So I went to a Fred Meyer's Optical yesterday for an exam ($70) and then picked out a pair of frames that will hold their fucking shape and theoretically have titanium in them (more expensive!) (All eyeglass frames in the world are made by a half-dozen slaves in a shed somewhere outside of Beijing where they're all chained to some antique metal lathes with little pictures of Chairman Mao glued to the side.)
In honor of my reaching 294 in dog years, I'm now blind close up and at a distance. "Progressive bi-focals" cost more than regular near-sided lenses, apparently three times more.
The conversation went like this: "You have the standard $300 benefit from Aetna. So minus the exam, that's $230 left over. Plus your frames at $149.95 ($150), plus the progressive lenses, plus the anti-scratch plan, minus the reduced glare, minus the (stylish!) thinned edges, leaves you with a total not covered of $284."
Before you accuse me of being a dupe for going to a department store optical dept., you should know I checked out two private eyeglass places. One wanted $140 for the initial exam and the other wanted $300+ for their "cheap" frames which were on sale (keep the image of the slaves chained to a lathe in China in the back of your mind because, trust me, they're not seeing any of this markup profit).
I came out of the eyeglass place feeling ass raped. Is it just me or has a visit to the optician now turned into a game of Three-Card Monty?
Makes me wanna go watch a movie about America's healthcare system (what system?!).