As a contact lens wearer, you have specific rights under a federal law that’s been on the books since 2003. It is called the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) and it guarantees you a few things:
1. A free copy of your prescription
After your eye exam, your eye care provider is legally required to automatically provide you with a free copy of your contact lens prescription without you having to ask for it or sign a waiver. That way you can choose to purchase your contacts anywhere, anytime.
2. You can buy your contacts anywhere anytime
You don’t have to buy your first box (or any boxes) of contacts from your eye care provider, regardless of what they may say or imply. Shop around! Find the best combination of service, experience, convenience, and price and take your prescription (and your business) there.
3. Your prescription must be verified
All retailers are legally required to verify your prescription before shipping your contacts. Your eye care provider is required to respond to any verification request within eight business hours.
4. Your prescription is good for a year (minimum)
All contact lens prescriptions are good for a minimum of one year, unless there is a documented medical reason to make it shorter. In fact, in some states the minimum is two years.
5. Protection against spendy “private label” lenses
Sometimes people are prescribed private label (store brand) contacts which are only available from that eye care provider. Often, the eye care provider basically takes a widely-available contact lens (national brand) and puts it in a box with their private label brand name on it. Then they prescribe it to you, and charge more money than the national brand. Fortunately, the FCLCA specifies we can provide you with the national brand when there is one.
Those are the main points of the FCLCA. You can read the entire law here (as far as federal laws go, it’s very short and easy to understand). Questions about your prescription, verification, or anything else about your contacts? Reach out anytime by calling 1-800-266-8228, texting 41800, or chatting.