they believe their eye exam service is worth. To understand the various factors that play into the cost of eye examinations in Vancouver, read through the following sections to find the answer to your questions: Are Eye Exams Free In BC?

Are Eye Exams Covered In BC? What Is The Average Cost For An Eye Exam

What Is Included In An Eye Exam? Why Do You Need An Eye Exam?

Are Eye Exams Free In BC?

Eye exams are not free in BC. Depending on your age, your income and a few other factors, you may receive partial or full coverage for eye exams.

Are Eye Exams Covered In BC?

It depends.

Routine eye examinations are not covered under the Medical Services Plan (MSP) for people between 19 to 64 years. However, if you receive income or disability assistance you are fully or partially covered for certain optical services, including eye exams. Families who receive income or disability assistance get full coverage for routine eye exams for children under 19, under MSP. Adults who receive income or disability assistance get partial coverage in the amount of $48.90 for routine eye exams, once every two years. Additional costs are up to the individual. The good news is, you don’t pay out of pocket. Money for optical services is paid directly to the optometrist.

Seniors receive complete coverage under the Medical Services Plan (no income or disability assistance required). And BC residents of all ages who are covered by MSP are eligible for full coverage when it comes to medically necessary eye exams. Generally, “medically necessary” eye exams are recommended when the following are a part of your health profile:

  • Medications with significant ocular risk

  • Systemic diseases with significant ocular risk (ie. diabetes)

  • Ocular, injury, trauma or disease

What Is The Average Cost For An Eye Exam

The current market rate ranges from $75 to more than $250.

Keep in mind that the cost of an eye exam changes depending on where you go and which tests are included in the exam. For example, eye exams for contact lens wearers include a contact lens fitting or other contact lens-related services. Private medical insurance or provincial medical insurance may cover the entire cost or a partial amount.

Expect higher fees when it comes to optometrists who have more than 10 years of experience. Service-focused providers might also charge more to include patient education, a comfortable environment and a seamless customer service experience—factors that aren’t typically found in clinical offices.

What Is Included In An Eye Exam?

Eye exams involve more than just reading an eye chart. Doctors use a wide variety of tests during eye exams. A comprehensive eye exam can include a number of simple and complex tests to evaluate your vision and eye health. The following procedures and tests are can be included in an eye exam:

  • Visual acuity tests - Measures the sharpness of your vision

  • Pupil dilation - An examination of the eyes’ internal structures

  • Pupillary Distance - A measure of the distance between the centers of your pupils.

  • Slit lamp exam - A magnified examination of the eyes’ structures

  • Color blindness test - An exam to detect colour vision deficiency

  • Retinoscopy - A procedure that provides your doctor with an approximation of your eyeglass prescription

  • Autorefractors and aberrometers - Tools used to automatically estimate your eyeglass prescription

  • Cover test - Checks for eye alignment

  • Ocular motility testing (eye movements) - Measures the ability of your eyes to follow a moving object

  • Visual field test - Checks for blind spots in your peripheral vision

  • Stereopsis test - Checks for normal levels of depth perception

  • Refraction - Determines your exact eyeglass prescription

  • Glaucoma test - Tests for risk or presence of glaucoma

Hidden Fees And Extra Charges

Watch out for hidden fees. In some cases, patients have been hit with unexpected fees for minor procedures that they were not made aware of at the time of booking. According to a CBC article, unsuspecting patients have even been swindled by B.C. optometrists that violated “...provincial regulations by charging an extra fee...that's supposed to be included in eye exams”. These optometrists added extra charges onto patients’ bills for the pupillary distance measurement. When booking an eye exam, be informed. Find out which procedures are included in the exam and inquire about additional charges. At Della Optique, you never have to worry about additional fees since our eye exam fees are always all-in-one.

Why Do You Need An Eye Exam?

Many people think that eye exams are not necessary. But the fact is, routine eye care is recommended for everyone.

Children should have their first eye exams at 6 months, 3 years and then yearly during school years. Adults over 19 years old need to be checked annually.

And if you see clearly, you’re not exempt. Many eye diseases go undetected, like glaucoma and retinal tears. Early detection of an eye disease is essential in treating the problem before lasting damage occurs. When deciding on where to get your eyes checked, do the following to ensure you get the most out of your next eye exam:

  1. Ask for recommendations from family and friends.

  2. Check customer reviews online.

  3. Find out which procedures are included in the eye exam cost and if additional fees should be expected.

  4. Find out if you qualify for partial or full coverage under MSP or your medical insurance plan.

Eye Exams At Della Optique

At Della Optique, there are no surprise costs with your eye exam, just highly regarded optometrists with a combined experience of over 40 years conducting eye exams. Della Optique has an average rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 on Google Reviews—with 240 reviews and counting.

In our patient’s own words: “Della Optique is the best location in Vancouver for prescriptions and glasses. From the moment you walk in the staff are friendly and helpful, and help with styles and fitting. I agree, Dr. Chow is the best and the coolest optometrist ever! All my needs were met, and my experience was exponentially above my expectations.” -Bryan Mckinnon, May 19, 2020

Now that you are well-informed, book your eye exam today to ensure healthy vision or contact us to learn more about your pricing options.


Della Optique
& Optometry


Contact us

(604) 742-3937

Store Hours


Mon:   10am - 6pm

Tues:  10am - 6pm

Wed:  10am - 6pm

Thur:  10am - 6pm

Fri:     10am - 6pm

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Sun:           Closed

Stat:           Closed


2589 W Broadway 

Vancouver, BC V6K 2E9

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