Walmart seeks to make optical care more affordable

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Committed to helping Americans save on out-of-pocket healthcare costs, Walmart announced Thursday it has sharply reduced what customers pay for both contact lenses and youth eyewear.

In an effort to further drive down health care costs, Walmart and 1-800 CONTACTS are working together to help more Americans save as much as 12% to 50% on the costs of a yearly supply of contact lenses.

Walmart's program with 1-800 CONTACTS offers the convenience of high quality care provided by some of the nation's finest independent eye doctors, combined with customer support offered by 1-800 CONTACTS' 24-hour online and telephone customer service representatives to all Walmart customers. Walmart and 1-800 CONTACTS estimate that customers have already saved more than $25 million since the program began rolling nationwide in January 2010.

"At a time when every penny counts, contact lens wearers want to save money and get brand name contact lenses conveniently," said Jonathan Coon, CEO 1-800 CONTACTS. "We are proud to be working with Walmart. Together, we have eliminated the hassle of mail-in rebates and replaced them with instant savings at the register. Our alliance improves access and lowers costs - enabling contact lens wearers to replace their lenses more frequently and live healthier lives."

To help families during tough economic times, Walmart has also lowered prices on quality eyewear for children 18 years old and younger. Year-round, parents and caregivers will find youth frames and lenses for as low as $39. Walmart will also provide a one year guaranteed free replacement if the glasses are damaged.

Walmart Vision Center customers will find 18 different youth frame styles and colors for only $10. Additionally, customers have three youth lens options, ranging from $29 to $79.

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